Conscious Contact with God
CONSCIOUS means AWARE; known or felt by one’s inner self; mentally awake or alert. (Merriam Webster’s Dictionary)
The key words aware, inner self and mentally awake are essential parts of conscious contact with God.
Ø AWARENESS- in the Big Book section on “Spiritual Experience” it states “most of us think this “awareness” of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience.” p.570 AA (3rd ed). They mean that they know that God is “doing things for us we could not do for ourselves” (p. 83AA) When we experience God we feel peace, hope, love, happiness, joy, serenity, confidence, alertness, intuition and many other positive states of mind. We are “conscious” or “aware” of His Presence.
Ø INNER SELF is where God resides. The writers of the Big Book of which many originally were agnostic tell us “We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.” (p.55AA) And in the back of the Big Book in “Spiritual Experience” it tells us “With few exceptions our members tell us that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.” (p. 570 3rd Ed) And the 12 Steps are actions which bring us into contact with our Higher Power. Especially prayer and meditation. Prayer is looking for God and finding Him. And meditation is about being in contact within ourselves. Inside of us is where we can experience hope, faith, peace, warmth, love, and other positive states of mind. The 12 Steps open the channel to God (Steps 1,4,5,8,9,10) and make contact with Him (Steps 2,3,6,7,11)
Ø MENTALLY AWAKE “having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps” A spiritual awakening is simply being “mentally awake or alert.” We are aware of reality, of others, and of God. We are mentally alert. “Awake”! Our intuitive powers are alive. We begin to see things around us and often wonder, “how come I didn’t see that before?” We begin to accept life on life’s terms. We begin to take responsibility for the outcome of our lives because we can accurately see our assets and liabilities.
CONTACT means communicating with; connection; in touch with body to body.
· Prayer is communicating with God; talking to Him or thinking of Him.
· Meditation is being in connection with God. “Body to body” contact. Since meditation is the act of closing one’s eyes and becoming silent. Then we are going to God within. And when we are silent He can speak to us. “In meditation we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come if we want it.” (p. 69 AA) Meditation is real 2 way communication with God.
· After each contact we are changed no matter how obvious or subtle the change is. Our reaction and outlook on someone or something will have changed because we have been in communication (talking and listening to God who has advised us. He, She, It is the Employer, Director, Father, Conscious, Divine Intelligence, Master, Teacher, Physician, etc…). This connection with the Highest Power gives us confidence, intuition, new awareness, peace, serenity, understanding, Love, happiness, hope, and other secure states of being. With each meeting (conscious contact) with God we become more and more confident. God realigns us! We “get it together”. We’re at peace with ourselves knowing that God does speak. And if we obey Him, we find that His Plan does work. We get what we need and we feel secure.
· If we are unable to feel peace or concentrate on God, then we have lost contact (our connection)! What’s interfering or bothering us? Steps 10, 4 & 5 are the actions which will open the channel. (Worry, resentment, fears, guilt, anxieties, and other defects of character are causing us irritability, and discouragement. Obviously drinking will cause loss of contact) Once we identify the trouble, talk about it with someone, we are able to pray and meditate – to reconnect with our Higher Power.
Since God is always there. Why do we experience negativity or the loss of God? Has God abandoned us? Well, if we’re still here physically then He’s still here because God’s within us. So what’s missing? Our minds! Preoccupied with the past or the future. Focused on resentment. Full of fear, worry, or guilt! We’ve “lost our minds” getting caught up with people and things outside of ourselves real or imagined which we have no control over. We lose our minds each time we become dependent on someone or something outside ourselves for approval or our happiness, sobriety and peace. Losing our minds is “insanity”. So Step 2 states, “a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity…if He were sought!”
GOD a POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES (is it possible to have conscious contact with God?) Here’s what they say in AA.
Ø “See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others.” (p.164 AA) Conscious contact means to have a relationship with someone or something. Since we are communicating and contacting this Power Greater than ourselves, doesn’t it stand to reason that we have a relationship going on with God?
Ø What is our relationship with the God of our understanding? We are not one and the same. “First of all, we had to quit playing God. God was going to be our Director. We are His agents. He is the Father and we are the children. We had a new Employer. Being all Powerful, He provided what we needed provided we kept close to Him (CONSCIOUS CONTACT).” (p.62-3 AA) If He is the Employer, then we go to Him to find out what needs to be done. If He’s the Father we go to Him for care and protection and guidance. “We trust infinite God rather than our finite (limited) selves.” If He’s the Director then “we are in the world to play the role He assigns.” (p.68 AA) “When agitated or doubtful, we ask God for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show.” (p.87 AA) “How can I be helpful to him? God, save me from being angry.” (p. 67 AA)
Ø God is “All knowing” Wouldn’t you want to seek out the One with All the right information?
Ø God is “My Creator” Then who knows how we operate and how we need fixing?
Ø And once we know what our relationship with our Higher Power is, “Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. As we became CONSCIOUS of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn. (p.63 AA)
How do we continue conscious contact?
Alcoholics Anonymous suggests 3 things to do:
Ø Clear out the mind. BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES! (Steps 1,4,5,10)
Ø PRAY and MEDITATE (Steps 3, 7, 11)
Ø HELP ANOTHER person (Step 12) “keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed.” (p. 102 AA)
THANK YOU GOD!