We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and that our lives had become unmanageable.
Many of us begin our recovery by seeing that we’ve been powerless to measure up to God’s laws. Some of us, however, expect that once we’re well on the road to recovery we’ll start keeping the laws of God. And we hope that this will guarantee our standing with God on the basis of our good works. We start with a recognition of our powerlessness, but hope for the day when we will no longer be powerless. Surely our standing before God must be somewhat dependent upon our keeping of the law! Otherwise, why would he have given us his laws in the first place?
The apostle Paul answers by saying, “Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise [of salvation through faith] to show people their sins. . . . If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. . . . The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith” (Galatians 3:19, 21-22, 24).
The law of God is an eternal reminder of our true powerlessness—our ongoing need for a Savior and for the power of God. Our failures should point us back to the only one able to help us recover.
God sets us free from our failures and places us on the path toward recovery.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.