Battles Men Face: 'I Am Powerless' [BOOK EXCERPT]

Are you powerless? Yes, but you and God together are strong enough to claim victory.

I admire Twelve-Step programs, with their fearless acceptance of what is, right from the get-go. No hemming and hawing. No spin or attempting to temper the truth. The first step just lays out the truth for all to see: "My name is Gregg and I'm powerless." 

In this human condition, powerless is what is.

In the paradox of confession, such an admission of weakness leads to strength. Granted, the first step is to admit "I am powerless," but the journey doens't stop there. Eleven steps remain. During those eleven steps, "I am powerless" is transformed into "I am powerless, but God and I together are not powerless; God and I together are powerful enough to overcome this addiction.

"I want to be honest here. Are you the type of person who needs to do everything yourself? If you're doing a project and someone comes in to provide needed help, does that negate the accomplishment of completing the project? Are victories tainted if they're not solo? If you're such an individual, accepting what is will be difficult because the truth is, there will be times when you are powerless and you will need strength from outside yourself to accomplish a challenging task. If it has to be only you, you will fail. When you accept this reality, you open the door to collaborative victory and success.

There is someone who wants to be part of your victories and successes in life. He altered course himself, taking on human form and living as a man. His name is Jesus and he is God, yes, but he is also a man, just like you. Jesus had to accept some difficult realities -- going from heaven to a cattle trough, hunger and pain and doubt and want, rejection from those he came to save, gaining his victory only through death. As a man, Jesus could not have done this alone; he realized his success through his relationship with God, paving the way to show you how it can be done. The writer of Hebrews says this about him:

Now that we know what we have -- Jesus, this great high priest with access to God -- let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all -- all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he's so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. ~Hebrews 4:14

Accept what is. Accept God's help and mercy. Are you powerless? Yes, but you and God together are strong enough to claim victory.

The above is excerpted from chapter 12 in Battles Men Face: Strategies To Win the War Within by Dr. Gregory Jantz.

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