Chapter 3

A Decision about DecisionsThe Battle of the Wills

Once someone has had an experience with a power greater than themselves, the next step is a logical one. That being, to recruit the assistance of this power in order to change ones lifestyle. This should make perfect sense to us addicts because this is exactly what we did with drugs and alcohol. We had an intense experience with them and then we incorporated them into our lives. This is the essence of the third step, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.” (1) Alright, three frogs are sitting on a log and one of them makes a decision, how many are left? That’s right!! Three. A decision doesn’t necessarily mean that any action is taken. Noah Webster defines decision as, “Determination, as of a question or doubt; final judgment or opinion, in a case that has been under deliberation,” (2) Basically, we have considered the evidence and decided to allow these higher powers, that we have experienced, to have control of our lives the way that drugs have had control. A decision is a statement of determination to never go back to the insanity of the addictive lifestyle. (The seven challenges program sets this principal forward in challenge 5. It states, “We thought about where we seemed to be headed, where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to accomplish.”) (3) We set our priorities and use the new power to achieve a new destiny. Mainly, to not do what we have always done; thus, restoring us to sanity.

We do need to define some terms in this step. Will, to begin with. We will define “will” as our ability to choose. Every human being is born with a free will. It is a gift of God. It is the only way that love can exist. Love requires a choice. Love can’t exist unless it has the ability to walk away. When it chooses to stay, it acts of its own free will and chooses. Thus, displaying devotion. God is Love (I John 4:16) and God desired to create humans to have relationships with Him, but we, must have the ability to walk away. This is the whole reason why that tree was in the Garden of Eden. Humans must have the ability to walk away from God in order for love to exist. Adam and Eve had the ability to obey God or seek self-fulfillment (which is an addictive behavior). One is an expression of love for God and another is an expression of the love of self. Both choices have spiritual consequences. (see the chapter on selfishness) That brings us to another point.

One of the number one questions I’ve been asked over the years of working with addicts is this, “If God is a God of love, why did He allow evil to be perpetrated in my life.” This is a great question and if it goes unanswered, it generates agnosticism. So, let’s answer it. First, as already stated, God has given humans and spiritual angelic beings a free will because it is the only way for love to exist. Secondly, if we have the capacity to choose good, we also have the capacity to choose evil. God doesn’t override our free will. He allows us to make our choices, then He deals with the fall out. Humans and Evil Satanic/Demonic Spirits choose evil and commit evil acts. Let us lay the blame for evil where it belongs, at the feet of the perpetrators, mainly, humans and the demonic hordes of hell led by Satan. Let us not make the mistake and lay the blame for evil with God. He has given us a greater responsibility to choose good. He will not take this away. If He did, love couldn’t exist. Sadly, humans, under the influence of evil spirits, choose evil more often than good and this is why evil has been perpetrated in our lives. Evil is not in the will of God, it lies in the will of humans and demons. Now that I got that off my chest, let’s go back to step 3.

We also need to define “life.” Our life is basically the summation of our decisions. Robert Schwebel follows this logic with challenge six which states, “We made thoughtful decisions about our lives and about our use of alcohol and other drugs.” (4) This is the logical conclusion after one has dealt with the issues of challenge 5. Basically, we are committing ourselves to allow our identified higher powers complete influence over our lives. We are attempting to use our free will to move our free will out of the way in order that grace (the ability for God to do for me what I can’t do for myself) to work through us. There will be times when we will not want the influence of those powers. We will be bent on selfishness. It is at this juncture, that self must be crucified. This is the battle of the wills. Our will versus our Higher Powers will. We must “surrender to win.” Meaning, we must give up our will in order to win. If we exercise our free will in a direction of selfishness, we slip back into insanity. Futiley seeking self fulfillment. We must allow our Higher Powers will to become ours. We must use our free will to surrender our desires/will in order to accept His will for our lives. We unconditionally accept that His plans for our life are without any evil intentions and we trust a God in which love is His very character and nature. Even when I don’t want too, or when I can’t see the logic in it, I let His will have the greatest sway in all my decisions. This is the essence of step three.

Lastly, we need to clear up, “God, as we understand Him.” All of us have different concepts of God. What addicts need to do is figure out the concepts that work for us. This doesn’t mean that we define God. Quite the contrary, He defines us. The point we are making here is that God is big enough for all of our different understandings. In Exodus chapter 3, God tells Moses, “His Name.” It is loosely translated, “I am who I am” meaning I am the existing One. The natural implication is that God is indefinable. Logically, as humans we don’t really define God, if we could define Him, we would be God and not Him. God, by definition, must have a certain amount of mystery associated with Him. But, He tells us, “I am” and leaves it somewhat open. The suggestion here is that, God will be whomever His children need Him to be. How you understand Him to be is your understanding of Him. This is your God concept. He is big enough to handle it.  He’s big enough for us all.


1. Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, New York, NY, third edition, page 68

2. Webster, Noah, American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 version, Foundation for American Christian Education, Chesapeake, VA, 1995.

3. Schwebel, Robert, The Seven Challenges, Viva Press, Tucson, AZ, 2004.

4. Ibid.

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