AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 52 – Faith without Works is Dead – AA Big Book – Pages 76 and 88 – The Spiritual Awakening as a Result of the Steps and what this means for me today – Part 2

When I decided to look at this verse and what it means in relation to AA and why it was put in those particular pages I didn’t realize what I was undertaking. This verse summarizes everything the big book is about. I have decided to tackle this project in several parts. In part 1 I tried to put the sermon on the mount in relation to the book of James. Then how it related to our 12 step program of recovery. I am no theological or biblical scholar but I learned a lot from doing it and hoped it gave you some information that was helpful in your program of recovery.

In part 2 I want to comment on what the word faith means to me today and how it relates to the result of the steps, the spiritual awakening. Then to look at how my faith today without works is dead in part 3.  How do we start with belief and obtain faith? What is the difference?

I came into AA a broken man. I had always believed in a concept of God. I believed there was a power greater than me. What I didn’t understand when I came into AA was that belief in God would not be enough to treat my alcoholism. It wasn’t till I listened to Joe and Charlie that I understood what it means to have faith as a result of working the 12 steps. Living a life based on self and not God I never allowed God to direct my life.  I needed  to change my personality sufficiently to recover from alcoholism. My personality is simply how I think, feel, and act. I needed to change from a personality as a result of living on self-will to one living based on God’s will. How could I do that? If you want to change anything there is a process. The first thing I must do is to be willing to change. Willingness to change came for me when I admitted complete defeat. It came as a result of the pain I suffered living my life separated from God.  However just being willing won’t change me. I have to believe I can change. How did I come to believe I could change? On page 25 it says I saw it had worked in others. I had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility in life as I had been living it but came to believe by seeing how it worked in others.  I saw how it worked in others by going to meetings and hearing members stories.

Now I have to make a decision to change in Step 3. However this decision doesn’t cause change. It just means I have decided to take action to change . Steps 4-9 are the steps that change me.  The 12 promises  come while working step 9 and describe how we are changed. .  These promises bring me to step 10.  I have now  entered the world of the spirit. Steps 10-11 are how I  stay in this world. I constantly seek to improve my knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out in step 11. In step 10 I work steps 4-9 all day long to maintain conscious contact.

How does this result in faith? By being willing, believing, deciding , and acting I can see the result of change. I go from belief to faith. I have seen God working in my life. The promises are coming true. God is doing for me what I could not do for myself.  Faith means trust. Faith means courage. God is no longer a theory . He has become a fact. I have trust in God.  I have gone from belief in God to knowledge of God.  Faith means that I have a knowledge and a relationship with God which I can rely on. I believe this is what a spiritual awakening means to me today.

I am awake to the presence of God today. His power and direction is available to me today. I use steps 10 and 11 on a daily basis to maintain and improve this conscious contact. Now that I have faith how does this faith as a result of the 12 steps show in my works.. I will look at this in part 3 . Welcome any comments mhurwitz50@gmail.com

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  1. Santo DiBenardo on August 1, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    I Love it

    Please send me more.

    Thank you

    • Dr. Mike on August 2, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      Glad u liked it … have written 77 thoughts and plan to start writing more soon.. check out podcast archives…

  2. Kim on August 16, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Thank u. I loved reading this. Please share the steps. Beautiful. The reneweing of the mind is what most people struggle with. Be blessed

  3. Anonymous on November 6, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Absolutely something else. I am day one and step one yet again.

    This passage has helped me already. Thank you.

  4. James Hunt on July 31, 2023 at 4:35 am

    This was a very powerful post to me in defining the “faith without works is dead” quote within the context of AA. I am a recovered addict and a Christian that received a Spiritual Awakening while in the program, which brought me into a loving relationship with God the Father. I am being led by the Holy Spirit to carry the message to those suffering in the chains of addiction through this powerful program. Your insight has been instrumental in putting the Spirit into perspective. I still think Jesus gets the short end of the stick in the big picture, but by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I feel there will be a change forthcoming.

  5. ClAUDIA IOANES on February 5, 2024 at 2:23 am

    Iappreciate the article. Do you have part 3 yet.

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