© 2005 by Dick B .
Just a few days ago, I was interviewed on Jeffrey T.’s radio program: Cocktails at 5 with Jeffrey. At the conclusion of the show, Jeffrey asked if I had a favorite “God story.” After a moment’s reflection, I said, “Yes. It’s in Genesis 1:1 – the first verse of the first chapter of the Bible.”:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Do you wonder that Bill Wilson spoke so many times about the Creator? Do you wonder why he used the following:
“Remember that we deal with alcohol—cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now!” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., pp. 58-59).
He also said:
“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power? Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. . . even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., pp.45-46).
Jesus also had to deal with people who had a power shortage. Sadducees came to him and challenged him about the existence of resurrection, in which they did not believe. They presented a seeming puzzle about the woman who was married to seven different men and asked, “Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them:
“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:28-29).
So it is with people who challenge you about the power of God! Do they know what God can do? “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” How much power do you want? God created the heavens and the earth. That’s more power than you will ever need.
Abraham thought he had a power problem. So did his wife Sarah. They both wanted children. They both were very old and believed they could not bear children. But God said to Abraham, “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: And I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him” (Genesis 11:19). Sarah just laughed within herself, saying, “After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” But God chastised her and said:
“Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:14).
And she did!
Then there was Mary, the mother of Jesus. She had a power problem. The angel of God said to Mary who was a virgin who had not yet known her husband Joseph: “Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:31). Mary did not laugh, but she doubted. She said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I know not a man?” But the angel told her that the Holy Ghost “shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” The angel added:
“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37)
With God, nothing shall be impossible! Mary believed. God acted. And Jesus was conceived and thus born as the Son of God.
Jesus cured the lunatic son of a man who came to him. Jesus rebuked the devil; and the devil departed from the son; and the child was cured from that very hour. However, Jesus’s disciples had run into a power problem. They asked Jesus why they had been unable to cure the child. Jesus said:
“Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have the faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20).
God had all the power needed to create the heavens and the earth. God had all the power needed to bring a son to the barren Sarah. God had all the power needed to impregnate the virgin Mary and cause her to bear God’s son, Jesus. Jesus told his disciples that it was all about believing what God said he could and would do. If God wanted it, and if they believed, nothing was impossible.
Then there was what the Apostle Paul taught Timothy about power—the power that became available with the gift of the Holy Spirit when born again believers had confessed Jesus as the Lord and believed that God raised Jesus from the dead. Paul wrote to Timothy:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Power. Love. A sound mind. The power of God. The love of God. And soundness of mind to think sound thoughts. All are part of the package a believer receives, has, and can count on when he becomes a child of the living and true God Yahweh.
Do real, practicing alcoholics have sound minds? Sane thinking? Not in my own experience. Or I would never have been in the mess I was when I came to A.A. But these things are available. Bill once told T. Henry and Clarace Williams that only Almighty God could restore us to sanity. The power of God and the sound mind that a loving God enables his kids to have by grace. Do you wonder then why so many A.A. rooms have signs on the way that say, “But for the grace of God.”? Those who have the mercy, grace, and peace of God also are able to, can, and do solve the power problem once and for all. Once they believe. Once they study the Scriptures as the pioneers did. Once they trust in, and utilize the power of God, they can think soundly. They can resist temptation. They can go on to live the abundant life that God’s Son came to make available (John 10:10). By submitting themselves to God and resisting the devil’s temptings, they can be sure that the devil will take a hike and that God will lift them up to be victorious (James 4:7, 10). They can then truly claim—just as early AAs did—that they have been cured.
At the end of his chapter written to agnostics to help them “come to believe,” Bill Wilson wrote:
“He humbly offered himself to his Maker—then he knew. Even so has
God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation
\ was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to
all who have honestly sought Him. When we drew near to Him He
disclosed Himself to us!” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 57).
Is it any wonder that A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob said, “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 181). There need be no power shortage with those who find, believe in, and trust their Heavenly Father, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Why not take a cue from the purpose of the Creator and the subject of the Big Book. End your power shortage any time you choose to read and believe.
Copyright © Dick B.