INTRODUCTION TO THE JOURNEY
The Twelve Steps - A Spiritual Journey
The Twelve Steps- A Spiritual Journey is a personal guide to understanding the spiritual power of the twelve steps from a Christian perspective. This material is primarily for adults who wish to get closer to God, but all are welcome. The Twelve Steps offer a way to grow beyond the harmful effects of a troubled life and receive a peace of mind that only God can deliver. Since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, the twelve Steps have become a way for millions of people to change the course of their lives.
ABOUT THE 12 STEP PROGRAM
Twelve-Step Recovery is not a program sponsored by any religious group or entity. However, people using this program find it in harmony with their own spiritual beliefs. It has no official religious affiliation. It is, however, a program that helps us to rediscover and deepen the spiritual part of ourselves. We also realize through working the Twelve Steps that our spirituality is important. We learn to live our lives according to the guidance of God, our higher power. We realize that the void or despair we feel is the result of our ignoring or rejecting our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The foundation for this book is The -Twelve Step process. This process has helped countless individuals recover from many forms of addictive, compulsive, or obsessive behavior. This book is also a tool for writing one’s personal story of recovery. It brings together the tested wisdom of Bible truths and the proven effectiveness of the Twelve-Step principles. The material encourages self-understanding and emphasizes the unchanging love of God for all humanity.
The Twelve Steps - A Spiritual Journey contains scriptural passages that illustrate the harmony between the practices of Christianity and the working of the Twelve Steps. The use of Scripture provides an understanding of the Twelve Steps within a Biblical context. When used as intended, the steps are a profoundly powerful process for allowing God to heal damaged emotions. This book is a spiritual tool that helps us regain balance and order, and leads to us to improved health and increased happiness through a renewed relationship with God.
As Christians we believe that God reveals much of his plan for us in the Holy Scriptures. Both mature Christians and those who are just being awakened to a personal relationship with God can find tremendous value in the Twelve Steps. By regularly applying them to the events of one’s life, the steps become a means of enriching one’s relationship with God. The steps are especially powerful when used together with the regular Christian practices of prayer, meditation, and Bible study. We will discover the unique ways in which the Holy Scriptures support and expand our understanding of the steps.
A central theme and assumption of this work is that healing is possible. To some degree or another, everyone can experience freedom from the damaging effects of a less-than-nurturing environment. As our wounds heal, we become functional members of the community.
Working the Twelve Steps helps us reclaim our birthright as children of a compassionate God. We were created in his image and have the gift of free will. The journey we are about to begin is intended to awaken us to God’s grace and give us an opportunity to experience peaceful and productive living. Feelings of unworthiness, anxiety, and inferiority diminish and are replaced with by spiritual strength and virtues. Focusing on our new relationship with God transforms our obsessive need for other people’s approval. Ourattention is, instead, captivated by the promise of new life in Christ.
THE 12 STEPS
The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous stress personal anonymity as a vital element of one’s recovery. “Friends in Recovery” have chosen to remain anonymous to pursue our own personal growth. We understand the importance of facing ourselves honesty and placing our confidence in the person of Jesus Christ. We offer these materials, not as an end in themselves, rather as a means to developing a healthy relationship with God, with others, and with oneself.
The Twelve Steps as They Relate to Scripture
We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from GOD-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. (Rom. 7:18 )
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13 )
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Therefore, I urge you, my brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. (Rom. 12:1 )
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lam. 3:40 )
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16 )
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10 )
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 )
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matt. 5:23-24 )
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall. (1 cor. 10:12 )
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will, and the power to carry that out. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Col. 3:16 )
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Gal. 6:1)