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
Sunday, March 5, 2017
To Smart To Recover
I would like to think of myself as somewhat of an educated man. In some ways, I am, in other ways my "redneck-edness" comes out. I do read a lot and try to stay current with what is going on in the world, but so much of what I see today runs contrary to the Word of God. So much of what I hear today from others is far removed from Scripture. One of the things that God has shown me in my own life, is that the greatest revelation concerning a heart, is found in the way a person lives. The heart directs the behavior. If the heart is pure and longing for God, then the behavior will reflect this truth.
I find it amazing the power of the human mind to convince itself that it is truly alright, in spite of behavior that says differently. Working with people in addiction, we come across some who refuse to be broken. By that, I mean that they are very prideful and in spite of all the destruction they have brought about in their own life, they refuse to admit that they have a problem. Usually such people as this have gone to multiple rehabs. They have become so astute at what is taught in rehab, we refer to them as being "rehab" smart. They know recovery programs backwards and forwards. They can recite the Twelve Steps from memory. They know the Twelve Traditions. They just can't live sober. But somehow in the midst of all this recovery knowledge, they have deluded themselves with the idea that they really don't have as bad a problem as others around them have been telling them.
They come to a treatment program, or a meeting and suddenly find themselves thrown into a new reality that proclaims that the reason for their addiction is because they have a living problem. They are suffering from a broken relationship with Jesus the Christ. That is a hard truth to wrap a brain around when all you've ever done is excuse your own behavior or blame it on others. It takes the power of God's Holy Spirit to break through all the defenses their mind has concocted. In other words, a person who operates from this kind of lifestyle is spiritually blind.
We find that the person who is rehab smart usually likes to debate what they are being taught. They question everything, not in an effort to understand but to intellectually mark their territory and let you know that they are going to defend themselves. The rail against the idea that they may, in fact, have a sin nature and that it is this nature that is demanding to be fed with drugs and alcohol. They usually also suffer from rebellion and hatred for anyone in authority. In other words, they are covered, shrouded under a dark spiritual cloud produced by the devil and his minions. Bring up any mention of Jesus and you've got a debate on your hands. Sometimes they try to twist the truth.
Sometimes they come at you head on with full blown denial of anything Jesus would say or stand for.
But they never triumph.
They never are able to demolish the truth of God. The truth of God is an anvil that has worn out many a hammer.
Maybe this is why Paul wrote in I Corinthians: "For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing, foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
Please pray that I do not let my own words become intermingled with what God is trying to say.
I want, in no way, for me to stand or elevate myself in any way above what God is trying to do in our midst.
I merely want to shepherd and make sure that everyone has had God's truth and offer of salvation made available to them. That no man or woman leave a Vineyard ReCovery meeting without having heard the gospel of Jesus Christ,and having a real encounter with Christ.
I Corinthians 2:1-4
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.
And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
That your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
God on you.....