One of the toughest verses in the Bible for Christians is James 1:2 where James tells us to count it as joy when trials come into our lives. I know the first time I read this, I had to think long and hard about what he was saying. But trials will come into the lives of Christians and it is at that time we must decide where we are going for help. Are we going to run to Jesus or to the world to get help for the situation that has presented itself to us. I know how easy it is to seek first the help of the world instead of Jesus when the attack is on but I soon realize I have cut Him out of the problem solving technique. If I need someone to interpret the Russian language for me, why would I seek out a Spanish speaking interpreter? Jesus speaks our language and He knows us, He created us. So why do we run to the world so quickly when we stub our spiritual toes? Scripture is very clear on this as 1 Peter 5:7 tells us,
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. NKJV
Jesus is not going to tell you to go away and come back later because He is too busy to help at the time. Jesus is always there for us and waiting for us as we seek Him in our time of trouble. Jesus was the rock who traveled the wilderness with the nation of Israel (1 Cor. 10:4), He healed the physical sufferings of people as recorded in the gospels and He fed thousands with barely enough food for one person and He drove demons out of people. It is all recorded in the gospels! So, why would we not trust Jesus to provide the solution to our problems? And, if Jesus is always there for us, why do some always run to the world with their problems?
Running To The World
I want to be very clear about what I mean concerning running to the world before we go to Jesus. I believe that the Lord has gifted men in medicine, for example, in order to provide medical help when needed; he has gifted people to be mechanically inclined in order to service or repair your vehicle when needed. Jesus has gifted and given the intellect to the human being in many different fields in order to provide those services to each other and to provide a means of earning a living. I firmly believe we need these occupations to provide the services we require as human beings. Where Jesus comes into the picture might be seeking His help in directing us to which of these professionals He would have us go to for that help. That is just an example; I don’t want anyone to get the idea I am against going to a doctor for medical attention or you should lay hands on your car and pray that it will start without the battery installed. What I am referring to is when the problem first presents itself or when the attack first hits, we should immediately turn to Jesus. Now, He is the creator and He can do whatever He wants, even start a car without a battery! There are programs, functions and other activities of this world I believe Jesus would want us not seeking out at all. Remember who is running the world system, none other than Satan himself and he loves nothing more than causing Christians headaches and problems and deceiving them with things which appear to be good. I want to use an example which can be somewhat controversial and I know there are a number of Christians who will strongly oppose what I’m going to say but, we are talking about Jesus or the world when it comes to problem solving.
The example I want to use is Alcoholics Anonymous and the secular programs spun off of this. The world is filled with people who have drinking problems or are alcoholics; it is one of the most abused drugs in this country. For those who are not saved, I can’t speak to here, other than to tell them about Jesus and hope and pray for their salvation. But, when it comes to AA, they are not who I am speaking to. I am addressing Christians who have put their faith in Christ. I have spoken to Christians who were attending AA and when I ask them why, they told me without the program, they were afraid of falling back into drinking again. I counseled a man who wanted to be baptized and I simply asked him about his faith in Jesus and he stumbled through an explanation of who Jesus was to him. But when I questioned him about the chits from AA, which were hanging from his belt loop, he became very defensive and explained that he needed AA to keep from drinking. I lovingly attempted to help him understand what a public baptism was saying about his life to those in attendance. It was saying how he had committed his life to Jesus; then I ask him if Jesus was the Lord of his life or AA. I wasn’t pressing him or being abrasive, I just wanted him to understand that Jesus is more powerful than anything this world has to offer. He decided AA was more powerful than Jesus and left. Please understand that I was not attempting to undermine this man’s faith, I simply wanted him to completely understand who Jesus is. It was evident he was putting more faith in a worldly program than Jesus. So, you may be thinking right now, “What is so wrong with AA?” I want to tell you how this program began. There are many stories about Bill Wilson and the history behind this program but I want to quote from “12 Steps to Destruction” by Martin and Deidre Bobgan,
Bill Wilson and Bob Smith were the cofounders of AA…..Both were involved in spiritual experiences. Wilson and Smith both practiced spiritualism and believed in the validity and importance of contacting and conversing with the dead (necromancy, which the Bible forbids). The AA biography of Wilson says, “It is not clear when he first became interested in extrasensory phenomena. There are references to seances and other psychic events in the letters Bill wrote to Lois [Wilson's wife].” The Wilsons were conducting regular seances in their home as early as 1941. They were engaging in other psychic activities as well, such as using an Ouija board. Also, as Wilson would lie on a couch he would receive messages (in a manner similar to that of the occultist Edgar Cayce) and another person would write them down. His wife described it this way, “Bill would lie down on a couch. He would ‘get’ these things. He kept doing it every week or so. Sometimes it would be new ones and they’d carry on some story. There would be long sentences; word by word would come through.”
