“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 and/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 something 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 rarely happens 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, it was helpful to review the moral inventory list I made in step four. For example, lying to my children about what I was doing was a character defect. It was part of keeping my addiction alive and hidden. When I asked God to take that from me, it became clear that I either had to tell them what I was really doing when I went out to the garage or stop smoking pot out there. So, asking God to take away lying to my children resulted in me soon feeling uncomfortable with lying to them and more ready to ask God to take the desire to smoke pot away from me.
After 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 it an idol. I was using my drug of choice to change my mood, my perspective, my attitude, etc. - all of which are things God wants to do for us through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Yikes! 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. I realized I had made pot 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 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!
Copyright 2009 Beth Livingston. Used by permission.