Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's kind of a 1 step program...

Friday evening was the 4th class, and final in the addictions series at the jail. I'm anticipating restarting the class next Friday from square one again and hopefully repeating a 4 week series on combating addictions.

Several of the deputies at the jail have referred to the class as a 12 step class. I understand an automatic reference to "12 step" when describing an addictions class. "12 step" seems to so widely known that it appears, at least to me, to be one of the only main options available to those who are seeking help with addictions.

I was soliciting some feedback at the end of the class and one of the inmates said, "It's kind of like a 1 step program." Having pretty much had this opinion myself all along, I quickly agreed. It is exactly a "1 step" program.

The "1 step" is to pursue a relationship with God, who alone can ultimately satisfy the human heart, that your heart would be so satisfied in Him that you would be put out of taste for the broken cisterns of this world (Jer. 2:11-13).

I initially planned on the class being about 6 weeks in length. In attempting to cover the "1 step" as thoroughly as possible. Considering the fairly high rate of turnover for the inmates, 4 weeks seemed to be the most appropriate and provided adequate time to cover the theme well.

I experienced the truth of that great verse 2 Cor 12:9
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Taking heed to some important advice, the Gospel message was a theme running through each class while covering different aspects of addictions issues. Ed Welch, author of "Addictions a banquet in the grave" accurately referred to addictions as worship disorders. This was helpful in grounding the issue of addictions as an issue of misguided affections.

Many Scriptures were tremendously helpful in relaying powerful points about God, worship, ultimate satisfaction, and idolatry. A few key quotes (listed below) came in very helpful in illustrating important truths.

"All men seek happiness, this is without exception. This is the motive of every action of every man." - Pascal

"... the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord." - George Mueller

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

The chief end of man is to glorify God and (by) enjoy(ing) Him forever.
- Westminster Catechism

I am very mindful of the body of Christ being of great usefulness in this ministry. The fact of the matter is that I was able to share very little if any original material. The overwhelming majority, if not the entirety of the material shared with them was that which came from the body of Christ, through several different people and means.

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

It is clear to me that a great part of "abiding" in Him is being a part of His body, and gaining nourishment, insight, and wisdom from His body (His people). I've benefited from His people tremendously, many of whom I've never even met.

I am overwhelmed with His exceeding faithfulness. I am also very thankful for those unseen ones who were supporting this ministry with much prayer.


John said...

May God continue to bless this ministry. This is a good example to all of how we are to serve Christ and His sheep.

I have found Ed Welch to be very helpful, too.

Amanda said...

Yeah, it seems that first step is the hardest.

mwh said...

I get excited hearing about what the LORD is doing through you at the jail.

It seems like you are being very sensitive to format and context.

Don't be weary in well doing.