12 Steps To Destruction, Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Eastgate Publishers, pp.108-109 with quotes from Pass It On: The story of Bill Wilson and how the AA Message reached the world, New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
The practice noted above is more commonly referred to as “channeling”. It is when a person opens the mind to anything and in this case a spirit or demon. Bill Wilson received the 12 steps for AA through the channeling process. One more quote on this,
The official AA biography of Wilson describes it this way: “As he started to write, he asked for guidance. And he relaxed. The words began tumbling out at astonishing speed. He completed the first draft in about half an hour, then kept on writing until he felt he should stop and review what he had written. Numbering the new steps, he found they added up to twelve–a symbolic number; he thought of the Twelve apostles, and soon became convinced the the Society should have twelve steps.”
12 Steps To Destruction, Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Eastgate Publishers, p. 109 with quotes from Pass It On: The story of Bill Wilson and how the AA Message reached the world, New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
So, there you have it, the AA 12 step program was developed by Bill Wilson receiving messages from a spirit. With the background given on Wilson’s dabbling with the occult and talking to the dead, we can realize this was not received from an angel of heaven or any kind of heavenly spirit. I only use this information to point out that as a Christian attending AA, NA or any other spin off program from AA, you have to know from where and what the program is based on. Would any Christian seek spiritual guidance from a coven of witches, or from the church of Satan? Not likely; so why seek help from an organization which has it’s roots so deep in occultic practices? One last note on AA dependency; the program is based on the idea that one person supports another. It is called sponsorship. If a member is tempted to drink, that person should call his/her sponsor and the sponsor will talk them out of it. Will you trust you addiction to another human or to Jesus? I’m going with Jesus every time. I will tell others to not trust me because I am a human and I can fail. Trust Jesus, he never fails. As I said earlier, there are those Christians who see nothing wrong with attending AA but I just want them to be aware of where they are seeking their help from. Jesus stood up in the synagogue and read from Isaiah’s prophecy (ISA. 61:2) concerning Him,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed; Lk. 4:18 NKJV
Jesus had come to proclaim the gospel, heal the broken heart, free the captives from what ever bondage they might be in, give sight to the blind, free those who are oppressed. These are all things that mankind has been afflicted with; poverty, bondage, suffering and oppression. He said it, He will do it and we see the accounts of it in the gospels. In the gospel of John (Jn. 14:16-18), He told His disciples He would send the Holy Spirit when He ascended back into heaven. The Spirit would continue His work here in this world. So, why run to the world instead of Jesus with our trails, concerns or addictions. Jesus loves us and wants us to come to Him,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mt. 11:28-30 NKJV
Before I was saved, I was, I repeat, I was an alcoholic. When I received Jesus as my savior, He took all and any desire for alcohol away. It was the wall which stood between me and the Lord. People associated with AA refuse to accept the word “was” in my story or they tell me I was never an alcoholic. Well, I can line people up for blocks who can tell you how bad I was. To deny that Jesus could deliver me or anyone else from that or any addiction is denying the power and authority which Jesus has over all things. While in the military, I spent two tours on the drug and alcohol counseling program. Once proved not to be enough. I am not proud of any of this; I say it only as encouragement to those who might be struggling with these addictions. Jesus is God and He is superior to any addiction, habit or any other affliction the world or our sin nature can bring upon us. I have met and known people who have been addicted to heroin, crack, meth, alcohol and other addictions and they tell me how Jesus delivered them from their addictions and all have never had a desire to never return to that world. Why would any of us want to return to that mess? It is what Peter told Jesus after some of His followers had left Him,
But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Jn. 6:68 NKJV
We have to remember, Satan is the great deceiver and he can make something very bad look very good. We have to be aware that he masquerades as an angel of light deceiving the world (2 Cor. 11:14). There are numerous local churches which have programs that minister to Christians, and non-Christians, who suffer from addictions or temptations to go back. Again, the Christian has to do his/her homework if seeking out a program or Bible study dealing with this because too many churches have done nothing more than copy the AA program and slap a Christian logo on it. I know not every person who gets saved is not automatically delivered from all their problems; I believe the Lord knocks down the biggest wall which separates them from Him. But that does not mean Jesus cannot delivery a Christian from something he/she may be struggling with. The Christian must trust in Jesus; trust Jesus with all things in their life. The world does not have the answers, Jesus does. The world will lie to you, Jesus never lies.
Run To Jesus
So, with all the problems which Christians suffer, is Jesus not big enough to help? A very spiritually immature Christian might believe that but it is not true. If we have engaged in a deliberate Bible study program and prayer time, we will know that Jesus is Lord and nothing is above Him; and if we believe this, why, then, would we first run to the world with our problem instead of running to Jesus. I like the saying, “No problem is too small for Jesus and Jesus is not too big for any problem.” It doesn’t matter what the issue is, financial, medical, employment or any of the other problems this life can throw at us, run to Jesus. He will always be there. I would encourage anyone reading this post to read the story and testimony of George Mueller; he knew what it meant to trust everything to Jesus. We all can’t and won’t be George Muellers but we can learn to trust God to be there during our trails and afflictions. When the attack comes on, we must remember to first, run to Jesus.