If you were using this devotional series to work a fourth step inventory, you’d have done two things: 1. Write as best you can a list of your strengths (aware that some of those traits may also show up as defects later on in the process) and 2. Become more discerning about who we ask to help unpack our baggage. It is sometimes in the trying to actually work a fourth step that we realize we have to circle back and relook at the first three steps. The third thing: I believe we can only complete a fourth step if we have the framework of the first three steps under our belts. This is a spiritual program, not a self-help exercise. No one does a fourth step for the fun of it. We proceed because we have admitted we have problems that are bigger than ourselves and our lives are unmanageable. We have admitted that we need help and that help comes from the God of our understanding.
This is a crucial piece of the process. Turning our will and care over to the God of our understanding is no small thing. Let me set the record straight for those who might not be clear about this God of our understanding language. This step is NOT saying that you get to pick a god of your choosing! It is saying that to the extent we have an understanding about who God is and how he works, that provides the limits of our capacity to access his help. If we believe God is punitive and petty – are we really willing to risk being totally honest with him? I think not. The psalmist in the 51st psalm has a certain way of seeing God, understanding him, that allows him the freedom to be honest.
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Psalm 51:4-6 MSG
This writer has a perspective on God just like we do. Today, take a pause. Ask yourself: if I get super honest about this, what kind of God do I believe in? Don’t use the words you know you SHOULD use, notice how your actions, thoughts and feelings about God inform your understanding of your gut level belief about him.