‘Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.’ Psalm 143:10 NIV
You receive power through the act of surrender that you cannot receive any other way. You receive freedom through submission that you will otherwise never know. The 12-Step Programme for recovery offers a path to freedom for addicts. But at the core of the twelve steps lies a great paradox: in which of the twelve steps does it say, ‘Now try really hard not to drink’? In which of the twelve steps does it even say, ‘Now decide not to drink’? Amazingly, this powerful tool against our most powerful addictions never asks people to decide to stop doing what is destroying their lives. Instead of mobilising the will, its followers surrender their will to God.
If you try to overcome the problem by your will, it will beat you. But if you surrender your will to God, deliverance becomes possible. Surrender, which we think means defeat, actually turns out to be the only way to victory. This is not just the case with alcohol and drugs, but with sin in general. Why does our will fail?
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that when it comes to drinking, we say and feel ‘never again’. But we do it again. Why? ‘We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week ago… the certain consequences that follow taking a drink do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily replaced by the old threadbare idea that this time we can handle it ourselves.’
So the word for you today is: surrender to God.
SoulFood: Job 18–20, Luke 18:1–17, Ps 116:1–11, Pro 8:8–9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023