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
Monday, April 24, 2017
Authority And Power To A Bunch Of Knuckleheads
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
Twelve knuckleheads that no one gave a chance to do make an impact in their country. They weren't a part of the movers and shakers of the day. They had no place in the political as well as the religious circles of leadership. These guys weren't blue-bloods....they were working stiffs. Average Joe's. In some respects, they were "below" average Joe's. If you set out to concoct a plan where you could influence a society, and that influence would spread around the world, and last for thousands of years..........you would never have picked these men. I'd like to say that they'd be last on the list of potential candidates, but the truth is they would not have even been on the list.
But these are the very men Jesus surrounded Himself with.
Notice the very first two words in the Matthew passage...."He called".
Now I know that some may disagree with what I'm about to write and I totally get it. But I do not believe that real recovery is begun by someone having a thought that they need to quit. I believe that such a thought can instigate the process. I believe that such a thought can point someone in the right direction, but real recovery begins with an invitation to experience a change of heart. Real recovery begins with that inward look, and seeing yourself for who you really are. Someone who is powerless. You can have all the college degrees in the world and still be powerless. You can be the leader of a great nation and still be powerless. That is the great anchor that starts this journey to a new way of living.
So if I'm powerless....what is it I need?
How about a power greater than me? A power that is not present to clean up my messes.....but rather a power than can help arrange my character and heart so that I can make sound, good decisions. In other words, a power that can take me out of the chaos that is addiction, and lead me to a place of clarity where I can begin the process of putting my life back together.
O.k....so Jesus CALLED his disciples. What next?
Why looky here! He gave them POWER, and this power that was handed to the disciples is not the kind of power you'll find anywhere here on planet earth. This power originates from the very source that created everything we see, touch, taste, hear and smell. That source would be God.
Now the power we read about in Matthew 10 that was given to these disciples was for them to go out and wage war against the darkness that is the kingdom of Satan. A kingdom that is the instigator of addiction. So this power these 12 knuckleheads were given gave them the ability to remove the presence and influence of demonic spirits. I know....I know....if you're aren't real familiar with this view of scripture, it sounds a bit freaky-deaky. But we've dealt with demonic spirits before and how they attach and influence a person who is under their power. I kid you not...these dudes are real and they mean business. Wherever you have people in addiction, you have these demons hanging around to cloud minds and influence men and women to make really bad decisions. So Jesus gave his followers the right (that would be authority) and the POWER to remove the presence of these demons.
All so part and partial to the package of celestial goodies that Jesus gave his disciples was the Power to heal disease and sickness. And here is the kicker....the power covered every type of disease and sickness. Now from our 2017 view, this all sounds like a fairy tale...something that is not very plausible. But it is the foundation for recovery.
Living in spiritual darkness because of the choice we made to use.....
Coupled with the long term usage of our drugs and/or alcohol, we become blind to the truth. We find ourselves under the authority of the devil. SO in order to break free and experience what Jesus says is life, and life more abundant, we turn to Him. Our cry becomes "Oh God...save me!!!" He does.
Psalms 107:20 reads...."He sent forth His word and healed them, and rescued them from the grave." His word? The Bible? Well, there is power when we read this book and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us. But the Word that God sent to heal us could also be Jesus.
I hope to do some teaching in the near future on the Kingdom of God. What it is....what it means....who is it for...and how does it operate. I think it might be helpful in laying a good foundation to understand how this whole Authority and Power thing operates. Until tomorrow when I deliver a fresh posting here on the Greene Street Letters.......
God on you...