These past 11 months have been the hardest and yet the most rewarding months of my life since becoming a Christian in 2001. There has been a forming of Jesus in my life over this past year that has taken me places that I could have never imagined, spiritually as well as influentially through a variety of avenues.
Since opening the Revive Life House, April 8th 2016, I’ve personally grown more than any other time in my life. I’ve grown in my discipline of prayer and solitude, in a variety of aspects of leadership and managerial skills, as well as in my role as a husband and father. I’ve truly come to know, with each passing day, what Christ promised in that He would “work out all things for the good” and that we would be “conformed into his image and likeness” (Rom. 8:28-29), and have found this to be most evident and true as the good news of God’s great love for mankind was forge out of our lives as we intentionally pursued the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20) in starting an addiction recovery center.
The vision, mission, and ultimately the heart behind the Revive Life House is to show the tangible love of Christ to the “one” coming in, hurting, addicted, desperate and broken. I have the honor and privilege to look each resident square in the eye and tell them, that if they were the only “one” to ever walk through these doors, that we want them to know that we would have done all of this just for them! I tell them that the heart of God is for the “one” and that God so loved them, the “one”, so that we can now love them right where they are and that this entire program, was built on God’s own heart for the “one”. He leaves the ninety-nine for the “one”!
People who are caught in and bound by addiction, are in a lot of ways, no different than the next person. I know some of you reading this may not agree with me or may have a hard time with that statement but hang in there with me. I’m assuming by now, that you have picked up on the fact that I am a pastor at heart and have a great love for theology and the word of God. This is preciously why I believe that addiction really isn’t the problem, whatever your addiction may be, it’s just a symptom of a much deeper rooted problem in all of humanity. The bible calls it sin. Every person is born with this sin nature and no one is immune to it. So, as we think on and view addiction from that lens, we can understand that we must get to the root of the addiction and stop picking the bad fruit thinking we are going to have a different outcome!
As we see addiction through the lens of God’s word and how our sin nature can and will always lead us to serving “self”, whether through something as strong as an opiate addiction, or as subtle as an occasional look at porn we can begin to see ourselves and others as, the “one” who is desperately lost and in need of God’s saving mercy and grace. Grace will revive us back to the heart of the Father who loves us and has the power to restore us to right relationship with him. As this happens we can begin to see for the first time in our lives the forming of God’s great love within us. This new found forming of our identity in God now compels us to forge out, by His great love within us and to share it with another “one”.
How about you? Will you ask God to open your eyes to the “one” who is in great need of God’s love, and to see the forming and the forging within, launching them out into new found freedom and newness of life? I would challenge you today to live out your faith and have God’s heart for the “one”.