New Year’s Eve is here – and with it, the promises and resolutions of maintaining change in recovery come with it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a long list of changes that I have tried to make in my life and failed (New Year’s resolutions and otherwise!). Thanks to the inventory process of a twelve step program, I now know the reason for those countless failures. It is best summarized by one line (on page 45) of the Big Book of Alcoholic’s Anonymous; “Lack of power, that was our dilemma.” My main problem was that I tried to accomplish all those things on my own power and abilities. Thus, I failed time after time.
Additionally, on pages 44-45 of the Big Book, we learn: “If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.”
Finally, I learned that if I were to be successful in bringing about AND MAINTAINING a positive change in my life, I needed “the power to carry it out.” Thankfully, there is “good orderly direction” in both the big book and the Bible.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 shows the secret — “…by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”
2 Corinthians 10:4 says it this way — “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
Lastly, Jesus says in Luke 10:19, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Therefore, in order to acquire positive change in my life, I could draw upon and rely upon the power of God. I have found an everlasting fountain of strength through this power source, and it has never failed. So remember to grow and mature your personal relationship with Jesus and he will fulfill his promise in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
God bless you this New Year.
Adam Bianchini, MD