Why Do I Need God?
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
In the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, steps one, two, and three ask that we admit that we’re a mess on our own, acknowledge that we need God, and decide to turn our lives over to his guidance. Basically, we need a higher power because we cannot do life by ourselves.
Before and during my drug use, I always believed in God, and in theory, I wanted to follow his will for my life. When it came to the day-to-day decision making though, I simply followed my will. This wasn’t an obvious disaster until addiction turned my life upside down. Then, in the calamity, I was forced to acknowledge that living my way was profoundly self-destructive.
Even now in recovery, I must admit that in almost every situation, my first impulse is often wrong. My nature often instinctively desires to do that which is the most unhelpful in the long run. It may be pleasurable or satisfying in the short-term, but my appetite seems not to care about long-term consequences. In recovery, I’ve had to accept that my way eventually leads to disaster and that I require something outside myself to guide my decision making. I desperately need a much higher power.
In today’s passage, Paul said something similar. In it, he acknowledged the work that Christ has already done on the cross. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death, we do receive a brand-new spiritual life when we turn to him. But, Paul said, we still exist in a fleshly body, so we still need to walk and live by faith. We can’t simply sit back and do nothing. We now must choose to believe and then act on that belief. Because we still live in these flawed bodies, with all their persistent defects, we still need to follow a higher power.
If you’re like me, and you’ve realized what a mess you’ve made – or can make – of life on your own, then you won’t find it that difficult to admit that you must follow something far beyond yourself. As Christians, our higher power of course, is God. Daily then, we must accept our need, choosing to follow him instead ourselves.
My way is a mess, leading to disaster. God’s way is life, and he will never lead me back to failure. If I want peace and life instead of misery and pain, then daily, I must follow him.