Friday, September 12, 2008

Demon in a Bottle? No Thank You!

After all the crazy over-the-top events I shared with you this past few days, dear reader, I thought I'd end the week with a slightly less dramatic encounter/event with a letter I received from a young man in recovery today. I'd taught him at DuPage County Jail, and he wrote to tell me how I helped him see Jesus better and get on the road to recovery.

I do not know what substance he abused, despite the title of this blog, but the fact that our Flesh rises up and leads us into dangerous and wicked directions when we get drunk or high means that God ain't in that container. Maybe a false god, an idol - 'cause you do worship whatever you obey, my friend - and it takes knowing the REAL God in a real way to get free from that pernicious lifestyle.

Here's what "Tony" (not his real name) wrote:

Hi Justice
How are you? Well I'm doing good. I'm getting into my recovery program here at [location]. I'd like to thank you for bringing me close to Jesus. I don't know if you remember me...[details of description].
Myself being closer to God has lead me to work this treatment spiritually.

I also would like you to tell everyone in the Monday Night Bible Study in DuPage County Jail that I had said hello & that I'm doing great in recovery & that God will be by their side at all costs. Also read off to everyone Psalms 56:3-4 & 13 - also Philippians 3:13. I like
them passages. Also I'm praying for everyone to get what they want.

Sincerely,
"Tony"

My theology is good enough to see Tony is being grabbed by God. He's got a long walk ahead - BUT he is coming to Jesus like a little child and Jesus LOVES that! Let's take a look at his passages, shall we?

Psalm 56:3-4 & 13

3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

13 For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Yeah. I hear you, Tony. Fear and anxiety drives addiction far more than anyone thinks. "Liquid courage" goes the moniker. He's beginning to see God is not angry at him but angry FOR him. Loves him fiercely and is delivering him from destruction.
Reader, if you ever feel a door shut in your face or that you have been forced into a place you don't want to be, remember that God calls the shots to save your soul. The more rebellious you are, the stronger the "stop" will feel.

Let's read the next. Ah... its the beginning of a longer sentence. I'll include 14 as well.

Philippians 3:13-14
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Yeah. Tony is seeing his need; he ain't there yet, so he's got to work the program and remember to let the PAST remain the PAST! This isn't responsibility avoidance. This is refusing to let the unchanging past define your future ("I'll never change!" *sob* *sob* Despair is from the Devil, folks). In other words, Tony is using God's grace for repentance and a new lifestyle. Coooool.

He's aiming for heaven now - and wants to be unashamed when he gets there by trusting in Jesus. As it is written, "All who place their trust in You shall not be ashamed."

Pray for "Tony's" recovery and to know Jesus in a most excellent fashion, will you?

And praise God that recovery is possible by God's Spirit through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Amen.

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