Find True Victory In The 13th Step
I hope you get a chance to meet Patrick. He is a wonderful man and a true inspiration. In the Monday podcast episode, I told you about his raising and the challenges and loss he has faced in his life. After years without God, trying to cope with crippling sorrow, and drowning in alcohol, Patrick decided to make a change. His change is a story everyone needs to hear.
He stopped the car one day and made a decision. After 15 years of alcoholism, Patrick stopped the car one day and told himself: enough is enough. He went home, enrolled in an Alcoholics Anonymous group, and started a two year journey that led Him to Christ.
He fought addiction and stuck with the program. Two years of meetings, and the progression through the traditional twelve step program, was hard. But Patrick signed up for a hard road to get back to living again. And he never gave up.
He came to church looking to honor His Lord. When I first met Patrick, about a month ago, he was coming to church looking to obey Christ. He had been reading the Word, and he wanted to be baptized into Christ! We started studying soon after and he obeyed the Lord.
He professed that 12 steps was not enough. In the moments before he was baptized, Patrick told me he knew it would not be enough. The 13th step, as he told me, was the church. He needed a community of believers, a church home, support.
Sadly, services were suspended in the days after Patrick's baptized, so he has yet to be embraced by this local church and added to our local work. But we text regularly. He desires to be with God's people. He knows he needs it. And so do I. Patrick's story is an inspiration from beginning to end. And I'm wondering if maybe you and I needed to hear it.
Is it time to stop and make a big decision? Maybe you have been doing the wrong thing for far too long. Maybe you feel trapped, addicted, or powerless. There is much that God can do to help you, but not until you stop the car and make a decision. The road home will be hard, but it cannot be traveled without conviction. Are you ready to make that kind of stand?
Are you ready to follow the 12 step program? I have to say, I was not very familiar with the AA program before spending time with Patrick. But I've done some research, and I believe this pathway is needful for a great many people who want to break the chains of addiction.
Walk these steps as you move away from addiction and into God's arms:
- I admit that I am powerless over this sin that has captured me. My life has become unmanageable in the manner I have been living it.
- I believe that a Power exists that is greater than myself. That Power has the ability to restore my sanity and reorder my life.
- I will make the decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God. I understand His willingness and ability to receive me.
- I will make a since searching of my moral inventory. I will put aside the fear of what I might find and be honest about who I have been.
- I will admit to God and to myself the full reality of my sin and its pain. Also, I will be completely honest about my sin with at least one person.
- I am entirely ready for God to cleanse me. I see my life without this sin and I am ready to live that life by God's grace.
- I humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings, to forgive my sins. Whatever He asks me to do to have my sins forgiven, I will do it.
- I will make a list of the people I have harmed by my sin. I will pray about that list until I possess the humility and courage to make amends with them.
- I will take the next step and go to these people. Whenever possible, so long as it will not cause injury to anyone, I will go to them to ask forgiveness.
- I am going to continually take personal inventory of my walk. If I find new wrongs or make mistakes, I will confess and forsake them promptly.
- I am going to improve my relationship with God. I will pray and meditate on His word. I will pray for knowledge of His will and awareness of His presence.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of this journey, I will carry this message to others in need, as I live these principles for my good and theirs.
Even after doing these things, will you openly admit that a 13th step is needed? God's people need God's people. Jesus, in Mark 10, promised us a family to look after us. Christians need one another. We need to worship together, discuss our battles, rejoice in our victories, and be tied to a family of believers who always remind us of our purpose.
Right now, most of us are unable to gather with God's people. But we still need The 13th Step. Reach out to your brethren. You need them and they need you. Loneliness leads many people back into old bad habits. Make some phone calls, send some texts and emails and letters. Let Christians know you care. And more importantly, make sure they know they are not alone.
Let me just say: you are not alone. Not if you are in the body of Christ. Seek those people. Reach out to them. Ask for help. We want to help you. If you are fighting spiritual crisis, or feeling alone in your struggles, please reach out to me anytime. Any. Time. May no one ever fight for their life, find their peace in Christ, and then feel like they are walking alone.
I am your 13th step today. And you are that needed step others. May God be glorified as we serve and love and support fellow believers in our stand for purity and faith.
Thank you for supporting our program. If you believe this blog can help someone you care about, be sure and click a link on the right to share it on social media or email to friends. Have an amazing weekend! And always remember: whatever you choose to do today in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, excel still more.