Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Friday, June 10, 2016
Yes....It Is About Character
We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.
O.k.....so I've been stuck in the whole "Character" issue after my melt down this morning.
A meltdown that was, as I believe, God's way of revealing my stinkyness. I was with someone who just didn't do things the way I wanted them to. I don't know why they couldn't see that my way was better. My way was the best. My way was the way they needed to carry out their responsibilities. But nooooo.....they had to do it their way. "O.k.....go ahead," I thought to myself. As soon as those words formed in my mind, God spoke to me.
"Michael, you're wanting to control others."
I replied, "Not really Lord, I'm just trying to help."
Of course this was a half truth, and I knew it.
Bottom line, I WAS trying to control someone. How messed up am I?
But what came out of all of this was that the problem really was me, and not the other person.
Once more God peels a layer off of me to reveal something I need to work on.
Then as I pondered over Step #6, the whole character defect thing, it suddenly dawned on me. (Yes, Virginia, dawn comes to me quiet slowly sometimes). God is truly interested in our actions and behaviors....but God is more interested in our character. Because out of our character comes the decisions that we use to base our actions on. Eureka!!!
Here we have a bunch of people (Addict & church goer) who have kind of spent their energy on being good. We told them they needed to be saved. We told them that God was the answer to their problems, but we never really went into what was behind their problem. Am I slow or what?
We prodded them to be saved....
To accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior....
But we really never took it much farther than that.
Oh, we talked about the need to read the Bible....
We taught them how to pray....
We told them of the need to share their story...
But very seldom did we explain that real change comes when the Holy Spirit changes our character.
I don't know this for a fact, but I think maybe this changing over is a process that takes a while, and is usually most effective when we find ourselves in situations that require us to take action. I say that because unless our character is being changed, then we will resort to our old thinking which means we'll probably get it wrong.
I think most people probably never give any thought to their character or to any defects they may possess. Maybe we'd rather excuse them than to identify and work at changing them. I seen people whose character came out in a very bad way, through their actions, and the person used the excuse, "Well, that just the way I am....deal with it".
Maybe we spend too much time trying to be good.....
when we should be letting the Holy Spirit grow some of His fruit in our life...
The fruit you read about in Galatians 5:22-23.....Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Back up in Verse 16 if Galatians 5, we read..."So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves."
Did you catch that?
Our doing....our behavior....our actions, come from who it is we are listening to.
If The Holy Spirit has the power to produce a new character in me, then why would I not let Him? Why would I not follow Him in my daily decision making?
As John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, once stated...."I want to grow up before I grow old." What did he mean by that? He wanted to have the character and nature of Christ living and guiding him in his daily life before he died.
You know what?
So do I.
God on you....