Step 3

Step 3

Step Three: A Higher Power

By Charlotte Safir, LCDC

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” 1

Oh no! What does this mean? Am I going to be consigned to being some kind of goodie two shoes, some Pollyanna? One of those people that make the top of your mouth tingle because they are so sweet? Absolutely not! Step Three is a logical step and is the culmination of the first two steps. Step One brought me to the realization of my need for God as a result of my powerlessness and my unmanageable spirit. It showed me that I have no control once I put any mood-altering chemicals in my body and how I have lost the power of choice in alcohol and drugs and do not have the needed power to stop and stay stopped. Step Two gave me the solution to my problem–the need for a Power greater than myself. It gave me a direction to go in—to have a willingness to believe there is a Power greater than myself and to create my own conception of this Power. It helped me understand that this Power is all or nothing.

Step Three asks me to consider turning all outcomes over to this Power; to live in the reality that I am not in control of how things work out in my life. I make choices and take action and leave the results to God. When I stop and think, I realize I am turning my will and my life over to the care of people I have never met. Yet, I did this on a daily basis while I was drinking and using with no thought of the consequences to myself or others. Turning my life over to the care of the Power of the Universe seems like a no brainer. I demonstrate my commitment to Step 3—my willingness to live in this Power’s will—by doing Steps 4-9. This Step is the beginning of a prayer of action that starts when I take the Step Three prayer and ends when I do the Seventh Step Prayer. I ask for this Power to care for me in a way I cannot care for myself, to relieve me of my little mindedness so that I have the needed power to work Step Four. This Third Step is so powerful, immense and pervasive because God takes it seriously even if I don’t. Even if I wander down a dark path, this Power remains steady and true to the decision I made. It was not until after taking this step that I became aware of all the things that I made higher powers in my life: money, the pursuit of money, having a relationship, sex, material possessions, what I thought, how I felt, what others did or did not do, etc.

So if you have done a Third Step and are wondering if what you are doing is in God’s will, if you are writing Fourth Step inventory, you can rest assured that you are, in fact, doing your Higher Power’s will. This Third Step is the beginning of a lifelong relationship with God as the keystone of the arch through which you will walk into a life beyond anything you can have imagine.


1 Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (New York City: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1939), 59.