1 Nephi 1:20 But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.To make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Do those words pull at your heart the way they do mine? They recall to my mind, by contrast, all those years in which I had no "power of deliverance" and often suffered the pains of a damned soul, caught as I was in bondage to my addictions and compulsions.
In recovery, I now see there was always one essential element missing in all those failed attempts to "have faith" sufficient to free myself. What was missing was the correct target or object of my faith. All that time, I was desperately trying to find someone or something in this world to have faith in. I was constantly running from "pillar to post," trying to find the one true program, the one best author or "guru" who was going to have the miracle answer, the miracle cure. There was always another book, another name, another way or means that just might bring me the salvation I sought.
Even when I tried to have sufficient faith, I was still focusing on my doing something, more than on Him doing something. The emphasis was still too much on the "I," the "me" and the "myself," instead of on Him. I was still thinking I had to be my own savior, with just a tiny bit of God's help. What a shock it was to finally face the fact that He was the Savior--the one who did the saving--and I was the one who had to surrender my prideful self-sufficiency and let Him play that role for me. The ever so slight, yet ever so essential modification that the Twelve Step principles have taught me is that I have no power in me unto deliverance. Why? Because all power resides in Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 4:11.)
And all those other ways and means and names (people) I turned to for help that only helped for awhile? Do I think going to them was a wrong thing or dumb thing to do? Not at all. Most of them were good, and some of them even encouraged me to seek a "Higher Power," or "increase my spirituality," or even to rely on "Divine Providence." And all those things were good as far as they went, but for me, they didn't go far enough. In other words, they were what the AA Big Book refers to as "half measures." For me, the full measure of my deliverance did not come until I recognized that "all wisdom and all power, both in heaven and on earth" flows from my Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
Prayerful thought: Dear Lord, help me to remember that I have taken upon me Thy Name and that my deliverance is dependent totally upon my coming unto Thee first and attributing all salvation to Thee and Thee alone.
© 2011 Colleen C. Harrison