One of the greatest blessings is working with people who suffer addiction. Sitting in counsel with them and discussing presenting issues they are facing. And, coming up with a means to provide support, encouragement and hope for them is a very unique opportunity. An opportunity to see how a life transforms over time to where they become healthier individuals. I relate to my clients the following:
Recovery is not about abstaining from the use of alcohol and/or drugs. Recovery is about how one lives in a moment-to-moment of transformation from an active addictive lifestyle to an active sober lifestyle.
This is very true in Christianity. We are literally transforming our lives from the old life and living in a manner that produces a whole new life. A life that is centered on Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. It is abandoning and moving away from old habits, thought processes, how we relate to others and what we come to believe and value in life.
One of my own personal struggles has always focused on “I believe in God, yet do not seem to see my life really changing to reflect what I know and believe to be true.” Disappointment and frustration arise.
This all changed when I personally began to study the practical meanings of the 12-steps of recovery (originally developed for Alcoholics Anonymous). My purpose in studying the practical meanings behind the steps was to better educate and inform my clients a way to utilize these as tools for their recovery. Through this process, God has spoken to me and revealed to me what I’ve been missing all these years.
Approaching the steps – not from a recovery standpoint, however, from a spiritual application – a greater sense of inspiration has come about. This, I will like to share with my readers as a means to provide another tool that will hopefully develop a greater sense of authentic Christian living in their lives. In fact, the first statement in step twelve is this:
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps….
This is the heart of the Christian message and biblical worldview – to come to a place of spiritual awakening through Jesus Christ and to become living sacrifices through Him. It is a process that occurs throughout our entire lives. It is not something that occurs over night.
Yes, we are saved by God’s sovereign grace. Nothing in this life will earn our place in Heaven. And, it is God who chooses us while we were yet sinful. However, there is greater work to be done in our lives from the moment of regeneration and justification. That begins at the moment we confess our belief in Christ Jesus and receive him as our own personal Savior.
If you have struggled with how to become spiritually mature as a Christian, struggling with sin, or simply finding yourself lacking in faith, then I ask for you to carefully read and ponder these thoughts and do what you are able to implement them in your life today. These steps were developed in the 1930’s and many people have found hope by working these steps continually in their lives. I believe we are able to find greater hope in working these steps in our own spiritual lives as we continue to come unto Christ and follow after him.