Living by the Twelve Steps is essentially agreeing to give up our power—or rather, our powerlessness—in exchange for God’s power. It is becoming willing to do only what God gives me the power to do.

But when I offer up my will to God, relying on His power, does this mean that He will give me the power to do what I think I need to do? Or does it mean that I agree to do only that which He gives me the power to do?

Okay, that’s clear as mud. Let me explain.

For years, I have thought that God would give me the power to do what I have to do. For example, I have to live within a certain budget. I have to eat a certain way. I have to exercise today. If I want certain results then I have to do certain behaviors.

But what about the other perspective, that there is nothing I can do without being given the power to do it from God.


That sort of blows the “have tos” and the expectations of results out of the water.

When I give up all control to God, I do only those things that I’m given power to do. I don’t dictate a To Do list to God and ask for His power to accomplish it. He tells me what He wants me to do, and then gives me the power to do it.

No more whining or pouting when my will is not done. I trust Him and His will. I leave the results to Him as well.

Whether it’s resolving issues with our occupation, our finances, our health, our personal relationships, or any other mortal difficulty, it is only through conscious contact with God that we are able to determine what He is giving us the power to do.

~Colleen H.

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