2002-09-11 - Twelve Steps for Christian Living
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NLT) Three different times, I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.
Step 2: We come to believe that God, a Power greater than ourselves, can restore us to sanity.
In Step1, we admit that we are powerless over our sinful natures and that our lives are unmanageable. Step 2 introduces us to the Power than can restore our broken and sinful lives to sanity. Sanity is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as The quality or condition of being sane; soundness of mind. Soundness of judgment or reason. In other words a sane person makes good decisions. As Christians, we want to make decisions that honor God. A sane person does not hang around temptations that he cannot control. A sane person does not rationalize away all of his shortcomings. A sane person comes to believe in God and His Power.
If we don't have the Power that is greater than ourselves, how do we receive it? What is it? Who is it? Paul cries out in the following passage, asking this Power to save him from his unsound judgment or his insanity.
Romans 7:24-25 (NLT) Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind, I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature, I am a slave to sin.
Paul was struggling with his self-centered, sinful nature. He was miserable. For all of us that are frustrated and weary, we cry out I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! I believe this is what Paul is finally saying in his surrendering attitude toward God. We receive his power by accepting His son Christ as our Savior. It is a free gift for the asking.
Revelation 3:20 (NLT) Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.
The path of restoration and recovery is not an easy path. The road has dips, bumps, plateaus and high points, and it never ends. Paul finds the answer, just as we can, in Jesus. We have to come to believe that Christ can restore us. This restoration is a process that makes us right with God. Restoration is the process of making something old new. This rightness with God gives us the power, through his Holy Spirit, to be sane and have good judgment.
Romans 8:1-4 (NLT) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you, through Christ Jesus, from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Are you ready to take the second step? Are you ready to surrender to God by believing that you are not the center of the universe, you are not all-powerful, you are not all-knowing, you are not the answer, you are not the restoring power and you are not in control of your restoration and sanity? We are not capable of making sound judgments apart from the God that created us.
Lord, help us to move on along the path of recovery. Restore us and give us a new heart and mind to make sound judgments. Get us off this road of destruction. In the name of Christ, our Healer and Restorer, Amen.