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Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.
We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
Today we are going to focus on four actions:
Two things we have to stop doing and two things we need to start doing in our recoveries.
- STOP DENYING THE PAIN.
We said that our denial had at least six negative effects: It disables our feelings, wastes our energy, negates our growth, isolates us from God, alienates us from our relationships, and lengthens our pain.
- STOP PLAYING GOD.
You are either going to serve God or self. You can’t do both! Matthew 6:24 (GNB) says:
No one can be a slave to two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other.
Our attempt to control ourselves and others is what got us into trouble in the first place. God needs to be the one in control.
There are two jobs: God’s and mine! We have been trying to do God’s job, and we can’t!
- START ADMITTING OUR POWERLESSNESS.
The lust of power is not rooted in our strengths but our weaknesses. We need to realize our human weaknesses and quit trying to do it by ourselves. We need to admit that we are powerless and turn our lives over to God. Jesus knew how difficult this is. He said:
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
- START ADMITTING THAT OUR LIVES HAVE BECOME UNMANAGEABLE.
The only reason we consider that there’s something wrong, or that we need to talk to somebody, or that we need to take this step is because we finally are able to admit that some area—or all areas—of our lives have become unmanageable!
It is with this admission that you finally realize you are out of control and are powerless to do anything on your own
Once you get to this part in your recovery you will realize what David mean in Psalm 40:12 (TLB):
Problems far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head. Meanwhile my sins, too many to count, have all caught up with me and I am ashamed to look up.
Can anyone relate to David? Only when your pain is greater than your fear will you be ready to honestly take the first step, admitting that you are powerless and your life is unmanageable.
Unfortunately it took a great sorrow for me to get to a point in my life where I realized what was in the pile of feelings that I had been bottling up, layer after layer, year after year, from childhood on to adult life – emotional growth was stunted from an early age. All my relationships were rocky – I never had a good relationship until I got that lid off that bottle (with help) and unpacked it – only then could I begin to heal from it – That was a FREEDOM like no other!!!
Let’s look at the acrostic letters which are referred to as “Serenity Robbers”
P IS FOR PRIDE
We start to see that we no longer are trapped by our PRIDE:
Pride ends in a fall, while humility brings honor.
Ignorance + power + pride = a deadly mixture
Our false pride undermines our faith and it cuts us off from God and others. When God’s presence is welcome, there is no room for pride.
O IS FOR THE ONLY IFS
Next we begin to lose the ONLY ifs. Have you ever had a case of the “only ifs”?
• Only if they hadn’t walked out …
• Only if I had stopped drinking….
• Only if this … Only if that….
How reluctantly the mind agrees to reality. But when we admit that we are powerless, we start walking in the truth, rather than living in the fantasy land of rationalization.
Luke 12:2–3 (GNB) tells us:
Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight.
Owning up is key to recovery, quickly too so as not to prolong your agony
W IS FOR WORRY
All worrying is a form of not trusting God enough! Instead of worrying about things that we cannot possibly do, we need to focus on what God can do. Keep a copy of the Serenity Prayer in your pocket and your heart to remind you.
By working this program and completing the steps you can find that trust, that relationship, with the one and only Higher Power, Jesus Christ, so that the worrying begins to go away.
Matthew 6:34 (TLB) tells us:
Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.
We walk by faith and not by sight… YOU NEED TO PRACTICE THIS AND MAKE IT A HABIT
E IS FOR ESCAPE
The next thing that happens when we admit we are powerless is that we quit trying to ESCAPE.
Before we admitted we were powerless, we tried to escape and hide from our hurts, habits, and hang-ups by getting involved in unhealthy relationships, by abusing drugs such as alcohol, by eating or not eating, and so forth.
Trying to escape pain drains us of precious energy AND TIME. When we take this first step, however, God opens true escape routes to show His power and grace.
For the light is capable of showing up everything for what it really is. It is possible for the light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also.
R IS FOR RESENTMENT
If they are suppressed and allowed to fester, resentments can act like emotional cancer.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26–27:
In your anger do not sin …: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
As you continue to work the principles, you will come to understand that in letting go of your resentments, by offering your forgiveness to those that have hurt you, you are not just freeing the person who harmed you, you are freeing you!
But if we try to maintain our false power, we become isolated and alone.
L IS FOR LONLINESS
When you admit that you are powerless and start to face reality, you will find that you do not have to be alone.
Do you know that loneliness is a choice? In recovery and in Christ, you never have to walk alone again.
Do you know that caring for the lonely can cure loneliness? Get involved! Get involved in the church or in your neighborhood or at Celebrate Recovery! If you become a regular, I guarantee that you won’t be lonely.
Continue to love each other with true brotherly love. Don’t forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
E IS FOR EMPTINESS
When you admit you are powerless you also give up the EMPTINESS.
When you finally admit that you are truly powerless by yourself, that empty feeling deep inside—that cold wind that blows through you—will go away.
My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
So let Him fill the emptiness inside. Tell Him how you feel. He cares!
Next you will notice that you are becoming less self-centered.
S IS FOR SELFISHNESS
I have known people that have come into recovery thinking that the Lord’s Prayer was “Our Father who art in heaven … Give me … give me … give me!” Luke 17:33 (TLB) tells us:
Whoever clings to his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall save it.
Simply said, selfishness is at the heart of most problems between people.
S IS FOR SEPARATION
The last thing that we give up when we admit that we are powerless is SEPARATION.
Some people talk about “finding” God—as if He could ever be lost.
Separation from God can feel real, but it is never permanent. Remember, He seeks the lost. When we can’t find God, we need to ask ourselves, “Who moved?” I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t God!
For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away…. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.
The power to change only comes from God’s grace.
Are you ready to truly begin your journey of recovery?
Are you ready to stop denying the pain?
Are you ready to stop playing God?
Are you ready to start admitting your powerlessness?
To start admitting that your life has become unmanageable?
I encourage you to start working and living this program in seriously . If we admit we are powerless, we need a power greater than ourselves to restore us. That power is your Higher Power—Jesus Christ!
This is a process, we need to train ourselves to unlearn some things we learned along the way of life