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
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The Ultimate Prison Break
When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.
It really is a war taking place in our town. It may not look like one....in fact, most would say I was exaggerating this statement. I'm not one who sees demons behind every bush, but I am one who recognizes the power and influence the enemy has. From time to time the warfare becomes all too real, as it manifests in the lives of those who are trapped in addiction.
To me the scripture that really rips the cover off of addiction is found in Psalm 107:10-12
V.10 -Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery
Notice the posture....sitting? There isn't any forward progress when you are addicted. Life comes to a grinding halt. The darkness mentioned here is the one that covers the mind and the heart. No ability to discern truth. In fact the person becomes spiritually blind and deaf. When someone is living in that state, the only voice they can here is the inner voice of self. The inner voice of self that is being directed by "self" that is being influenced by the devil and his plans for destruction. Living in this state of being only sucks hope and faith out of a person. They are surrounded by darkness and the only comfort that is opened to them is the company of like minded people who are also suffering. Notice that the verse says that they are "Imprisoned in misery". No wonder they use! Anything to escape the mental anguish, guilt and shame that accompanies the lifestyle.
V.11 - They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.
Here it is!!! The very heart of addiction. Rebellion....."I don't need anyone to tell me how to live"...."I know what is best for me". Such an attitude goes all the way back to where Eve stood before the serpent and heard these words...."God know that when you eat the fruit, your eyes will be opened, and you will BE LIKE GOD!" Bingo....If I am like God, then I don't need Him telling me what to do. So my life becomes the poster child for destruction, as I take charge of it.
V.12 - That is why he broke them with hard labor. They fell, and no one was there to help them.
Hard Labor? Really? Yes. It is hard work to be an addict. A never-ending-always-looking life of having what you need to remain high. It is 24/7--365, and the appetite for drugs and/or alcohol does not take a vacation. It screams in your brain...and courses through your veins..."Give me more...More! More! I need more!" and like the slave you've become, you answer the call. Verse 12 goes on to say that "they fell"....this is the direction addiction takes you....down. No one ever fell up in this madness. No one ever ascended to a high life. You go down...sin is a downward spiral that ends with physical and spiritual death.
Now if there wasn't a hope for a better life..then this whole sordid picture would be depressing. But God does not leave people in this state of gloom, despair and misery.
V.13 - "Lord, help!" they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
There it is. The moment of clarity when God's truth breaks through the darkness. The moment when the heart over rides the mind and cries out to God. This is a moment of faith where we actually come to believe that there is a POWER greater than ourselves that can stop the madness and restore us to sanity. Do you see the simplicity of what is taking place?
The one trapped cried out to God....two simple words..."Lord (recognition of the one who has the greater Power)...and help (the acknowledgement of our own powerlessness). Then we read those glorious, magnificent words..."And he saved them".
V.14 - He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom. He snapped their chains.
He leads.....we follow. We don't remain in the darkness. We get up and move away from it. The misery is replaced by freedom w/ faith. We may not know what the future holds, but we are learning to trust God in His leading.
If these words spoke to you....
Then cry out to God for release from your own prison.
He will answer you...and He will free you.
Once freed, find yourself a group that you can join and have community with.
Ask God to direct you to people who are like minded and are on the same journey you are on.
God is good..
God on you....