OK, I have a confession to make. I like supernatural stories. Vampires, magic, science fiction, paranormal. Something about these fantasies intrigue me. I like the traditional ones like Dracula, Frankenstein, as well as the more contemporary like the Anne Rice ones and the newer ones like the Harry Potter books and the Dresden Files. I love a good fantastical story.
The mythology around all these stories varies. The written and unwritten rules of engagement with supernatural beings provides structure but also a lot of tension. Like how vampires can change shapes, have to avoid sunlight, and are repelled by crosses and holy water. What I find weird in these stories is that most of these beings can’t just enter a home, they have to be invited in. These all powerful and destructive beings can only enter your house if they have an invitation!
Growing up in a Southern Baptist home, accepting the free gift of Christ and salvation were impressed upon me at a young age. I remember clearly as a nine year old praying a prayer to ask for forgiveness of my sins and for Christ to have control of my life. And I thought that was it.
Throughout my adult life, I knew that I believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That I accepted the free gift of salvation. But somehow, my life never changed. I couldn’t understand why. As I began a life in recovery, working through the twelve steps, I came to step three, not really sure what else I had to do. I had given God control. Or so I thought.
My counselor explained it to me this way.
“What one thing happens when you pray to ask for His grace and forgiveness,” he asked?
“I am forgiven.”
“That’s right. You are forgiven. But you still have all of those character defects, fears, flaws. They don’t immediately just go away. You actually have work to do to identify them with God’s help. To turn over each and every one to Him.”
And that’s what helped me to prepare for step four. I had to turn my life AND will over to God to begin the searching and fearless moral inventory that step four requires. In order to address all those defects that define my brokenness, I had to give God permission to make me aware of each and every one of them. I can only address them in His timing and by giving Him permission.
Have you given God permission to enter? To identify those flaws, fears, and defects that define your own brokenness? Start with turning your life and will over to Him. Continue by daily allowing Him to identify each area and ask for His guidance in addressing them. In His timing, not yours.
Step four. Time to let Him in and clean house. One at a time. Get started!