Step 3 of the 12 Steps of Life Recovery says that “We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.” For the man who is on the journey of recovery out of sexual addiction, this decision is a very important one. Probably for the first time in his life, he is choosing to trust God—not himself or his own ideas of control—with what happens to him. Through this step, he slowly begins to learn that his own selfish will has taken the lead in his life up to this point, and for him to get out of the grip of sexual sin, he must give up that will to God.
This is such a beautiful step on the road of recovery, but it doesn’t guarantee an easier life. In fact, life may feel harder as a result of giving up the perceived control that one thought they had. There will still inevitably be problems. Difficulties at work with a boss or co-worker are bound to come up. Mistrust by one’s wife, especially if there has been a recent discovery of sexual sin, will have to be worked through. One’s children or extended family may be going through hardships that affect the emotional balance of everyone’s mental state. In short, life is not paused when a man gets into recovery. He still has to deal with the everyday stresses of life. If these pressures aren’t released to God, they will wear a man down before he gets very far on his journey.
In his letter to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul laid out a strategy to help people deal with the troubles of daily life. He wrote: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT). Through Paul, God is saying that difficulty, worry, and anxiety are no match for His peace and care.
These verses give the image of a guard patrolling one’s heart and mind. When the guard of prayer is in place, it will keep out the pressing anxieties of life. If this guard isn’t in place, pain and worry will result. There are difficulties that may seem impossible through natural eyes; but with prayer, they become bearable only with God’s help.
As a man makes the decision to turn to the care of God, he has to examine the pressures that are weighing on him. Is he talking to God about them or just numbing himself with the things of this world? Step 3 is not just a one-time decision to release one’s life over to God. A man has to continually release his worries and specific needs to God. Then God will, in turn, protect him and give him the peace that passes all understanding.
To help with this process, Sustained Victory Coaching Groups meet each week and can help a man in recovery continue to turn his life over to God, instead of worrying about it. Only then will he find the peace he’s looking for.