Walking the 12 Steps with Jesus Christ is a Bible-based recovery study that is very similar to the AA program. The difference between this study and the step study of AA is the teaching about Jesus Christ as our Higher Power, Bible Study, Prayer, Fasting, and Church Fellowship. This study is organized into four distinct stages:
Stage One – Foundation Stage
Matthew 7:24-25 says, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”
Stage One is about building a new foundation for our lives on
God and His never failing Word and the ways in which it teaches us to live.
Many of us have built our lives by repeating unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior passed down in our families. Some of us have built lives of isolation and loneliness because we continue to live with: the hurt we have either received or caused others, and guilt and shame that we were never meant to hold onto. And some of us have built our lives on our own unwise choices, one after another.
Stage One gives us the opportunity to begin again.
- Step 1 will encourage us to admit that we are powerless without Jesus working in and through us.
- Step 2 will challenge our thinking about God by introducing us to five different attitudes towards Him. We will learn more about why we struggle so hard to do the right thing. We will return to the basics of God, who He is and who we are in relation to him. We will begin to understand why He is the power that we need.
- Step 3 calls us to make a decision. Will we dare to turn our will and our lives over to God in a fresh, new way? Upon making our decision, we will learn how to have a relationship with Him through the practices of Bible Study, Prayer and Fasting, and Church Fellowship. We will be introduced to simple ways to become successful in these areas.
Stage Two – Discovery Stage
Psalm 31:9-10 says, “Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.” Psalm 73:21 reads, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant…” Can you relate?
- In Step 4, we will take a good look at our lives from conception to where we are now.
We will learn what “wrongs” are and we will identify the “wrongs” that have occurred in our lives. We will examine our lives from the following six points of view:
- Events and circumstances that caused us pain, great or small
- How and why we developed certain negative, unhealthy thought patterns
- When we began acting in out-of-control or coping behaviors
- What good has been in our life, where has God been in our life
- What good character traits, habits, talents, and skills do we have
- Where do we want to go from here, who do we want to be, what do we want to do
John 3:16-17 says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” God loves you. It is his deepest desire to bring you into His spiritual family not only to save you eternally, but to heal your deepest wounds. He will guide you every step of the way if you keep your heart open and let Him. Even though you will identify what went wrong, you will be moved out of your anger, fear, sadness, guilt, shame, and pain if you work the steps. God will see that you have anything you need in this process.
In John 5:5-6, Jesus saw a man and knew he had been ill for 38 years. Jesus asked him, “Would you like to get well?” If He were asking you the same question, what would your answer be?
Stage Three – Healing Stage
Once we’ve discovered the “wrongs” that caused us pain and trouble, we will need to deal with them. We will want to be able to move forward with a healthy mind, a way of thinking and acting that honors God, ourselves, and others. Mark 7:20-23 tells us, “…It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
Our outward behaviors will not change if our inner thoughts and attitudes stay the same.
The only way to get out from under the control of inner pain and wrong thinking and attitudes is to bring them to Jesus through the following process:
- Step 5 – Confession, sharing our story
- Steps 6 & 7 – Repenting and humbly asking Him to remove our “wrongs”
- Steps 8 & 9 – Forgiving those who wronged us and asking forgiveness and making amends with those we have harmed
We do not need to fear the healing stage because it is about doing what God wants us to do. He wants us to do our part in healing ourselves and helping others to heal through taking what responsibility is ours in mending the relationships that we can. In Romans 8:1 we are reminded, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” God has made a way for us to receive healing and freedom from the “wrongs” in our life. It is up to us to choose His way.
Stage Four – Living an Overcoming Life
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” – Galatians 5:24-25
Stage Four is about practicing all we have learned from now on. We have laid a new foundation, we have discovered what caused us pain and trouble, we have dealt with it with Christ, cleaned ourselves up inside, and now we want to stay clean and grow stronger in our relationship with Him, ourselves, and others.
- Step 10 will show us how to cleanse ourselves from the things that happen every day that may cause us pain and trouble. We will be encouraged to make peace with God, ourselves, and others daily and that will enable us to avoid getting back into out-of-control behaviors.
- Step 11 will encourage us to grow more and more aware of God’s presence in our life all the time. We will learn about two kinds of prayer: meditation and contemplation.
- Finally, Step 12 will explain that in order for us to keep what we have been given, healing and freedom, we must carry this message to help and serve others.