12 of them to be exact.
The number of “12 Step” programs out there is exhausting. YOWZA! There’s one for everything. Alcohol…yep. Drugs…yep. Sex addiction…12 Step right there. Food addiction…you betcha! Shopaholic…absolutely! There’s even an Emotions Annoymous, a Debtors Anonymous, an Underearners Anonymous, and Schizophrenics Anonymous (Not quite sure how that one works)! Personal responsibility…wait…what?
They leave you believing you are powerless over everything and will more than likely relapse on a dime. And, being pushed to accept you are basically sick or damaged is…well…sick and leaves you damaged. It’s always easier to be sick than sinful. Sinful requires an effort at personal responsibility.
In general, humans hate change and positively love excuses.
However…For anyone convinced, for whatever reason, they need a “program”…There is a 12 Step program that works. And it isn’t embarrassing, humiliating, enabling or circular. You’ll come out on the other side with assurance, confidence, a new life and love. You don’t even have to commute! The Counselor will come to you!
These are in no particular order. In fact, you may find yourself doing several simultaneously.
Acts 3:19(AMP) So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of (reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;
That’s not simply apologizing. It requires turning away from sin. Don’t get hung up on the “s” word. Sin simply means missing the mark.
2. Believe in Christ.
John 14:6(MSG) Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me.”
Acts 16:31(NKJV) So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
3. Allow the Holy Spirit residence.
Romans 8:9(NKJV) But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Galatians 4:6(MSG) You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father”
Ephesians 5:18(AMP) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.
4. Study His Word.
2 Timothy 2:15(AMP) Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
5. Allow the Word to dwell in you.
Colossians 3:16(ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
6. Seek wisdom and understanding.
James 1:5(AMP) If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
Proverbs 3:13(AMP) Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [drawing it forth from God’s Word and life’s experiences]
7. Seek His face.
Psalms 27:8(ESV) You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
8. Entrust your keeping to Him.
Psalms 37:5(NASB) Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
9. Give yourself to Him.
Romans 12:1-2(MSG) So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
10. Test the spirits.
1 John 4:1(NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
11. Stand firm in your faith.
1 Corinthians 16:13(AMP) Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength!
12. Grab hold of your inheritance.
Ephesians 1:11(AMP) In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,
Colossians 3:24(AMP) Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).
I have to warn you, though… The downside is it is the most expensive program ever developed. The upside is the Counselor has already paid the price. How sweet is that?!?