One is not required to believe, but I believe this story to be true.
Having been recently remarried and on a remote tour for a year away from my family, I was stationed in Korea, the Land of the Morning Calm. It was here that God humbled me a peg or two by showing me I was an alcoholic for over 16 years. That's right, I am John and I am an alcoholic. (Hi, John!) I am grateful for this knowledge because it led me to the root evil of all my unhappiness, all my confusion, my anger, and all my "emotional baggage".
I had been sober for about 4 months and had begun my "4th step" which is where one is to identify the wreckage in our lives and seek its' basic root evil. I quickly realized that I had a lot of anger, resentment and "stuff" to deal with. There was a lot of "emotional wreckage" tormenting me. I didn't do emotions in a healthy way, and had no idea of how to handle them. Overwhelmed and trying to get a foothold in this avalanche of realizations of sin in my life and how evil I was within, I was desperate for God's wisdom. On my knees, I cried...and I cried out to God. I literally begged Him - God to speak to me. "God, what is my number one problem?". I wanted to know so badly. I listened... and nothing. I still believed God would show me eventually, but I really wanted Him to speak to me. I laid down assuming I couldn't handle His truth or that God wasn't going to speak to me. I grew tired and was worn out, emotionally.
Tear soaked eyes and partially conscious, mostly asleep, my request was answered by Him. In His majestic and stately voice, God spoke to me. My first reaction was trembling for I knew I was in the presence of something Great... God... His voice; His Majesty; His Righteousness!! Awesome, simply Awesome!!! Hearing His voice made things explode in my mind. I reacted in a sort of gleeful panic, scared, excited, sorrowed, and overjoyed all at the same time. And I cried REALLY, REALLY hard because I was so honored to hear His voice, and at the same time, frightened because God revealed to me in a single word, the very nature of my misery.
God said the word, "John."
"John?" I thought and a little scared.
"John?" I thought and a confused momentarily.
"John!" I thought in a shocked state. "God means me? Am I my own worst enemy?"
"John...It's me?.... It's me..... It's me!" I thought. "Wow!" God told me and I understood right away the magnitude of His message. In a word, he told me that I am my own worst enemy.
Overjoyed and scared.... I had to call the one and only person I knew would believe me and understand me, and she did, of course. I am grateful that my best friend is and always will be my beautiful wife.
God revealed to me something that I really needed to know, and I want to share. I learned that yes, indeed, I am my own worst enemy. Now, I have a definition of pride which I feel is useful: "My thinking I am in charge."
This caused me to take a key step in my faith as a Christian. I made a complete surrender to Jesus. I got to take a good look at what God meant about my evil (John) in all aspects of my life. I saw my true nature and I am so much more grateful for God's gift of Eternal Salvation. I also realized I couldn't earn my way to heaven, nor intellectualize my way to heaven. I realized that God held me in the same regard as the rich man and the poor man, and that my sinful nature was no better and no worse than any man's. I could no longer judge others. A life of daily obedience to God has freed me from the bondage of alcoholism, and more importantly, myself.
To learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous, visit http://www.aa.org
John Gage is the talented & humble author of "Moved" http://www.2theheart.com/inspirational_stories/ is a devout Christian and family man; he teaches Sunday school and leads two fellowships in his home in Utah. He also performs duties as a Major in the United States Air Force. Email John and let him know how his story affected you! John.Gage@HILL.af.mil
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