Thursday, May 11, 2017

Plotting A New Course

O.k......You've made the commitment to embrace recovery from your addiction.
You've started working the steps....
You go to meetings....
You are reading your big book of A.A....

You've cut away old friends...old playgrounds....old ways....
Now what?

How about taking the 13th step?
It's not printed on any poster...
You won't find it on any coffee mug or bumper sticker...
But it is as real as anything that you'll find along the way on the road in recovery. 

What is the 13th step?
Becoming a disciple.
Sounds like a religious term? Well it is more closely associated with religion that probably any other term the world uses.
To be a disciple is to be an apprentice.

You come along side of someone who is willing to teach and show you how to live in this new found relationship with Jesus.

in working the steps, you've taken the first three pretty serious.
Step #1- I'm the problem, not the solution.

Step #2 - If I'm the problem and I want to be free from my addiction, then there has to be a solution outside my own strength, will and ability that can help me break away.
Step #3- Made the decision to turn MY will and life over to the care of God, and take on HIS will and HIS life.

Ok....pretty clear up to this point. But here is where things get a little murky.
By making it to this point, I need help and direction to learn how to live, to learn what is expected of me, not only as a recovering addict, but also as a "NEW CREATION" in Christ. I was not freed from my addiction so I can go live willy-nilly any old way I want to. I have been given a call. I don't know any other way to put this, so I'm just going to say it...."When we come into this relationship with Jesus, we have been called to join in his ministry, or service, to those who don't know of the life and freedom that we have found." Learning how to live in such a way is a major part of the call, but also going out and DOING is where we find real life. Now don't go clothing everything I've written in religious garments. Jesus and religion didn't get along too well. What we are being called to enter into will become natural to you as you grow. In fact you'll be a servant to others because you want to, not because you have to.

Ephesians 3:20  /  4:1
Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty POWER at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

One of the things that has been made clear to me concerns recovery meetings.
It seems that we are great at getting people to come to the meetings...we are good on the front end of the process, but we lack something terrible in keeping them. People can only go to so many meetings, if it isn't leading them to the next step. Now I'm not blaming anyone for this, it is simply a by-product of how we are doing business, and don't get me wrong in what I'm writing. I'm grateful for every C.R. and recovery meeting that takes place in our town. But we've got to do more than get people in. We've got to help them become more than just sober. We've got to point the way, and help them become true followers of Jesus. True disciples. I think maybe this is where Vineyard ReCovery is headed. God is calling us to be that 2nd part of the process. You may be thinking, "Well, aren't y'all special!" Actually no we're not. I still don't know all the nuts and bolts of how to do this, and carry out this call. But I'm willing to move in that direction. This hasn't been a spur of the moment thing either. God has actually been formulating and leading me to this point over a number of years.

I guess we'll be a work in progress. There will me slip-ups and mess-ups, but we'll learn from them and keep plugging away for the Kingdom. The one thing I do know is that disciples and followers of Jesus aren't massed produced. They are made one at a time. So we may not see huge numbers of the finished product, but we will see the glory of God brought forth in the lives of those who come looking to take that next step.

So I have added another verse to my short list of theology.
You may recall that my original, and still is, verse to my theology is I Cor. 2:2

"For I decided that while I was with you, I would forget everything except Jesus Christ and him crucified."
Now I'd like to add II Timothy 2:2 to my list of theology.
"You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others".

These are exciting times....
God on you.....

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