As we consider change in our life, as we wrestle with habits, craving and life direction it is wise to consider Spiritual wisdom and guidance. As a minister I have talked with many people seeking spiritual guidance and have encouraged them to consider how great and good God is and to build a deep and lasting relationship with Him. I was asked to share about Spirituality at an addictions treatment center’s graduation. I challenged the audience to consider if the God of their choice was big enough. Here are the thoughts I wrote down as my outline.
I am so glad to be here tonight. I love the spiritual emphasis in the twelve steps. Consider the following steps:
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Tonight I want to challenge us as we look at the spiritual implications of the 12 Steps, to look at number three, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” and consider this…
Is your God big enough?
You see I appreciate what the authors were doing. They were being sensitive to the fact that people have the freedom of choice when it comes to spirituality. I get this. However, we are not talking about dessert. “Let’s see I think I will have a piece of pie instead of cake.” No we are talking about God. So here are some things for us to think about.
1. Is your God the one who created you or did you create God? Yes, it is a God of your own choice but is it a God of your own making? It seems to me that the very definition of God would preclude that God would be the creator or life force behind all things.
2. Is your God one that chooses you? Yes you have a choice. A God of your own choice but what about a God who has initiative? I would look for a God who has chosen to love me, create me, sustain me and help me.
This brings up another strong attribute –
3. Can you have a personal relationship with your God? Is He a God who is there? Is He a God with a presence that can be approached? Do you have a connection that is real and vibrant?
4. Is your God all powerful, benevolent, all knowing and omnipresent? When we consider God we must consider God like attributes. Often we are tempted to give to God more human like characteristics. Ask yourself, is my God like…
A. A benevolent Santa Clause ready to give us presents based on our merit– looking to see if we have been naughty or nice.
B. The bloodhound of heaven – The austere judge low on mercy but high on justice chasing us down without mercy.
C. The aloof watchmaker – He created the galaxy and mankind but like the watchmaker, once the watch is made he abandons it to run on its own.
D. The critical parent – A God who is always criticizing, never satisfied, high on demands, low on acceptance and unconditional love.
Finally, ask yourself,
5. Is your God one that can forgive and absolve you of all guilt? Are you able to bring your humanness, your past, all your faults, wrongdoing to your God and find, understanding, love, forgiveness and encouragement? After all, what loving parent would not have a deep love, forgiveness and acceptance toward their child? How much more would the creator of humankind?
As a minister I have spent my life sharing with others how they can find God through the study of the scriptures, the Holy Bible. That they can have a personal relationship with God because of the work on the Cross by Jesus Christ. I would encourage you to also let this be part of your consideration. Whatever you do, seek Spiritual understanding. We were not meant to face this life on our own power. I encourage you to examine your faith and what you believe in and make sure that the God of your choice is big enough.
What do you think should be considered in a quest to know God?