I Need Jesus: Step 11

by:  Staci Stallings

We have now almost made it through the 12-Steps.  We have only two more to go.  First, here are the first 10:

  • Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
  • Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  • Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
  • Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  • Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  • Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  • Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
  • Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
  • Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  • Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

Step 11:

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out

There is a word that has become popular in Christian circles.  The word is ‘discern.’

Now that’s probably not a bad word, persay.  But I think that it makes a relationship with God more complicated than it really has to be.

Discerning, from what I understand it from those who use it around me, is making a conscious effort to figure out what God is telling you to do in a certain situation.  So let’s say you are trying to decide, or discern, where God is telling you to go to college.

From those around me, they say things like, “Well, I’m trying to discern God’s Will” or “I’ve spent some time trying to discern what God wants me to do.”  And maybe that’s not a bad thing.  It’s certainly a step in the right direction from doing whatever we want and then asking God to bless it.

However, to me, “discern” places the responsibility on MY shoulders.  I’m supposed to somehow figure out what God wants me to do and then do it.

But what if I heard wrong?  Or what if I heard right but it doesn’t end up the way I thought it would or wanted it to?

To me, that’s where “discerning” becomes a serious trap.  Because when things don’t go the way I thought they would, am I now outside of God’s Will?

Honestly, having lived in a relationship with God for several years now, I will tell you, it’s just not that hard.

God is God, and He can get the message across to you without you tying yourself into knots trying to figure out what He wants you to do.

I go back to when my son had dyslexia.  I got very good at listening for God’s promptings and very good at simply taking THE next step He asked me to take.

What I’ve learned is, God will open doors and He will close doors, and His timing is always perfect even if it doesn’t feel perfect at the time.  So walk through the doors He opens, and when the door closes, breathe and know He has His reasons.

So on this step, rather than making this hard and a duty and “trying,” try trusting instead.  Just tell God that you’re listening and to please just clearly show you what the next step is.  Then trust that He will because… well, He will.

*~*

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One Response to I Need Jesus: Step 11

  1. Sam Pakan says:

    Great insight, Staci! Grace is God’s intervention on our behalf to accomplish what we can’t, to cover our missteps and set us free from the burden of having to do everything right, including “discerning.”

    Thanks for the reminder.

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