I was, and I am grateful for finding sobriety. There is no doubt that had I not been given this gift, I may be either dead, or near death, or in the “slammer.” Those are three undesirable places. In truth, I was in prison in those final years of boozing, using, and losing. My gratitude is directed God-ward, for it was prayer to Him that led me to the AA rooms of recovery which, in turn led me back to God. That may sound simple, well, it is simple and the truth of what happened to me.
I was grateul to the point of promising God that I would devote the life I had remaining to helping others recover from alcoholism and drug addiction. I can say so far, so good. I only have a daily reprieve, so for these 24 hours, I ask God to keep me one more day. Simple prayer for a simple person…and this is simply true.
I have since tried my best to over-complicate the simplicity of recovery by trying to improve it, and analyze its success rate, as though I could help God out with His poor performance rate with those recovering from addictions. I have since learned that AA/NA is a simple program for complicated people like myself. I have relinquished control.
The message of the Gospel is the same. Christ came to Earth and died for the sins of all mankind, rose from the dead, and will return to gather His own. We somehow try to help God’s performance by trying to help the hearers of the Good News with the rules of free grace. We do not draw men to Christ, God, by the Holy Spirit does. We don’t clean up their past, God does through Christ’s sacrifice.
“No one comes to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” John 6:44 (NKJV) “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the mighty.” 1Cor.1:27 (NKJV)
I have watched the Billy Graham Crusade telecast on several occasions. As the simple sermon came to a close, a simple invitation to come to Christ ensued…and hundreds came and made a decision to follow Christ. I was awed by the simplicity, and the effect. This same thing occured repeatedly over several decades, and millions have been affected. There was no rules on how to follow the 10 commandments, no message on prosperity, no Babtist doctrines of church expectations for your new life. Yet over this span of time, Graham’s simple message had a ripple effect, for many who came to Christ through BGC, became ministers that won many more.
We have, at least I know I have, felt that my efforts should be placed in knowing how to defend the Gospel, and stand against the Dawkins, and the Hitchens, with reasoning. How wrong can I be? When I am presented with how do you explain that science has proven this or that, my response should be, Christ died for You, if you believe on Him, you will be saved! I do not have to explain why, but I do have to rely on the Lord through the Holy Spirit to draw them to Himself for salvation.
Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I firmly believe that knowing what I believe, why I believe it, and why it is important, is vital to growth and understanding to my faith. Study and gaining knowledge is a wonderful thing. But it is the presentation of truth that enters the heart, and plants the seed. Faith to believe arises from the ears to the heart through the mouth in confession of Christ’s lordship. Simple.
I am learning as I go, and have no desire to leave bodies in my wake from trying to convict and convince. Let’s keep sobriety simple. Let us keep the Gospel good news for real, without depth of explanation. Simple.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith