Can I Trust God To Keep Me Sober?

Can I Trust God To Keep Me Sober?Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

In our early days of recovery, many of us are trying to figure out what we need to do in order to get clean and stay sober. Knowing that a return to alcohol is a death sentence, we are desperate to make recovery work.  We can’t be sure of what’s ahead, but we know we have no other choice.

Repeatedly we are instructed to trust God for our recovery, to depend upon Him completely for sobriety, and to believe that He can and will restore us to sanity. It is a simple instruction, but one that is not so easy to follow. How do we know God will keep us sober? How can we be certain recovery will work for us? Does God really have the power to restore us?

At first it is hard to believe that recovery is even possible. Though we see recovering members all around, we doubt that the program will really work for us. Perhaps we are different, or unique, or unsuited for anything besides a life of addiction. Is it possible to not only live without alcohol, but to not even desire it?

The sorts of changes that come with recovery require a major overhaul of the heart and mind. We cannot perform these miracles our own. But God can. In a certain way, low bottom cases are His specialty.

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32

Instead of worrying and questioning whether God will make good on His promises, why not begin to live as if He will? Then watch and see. Addicts are natural pessimists—we assume that things will most certainly only get worse and that if it sounds too good to be true, it must be. In recovery, however, we begin to establish a new way of believing and seeing the world.

We may argue that we have never had any faith and that we don’t even know how to have faith. But this is not entirely accurate. We have had faith, but we’ve been putting our faith in the wrong things. We had faith in ourselves, believing we could overcome the alcohol problem on our own. We had faith that things would go wrong, wouldn’t work out, or go from bad to worse. This kind of “faith” was misplaced. We were constructing belief around unknowns, but we were believing in the wrong things. Not surprisingly, our “faith” became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead of seeking your own power, ideas, solutions, or resources, and instead of believing that things will most definitely turn out for the worst, try shifting your focus. Instead of fixating on the problem or your fear, start to fix your gaze upon God. Don’t know where God is to be found? Begin to look for Him! God is all around and He delights to manifest Himself to those who humbly and genuinely want to know Him. God is a relational God—talk to Him as you would speak to a trusted friend or mentor. Bring your fears and your concerns to Him. Ask Him to make Himself near to you as you struggle through this segment of your recovery journey. These are prayers He delights to answer.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

You can trust God not because your faith is so strong, but because God is so faithful. This is who He is and He cannot lie or be false to His character. God, in His very nature, is a promise-keeping God. He is loving, tender and merciful. He wants a life of wellness, freedom, and abundance for you. He does not promise it will be easy, but He does promise He will be with you.

You have experimented with trusting yourself and you have seen you cannot be trusted. The recovering members around you have something in common—they stopped trying to have faith in themselves and they came to believe a power greater than themselves could restore them to sanity. And He has.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6