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
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
I Don't Want To Go To Prison
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways (and what falls under "All"? Everything) acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Very gentle man....
If you met him on the street, you'd think him to a business executive. Maybe working in a bank...maybe a manager of an upscale store.
But addiction has robbed him of everything.
Like I said in the past, addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer.
He never envisioned himself to be at this point in time, facing what the future may hold. He isn't denying anything. He has not created a false world that he escapes to in his mind where he can justify all his choices and actions. He is soberly facing what is out there waiting on him.
"I don't want to go to prison," he tells me. I do not blame him for such. He has never said that he doesn't deserve to be punished for the things he has done, he merely states the obvious...."I don't want to go to prison." He asks me how he should pray. I told him to pray honestly from his heart, but to fall on the verses from Proverbs.
This man has been saved....
I was there when he had a glorious encounter with Jesus....
It wasn't a "jail house" salvation....
He wasn't trying to bargain with Jesus (I'll get saved if you keep me from going to prison).
So here in the midst of learning how to live life on God's terms, he is facing his ultimate challenge. Does he trust God with his future, or does he not?
Is God who he truly claims to be, or is this whole relationship thing merely a smoke screen?
But isn't that what life is really about? Trusting God? I think maybe it is...
But we have somehow created a God that is like the Calvary we see in the old westerns...
The settlers are under attack.....things are getting dicey.....ammunition is running low....and at the last possible moment before their eminent destruction, off in the distance you here a bugle blowing. The Calvary has arrived and everyone is saved.
Why do we view God this way? Because we create scenarios in our minds of how God should act in whatever situation we are facing.
We pray that God would keep us out of prison.....
That's a whole other thing.
What if God has something this individual needs to do? What if God sends him to prison to meet someone there who God wants to touch and work though? Would God act in such a manner? I believe He would.
Here is where I truly have to fall on the grace, mercy and compassion of God, that if in fact He does allow me to go to prison, He will go with me.
I think back to Psalm 23:4 - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. These are the hard places we face during our life, when what lies ahead us may not be the very thing we would choose. Do I accept God's will and follow on, or do I turn aside into my own desire and hope for the best. Somehow they didn't teach this in Sunday School when I wad growing up. Somehow the American dream of the nice house with the picket fence, a good job, wife and kids got all mixed up in how God really is.
Now don't get me wrong....
I'm not proclaiming that everything about God, following God, or believing in God is doom and gloom and hardship. But such is a part of life, is it not? If so then we will face the consequences of our bad choices, and we can do so with the assurance and hope that whatever happens, God is with us.
Please pray for this man I've written about this morning.
Pray that God would life him above his circumstances, and in doing so he might find the strength to carry on. That his faith would not waver but be strong in the Lord.
God on you.......