But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1 Nephi 1:20)
To make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.
Do those words pull at your heart the way they do mine? They recall to my mind, by contrast, all those years in which I had no power of deliverance. Rather, I often suffered the pains of a damned soul. I was caught in bondage to my addictions and compulsions.
I now see there was one essential element missing in my failed attempts to have faith sufficient to free myself. I was not looking to the correct object. I did not have the correct target at which to aim my faith.
I was desperately trying to place my faith in someone or something in this world. I was constantly running from pillar to post, trying to find the one true program, the one best author or guru who had the miracle answer, the miracle cure. There was always another book, another name, another way or means that just might bring the salvation I sought.
Even when I tried to have sufficient faith in Christ, I was still focusing on my actions, not His. I was still thinking I had to be my own savior, with just a tiny bit of God’s help.
What a shock it was to finally face the fact that only Jesus Christ is the Savior. He is the one who did the saving. I am the one who needs to surrender my prideful self-sufficiency, and let Him play that role for me.
The ever so slight, yet ever so essential, modification that the Twelve Step principles have taught me is that I have no “power of deliverance.”
Why? Because all power resides in Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 4:11).
And what about all those other ways, means, and names (people) I turned to for help? The ones that only worked for a little while? Do I think going to them was a wrong thing or dumb thing to do? Not at all. Most of them were good. Some of them even encouraged me to seek a Higher Power, to increase my spirituality, or to rely on Divine Providence.
So what was the problem? While those things were good as far as they went, they just didn’t go far enough. In other words, they were what Alcoholics Anonymous refers to as “half measures.”
For me, the full measure of my deliverance did not come until I recognized that “all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth” (Mosiah 4:9) flows from my Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ.
Prayerful thought: Dear Lord, help me to remember that I have taken upon me Thy Name, and that my deliverance is totally dependent upon my coming unto Thee first and attributing all salvation to Thee and Thee alone.