So far, we have faced the difficult steps of admitting powerlessness over our compulsive addictive behaviors and the need of a power greater than ourselves to restore us to the peaceful pathways of life. We have acquired a measure of hope, faith and understanding of God the Father, and Jesus Christ. Now, Step Three asks us to put our faith into action by yielding our will, our recovery, and our very lives to the care and direction of our Heavenly Father. Choosing to yield is an exercise of personal agency, or choice.
There is no question that Step Three is a major step. Step Three requires us to abandon the self-will that has characterized our behaviors up until now. Bear in mind that it was our self-will and uncontrollable self-centered obsessions that made our lives unmanageable.
We can choose to remain in conflict between our compulsive behaviors and our desire to become the person we were meant to be. We can persist in blaming others for our out-of-control behaviors, and continue to reap the destructive consequences that they create. Or, we can choose put into action our belief in the Savior by surrendering to the fact that we have lost the war of self-control over our compulsive additive behavior. We have now made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, being willing to allow God to give us direction and help restore our lives. As we turn away from self-will and start allowing God’s will to direct us, we immediately begin to feel His empowerment over the destructive forces in our lives. When we surrender our will for God’s will, we enlist a power greater than ourselves to fight our own personal battles with compulsive additive behavior.
Complete and unconditional surrender of our self-will will be easier said than done. It is for this reason that we first need to develop hope, faith and trust in a loving God who knows how to strengthen and restore us. Though past negative experiences may make it difficult to allow anyone to get too close to us, we need not fear as we begin trusting God.
“…For I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions…” Alma 36:3
Heavenly Father will allow whatever time we need for the process of coming to trust in Him. He will patiently wait for us to allow Him to enter our lives.
In Step Three, we have made the decision to cease living ungodly and self-centered lives. Instead, we have committed to live God’s commandments as best we can. At times we may fall short in our commitment to do God’s will in all things and in all places. Nevertheless, as long as we are willing to keep trying, the Lord will continue to bless our lives. Remember that recovery requires hope, faith, and trust.
If we are unwilling to surrender our self-will to God, we will ultimately sabotage our recovery because we will be turning away from the only power that can heal us. If we expect to continue to move forward in our recovery we must be willing to give up everything in our lives that is contrary to Heavenly Father’s commandments. Our Heavenly Father’s direction will help us change our life’s course, thus moving us toward becoming the person we have always wanted to be; an honorable and faithful child of God.
“…I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
Many times in the scriptures the Savior makes reference to doing the will of the Father. What message is the Savior teaching?
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you...”
Why is it so important to deny ourselves of all our ungodly desires?
2 Nephi 2:27
“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh (mortal earth life); and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, (Jesus Christ) or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”
For what purpose do we have the freedom to choose our own destiny?
Freedom of choice (agency) means that we have choice and control over our decisions. Many believe that we also have control over the consequences of those choices. Why is this viewpoint incorrect?
It is one thing to choose to believe in the existence of God and an entirely different thing to turn our life and will over to Him. Why would you choose to allow Heavenly Father to be a part of the decisions you make in your life? Can you accept and apply the counsel Heavenly Father has for you, even when His counsel may be difficult to accept?
“...I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me...for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life....”
Sometimes what we desire most (even if those desires have negative consequences), may seem to us what is best, and God will allow us to make that our choice. Yet, these desires may not be what Heavenly Father would choose for us. It is often difficult to change our feelings and our desires. Why does the Lord grant men according to their desires? Why is it best to allow the Lord to direct us?
“Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things, which the Lord can comprehend.”
Do you believe all of these things about God, as stated above? What actions can you take to increase your hope, trust, and faith in the Lord?
There is great safety and peace in turning our will and lives over to the care of God. As we learn to trust Him our faith grows, and we realize that we do not understand all things, but that He does. In what ways can this concept change your life?
“And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men, and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.”
How do you feel about yourself and your need to change when you consider that everyone needs to repent and change in order to return back to God?
When you view yourself as a “new creature” or the spiritual person you have always wanted to be; what do you see?
Summarize of what you have learned or special notes for Steps One through Step Three: