Step Two in the AA program states: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
There are many powers that this can define. For example, the collective group of people in the fellowship of AA with their common recovery experience can represent a power greater than ourselves. However, when we encounter Step Three and confront the decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God, that definition or any other cannot replace the real need for a personal and loving God.
There are those in recovery who seem to be content with a God concept that is generic. There are those also who totally reject the existence of God. However, from AA’s beginnings in 1933, it is God that we are encouraged to find and believe in. Step Three implies that in order to recover successfully, we are to place our dependence upon God. How can we do this when we cannot see, hear, or touch Him? It appears to be a dilemma.
Page 87 of the Big Book of AA states “Be quick to see that religious people are right”. Theologians tell us that God is supernatural and exists in a spiritual dimension. Being human we are confined to this physical world. We cannot muster up the power to go over from the boundaries of our human confines to the spiritual dimension to investigate if God is real. To have any belief in this spiritual being it is necessary to have evidence of God revealed to us from the spiritual dimension itself. Logically, the truth must be revealed to us by God from the dimension He exists in and it must be in a form that can be experienced in our human dimension.
We need a good understanding of God if we are to believe in Him. At the time Alcoholics Anonymous was founded the single most published works on God was the Holy Bible. Numerous books, writings, and religions have found their origins from the contents of it. Both the Bible and many of these books were used in early A.A. They all have in common the belief that the Bible contains God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. If that it is true, it is where we must look to discover for ourselves if God has revealed himself to humanity and that the Bible is indeed accurate and true. This would be the proper foundation we need to understand our spiritual experiences with God as we trudge forward in our individual journey in recovery.
We will discuss in the next five articles a summary of proofs or evidence of God by examining the need for and evidence for an intelligent designer as it applies to the reality of: the Cosmos (universe), The Human Habitat (earth), The Human Being (our self), The Human Experience (our own), and YES, the AA Twelve Step Program. Hopefully it can help us in recovery to build enough faith in God to realize that He is real, personal, loving, and able to fulfill all the promises we speak of in Alcoholics Anonymous and more. It is accuracy and truth about God that we need if we are to achieve the wisdom that gives peace and serenity as an outcome.
Truth is hard to come by in the human experience. There is an abundance of error all around us. Truth is reality and in our alcoholic experience we mostly lived in deception and denial. Truth does not change nor is it relative. The idea that anyone can define their own truth cannot be defended logically. It is essential for meaningful recovery that real foundational truths about God are realistic and we should be quick to guard against false perceptions. Believing a lie can be eternally fatal if the Bible is true and we miss the message of eternal life.
The correct application of the twelve steps is built upon the realistic definition of the biblical God and not any concept of God invented up by our own imaginations. “We should be careful to not confuse “God as we understood Him” with a “god of our own making.” In other words, we should align ourselves with the original intent of Step Three and not try to conjure up some false idea of God. The truth of the matter is, in early A.A., it was not a question if God existed – it was a question of how well the alcoholic understood Him.” (Eternal sobriety – Chapter Three – The 12-Step Waltz)
Several foundational truths we need to examine for accuracy are a) is God real, b) does the Bible reveal God to us, and c) can we have a relationship with him. The truth will move us forward on this quest as we examine evidence of a designer behind the cosmos (universe), the human habitat (earth), the human being, the human experience, and the AA program itself. It is hopeful that this truth will improve your own personal “understanding of God,”
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Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)