Faith: How to develop a relationship with God

Step Three “Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.”

The principle: Faith:

Purpose: Decide on a relationship with God

There are 3 requirements in doing Step 3:

We become convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.

We must stop playing God.

We let God direct our lives: He knows better than we do.

As an alcoholic, you must get rid of selfishness or face death. There is no way of getting rid of selfishness without God. You must have God’s help. 

Page 62 bottom paragraph:

“This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.” 

Faith is defined as “complete confidence; belief and trust.” In step 2, we came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves who could restore us to sanity. Once we believe, then we make decisions and take actions. If the decisions and actions work, then one can begin to develop faith.  Thus, faith is the outcome of belief.  Belief is the cause of one’s actions and faith is the result.

How can one develop faith?

  • Believe that all our challenges are from God, for our ultimate good.
  • When faced with challenges, reserve judgment or blame. When we judge or blame our problems on someone or on God, we are in essence taking back our will and playing God.
  • Accept challenges with grace and equanimity.
  • Trust that God has given us the ability to handle our challenges.  Acting on this trust includes knowing who and when to ask for help or advice and to make an effort to solve our problem to the best of our abilities.
  • Trust that God is the one who is guiding and directing our efforts, and He is the source of our success.  God is always present. He will never abandon us and our own efforts are futile without His help.

Faith in God does not mean that if we pray hard enough, God will give us what we ask for. Faith means trusting that whatever God does is for the best and He knows what He is doing.   We do what we can and accept as His will the outcome of our efforts even though I might not understand or even like it from my limited perspective.

Practical Applications:

Trust in God is not built overnight. We need to work on it each day of our lives.

  1. Constantly ask God for help. Before you proceed on anything, ask Him for help.  This can be simple and seemingly mundane: If you are going for a walk, ask God to give you success in crossing the street safely.
  2. Communicate with God inviting Him using simple words such as ‘God, I need You in my life.’ Similar to our relationships with people, our relationship with God requires dialogue and communication.  Just as we talk with others, we need to talk to God, trust Him enough to openly reveal ourselves to Him, and listen to His response.
  3. Thank God no matter the outcome.
  • If it happens that you are successful, thank Him profusely and consider every single thing that He did for you.
  • Even if you were not successful, you should still thank God because whatever happens is certainly for your benefit.

This method will train you to learn to attribute everything that happens to you comes from G-d and is for the best.

Faith building exercise

Pick a difficulty in your life – start with a mild one. When you think about this challenge, contemplate the following points:

1. This is from God who loves me. Every aspect of it is from Him for my highest good.

2. Right now, this is the best possible situation for me. A key part of fulfilling my life’s purpose is doing what I can to overcome and grow from this challenge.

3. God is with me, giving me the strength and courage I need to triumph.

How to Talk to God:

As with any relationship, a relationship with God requires communication.  Talk to God about your problems and ask for His help, preferably out loud and in your native language.

The following is a possible script to get started. After you ask God the questions below, notice if any answers come to mind – immediately or at a later date; they are not necessarily Divinely inspired, but they are worthy of consideration:

Please God, help me with___(say the issue). Lately, I’ve been feeling___(describe your emotions). I’m having difficulty because___(describe how you are affected). Please___(ask for what you want), so that I can___(give reasons why).

What is a reasonable effort I can make to improve my situation?

Who might be able to advise or assist me?

What can I learn from this suffering?

How can I use this challenge to strengthen my connection to You and unconditionally accept Your will?

Which behaviors distance me from You?

How can I use this suffering to more easily shed them?

References:

AA Big Book

http://yaakovweiland.blogspot.com/2012/02/faith-amidst-adversity.html

http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/104477379.html

Joe McQ (1990)  The Steps We Took.  August House Publishers, Inc. Atlanta GA

Anonymous (1991) A Program for You: A Guide to the Big Book’s Design for Living. Hazelden Foundation.  Minnesota: USA

The other references include the worksheets and information already included in the blog.

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