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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CR Principle 2

Principle 2 says “I earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover.” (Step 2)

“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

So this principle turned out to be a sizable challenge for me as well. As I wrestled with what it said, I found myself dissecting the sentence. I did earnestly believe that God exists. Unfortunately, Satan and his demons also believe that God exists. So it seemed to me that I was on par with the demons. No, my belief had to go further, which led me to the rest of the statement.

Believing that I mattered to God proved to be the most significant challenge in my entire Christian walk. You see, I had been abused in my childhood, systemically, over a long period of time. I believed in God. I just couldn’t imagine that God could believe in me. The definitions I had of myself weren’t good. I saw myself as worthless trash. I lived in condemnation. My own mother used to tell me that nobody would ever like me. I believed her.

God’s grace is a wonderful thing. It covers many faults and flaws and makes us acceptable to God. But if we try to walk around without it, we feel condemned, guilty, without value. That was how I was trying to live my so-called Christian life. I remember meeting a man on a Christian men’s forum at He lived in Seoul, South Korea. I was looking for someone I could trust and confide in – and God led me to this man. Not long afterward, I found myself in Seoul on a business trip, and sitting before this same man. He showed me much grace and helped me to see that God really does love me.

I remember lying in my hotel room that night and talking to God about the revelation I’d had that day. It was if God were saying to me, “Larry, I sent my Son to die on the cross --- but you wouldn’t believe that. I’ve put others in your life --- and you’ve dismissed them. Now, that I’ve brought you half way around the world to speak to you through a stranger you met on the Internet, will you finally believe that I love you?”

That day, I came to believe. I’d been coming to believe before that, but belief just couldn’t be accomplished in me. I’ve discovered that belief is a strange thing. It’s not something I can just decide. I don’t get to pick my beliefs. I start out not believing and go on not believing. But eventually the evidence overwhelms me and I can’t not believe. Step 2, which correlates to Principle 2, says, “We came to believe …” I think that’s exactly right. We know we don’t believe, and we want to believe, so we come and we keep on coming.

We came to believe, that’s what I came to do. I’m so grateful to God that He helped me believe. When I finally believed that I mattered to God, it was like my recovery - my spiritual life - got on the autobahn! When you can actually believe the promises of God, everything changes.

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