“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. But where and how were we to find this power?”
Alcoholics Anonymous p.45
And so it states, in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, that we needed a power greater than ourselves to solve our problem. We then begin referring to God, which, as Christians, we know to be Jesus Christ. Jesus is God and He is the power of God. Obviously Jesus is the “higher power” of Christians, but do we really understand what that means?
Oswald Chambers wrote: “Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence.” How can we draw on this source of power for help with our problems if we do not realize that He is with us always, and not just waiting to be called upon, but actively guiding our existence. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20
All too often, we “look to Jesus” seated at a far-off throne when we should look withinourselves as well. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we see Him in two aspects. As Savior he has paid the penalty of our sin with His actions on our behalf. As Lord He directs and transforms us as we surrender to His authority through obedience to His teachings and guidance. The power of His presence in us gives us the strength we need to grow more like Him and to resist temptation. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30
The Twelve Step program starts with an admission of powerlessness with regard to a substance or behavior. The next step suggests that a source of power exists which can solve the problem at hand, that is, the state of powerlessness. Many times one starts with a very vague or unspecific concept of this power. Nevertheless, a starting point is established from which growth can begin. As different beliefs and concepts are found and followed, the choices begin to diminish, as does spiritual growth and progress in recovery. In the Third Step a decision is made to surrender one’s will and life to the care of God, “as we understand Him.” But this must be God that we can and do believe in, or there is no real power to help us, and we are back on Step One. Many fall away, or “backslide”, at this point. Some go on for a time only to find a shallow, temporary “victory” over the problem because they have not accepted the gift of divine power offered in and through Christ. Therefore, they have no real source of power. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
In contrast, the new (or reborn) Christian has indeed found that “inner source of power” through faith in Christ – “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6, and we grow in that power as we conform to the image of Jesus, in obedience to His teachings. “And this is the will of him who sent me that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:39-40
We never give up on those brothers and sisters who continue to seek “alternatives”, for we can be used by Him for those good works He does through us, confident “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:10-13
My Higher Power is Jesus –the Way, the Truth, and the Life– and he is with me to the very end of the age!
“See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 54:16-17