Coming to believe


2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Believing is not an overnight thing. It’s something you come to, and it may take time. Some come to faith quickly; others struggle. It’s a deeply personal thing. You can’t force it on anyone. This step is unique in that it states that before any action can take place on our behalf, we must come to believe that something could happen and someone exists to make it happen.

Last night we got ready and went out to a play. We have a lovely local theater here in our community and I sometimes will get us seats to two or three shows over the course of a season, if anything, just to force us to get out of the house and spend an evening together. Marti had to reschedule her discipleship group to do so, but everyone agreed this was important. I had the tickets before I realized how important Tuesday nights were. My BlogTalkRadio interview with Chuck Smith Jr.* had to be set earlier to accommodate our plans. Every time we do this, it takes some rearranging, but we are always so glad we did.

Now in order to have this evening together, we had to believe the theater was there, and that the play would go on when they say it would, and that our tickets would be honored. That’s a lot of faith to put forth, but we can be reasonably certain all will go well because we have found it to be a true and reliable source of entertainment.

Help comes by believing help is there. “Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

The play, by the way, was an interesting one about a woman who survived two repressive regimes collecting and preserving, in a museum, antique furniture and regular household items that survived Work War II and the communist rule in East Berlin. She made something special out of obvious things that increased their value in that so many of those ordinary commodities were destroyed in the war. Faith is a little like that too. It makes something special of the obvious — at least obvious to those who believe, so that they can help those who don’t believe yet by displaying their faith in front of them.

Having come to a place where we admit we are powerless to change, this step points to the fact that there is Someone who does have the power to change us. It’s not a leap of faith (that’s the next step); it’s an announcement of hope. Before God can help us, we must believe that He is there, and that He can.

*Our last two BlogTalkRadio shows are amazing interviews that shed a lot of light on the 12-Step program and church. Enjoy them now as podcasts. Two weeks ago we interviewed Andy Burnham, Recovery Pastor at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California and last night, author and pastor, Chuck Smith, Jr.. Click on their names to link to their shows. It will help you get more out of this series.

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4 Responses to Coming to believe

  1. Sandie says:

    Once again, your thoughts brought a scripture to mind…it’s something I think I’ll struggle with until I die or He returns…belief; faith….sometimes I think/hope I’m doing better….other times, not so much.

    “One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, ‘Teacher, I brought my son for you to heal him. He can’t speak because he is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. And whenever this evil spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground and makes him foam at the mouth and grind his teeth and become rigid.'” (Mark 9:17,18 NLT)
    Jesus had the boy brought to him and the evil spirit in the boy went wild when it saw Jesus. The father asked Jesus, “‘Do something if you can.’ (Mark 9: 22 NLT))
    ‘What do you mean, if I can?’ Jesus asked. Anything is possible if you believe.’
    The father instantly replied, ‘I DO BELIEVE, BUT HELP ME NOT TO DOUBT!'” (Mark 9: 23,24 NLT)

    Thank God He knows how frail I am and doesn’t hold it against me. Thank God that He will turn it all to His purpose. Thank God.

  2. Jesus Aguilar says:

    The question is: (How you help someone who does not believe). Now consider the environment, his physical condition, his or her past. God can an a blink of an eye, transform anyone, surely transformed me, but after helping hundreds of people to come to believe, we use as many different ways as people are. Every body is affected in different ways. We need to consider that our fellow – he or her has gone thru the first step dealing, with the anger, the bargaining, the denial and the illusion that they can do it alone. If the person do not believe, we point out how insane he or she is and if the person agrees, then we say something like: Do you think I can help you out of your insanity? If they say yes – my respond is: I can only point the way – But I believe that God can lead you the rest of the way – to this they say: I AM READY – this is the consummation of the second step and immediately we ask to go on our knees and say the Third Step Prayer . .. . . Thanks be to God.

  3. lindastapleton7 says:

    There is a wonderful, old AA book called “Came to Believe” and it gives the stories of many people who were struggling with this step and who came by many different routes to a “God of their own understanding”. This is a great starting point, I had to use it myself to begin with as I was so anti God I omitted the word from the serenity prayer. But little by little, God changed that from a belief in the power of the group and the acknowledgment of some kind of creator to an acceptance of Jesus’ love….and the difference is as day from night. But, it takes what it takes. I love what John said recently about there being only one way to God, through Jesus, but there being many paths to Jesus. This is an awesome and often difficult journey, this road less traveled, but so worth it. God bless everyone reading this.

    • Jesus Aguilar says:

      You know where to look and thank you for sharing. Love what you wrote: “There is only one way to God, but there being many paths to Jesus” My path to Jesus was through the twelve steps of AA. It can be yours too.

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