by Beth Livingston
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Certified Recovery Specialist
“We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings” Alcoholics Anonymous (Step 7)
The second word in step seven has to do with humbling ourselves, a huge part of the recovery process. In fact, most of us have tried to remove our ________ (name your addiction or character defect) on our own more than once. When we get to the end of us and are sincerely seeking God’s intervention in our lives to remove our shortcomings, we are being honest and humble. He wants us to ask Him, even if we ask Him every day.
When was the last time you got down on your knees and cried out to God to take this away from you? If you’re still struggling and feel like God is not hearing you, please don’t believe that lie. He hears you. He’s at work in your life to cleanse you. Keep asking and keep believing. He’s always ready at our heart’s door. Maybe sometimes we want Him to come into our heart on our terms instead of His. It’s at these times that we need to really humble ourselves and say, “Not my will Lord, but yours!”
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." He wants to cleanse us (remove all our shortcomings)!
Getting cleansed/delivered doesn’t always happen as a one-time event. It can, but usually it’s a process. Also, we find that once the ________ (name your addiction or character defect) has been removed, we discover there are more areas of our lives that we need to ask God to make changes. For me, first it was alcohol, then cigarettes and finally my precious marijuana. After a couple of years of asking God repeatedly to please take the desire to smoke pot out of my life, one day the Holy Spirit showed me that I had made an idol of pot. When I deep down realized that I was breaking the commandment that I should have no other Gods before Him, I was truly humbled and wept when I realized I had made that my God. My deliverance came soon thereafter. I’ve been free over seven years.
In my case, not all of my shortcomings were removed at once. At this time in my life I am extremely grateful that I’m no longer addicted to any of these substances, but guess what? I’m codependent. Now I’m working through the recovery process to have God remove the tendency to fix other people, control other people and have unhealthy relationships because I’m so wrapped up in a loved one’s life. The Lord will help me through this and I will be changed as a result. I don’t know how long it will take, but since it’s there and it needs to go, I will focus on the goal of being free some day and work through these steps to get there.
What has your experience been when you’ve asked God to remove all your shortcomings? The more we share, the more we will learn about God’s ways. Bless you for being on the journey to freedom!