Monday, July 27, 2009

Receiving Personal Revelation

We had an exercise in 12 Steps with the Detention Youth yesterday. An exercise in hearing the voice of God. It was met with a pretty large measure of skepticism. In fact when I asked them if they had ever received a revelation from God, they all said "No, of course not!" Still, I was convinced they had and could, so I went forward by asking a series of questions.

Initially, I asked, "Did Jesus carry a planner?"

They looked around and all agreed. I asked them, "How do you know?"
"Dunno, we just know."
"So how did He get along then?"
"Life came at Him and He responded."

These are kids with very little if any religious background.

"How did He know how to respond."
"He felt it in His heart. Somehow, he just knew what to do."
"Have you ever known what to do?"
"All the time."
"Do you always do what you know you should?"
"Why not?"

And we had a discussion about why Jesus always did what He felt He should and why we do not. One answer was, "We get scared."

"When Jesus felt what He should do or how He should respond to circumstances around Him what would you call that?"
"Information from God."
"Would you call it revelation?"
"What would you call it when you feel what you should do?"
"How about revelation."
"Guess so, but it just makes sense."
"Wouldn't revelation make sense?"
"Does ignoring it make sense?"
"Obviously not (pointing to orange jump suits)."

12 Step recovery is entirely about connecting with God and receiving His help in overcoming our problems and addictions. The AA prayer, "Lord, what would you have me do today? Please give me the strength to do it?" is all about getting personal revelation. Drunks get personal revelation. They have to or they cannot recover. They have to get it every day, every moment and they have to choose to be obedient to those promptings in their hearts. So it is with all of us.

I spent a few moments helping them realize that God is good and kind. I told them a story of a friend in recovery who prayed the AA prayer every day for six years before she felt impressed to pay her tithing and another two before feeling impressed to go to Church. God doesn't expect to us progress from A to Z in one fell swoop. He is kind, good and He knows where we are and what we need today. He is not about to ask us to give what we don't yet have. He is patient, forgiving and loves us. "If we will respond to His answer to that question every day," I told them. "He won't overwhelm us with His answer. He'll give us just the right measure of challenge and strength to help us grow and progress. Plus He will give us the strength to do it! Our parents, teachers, counselors, friends, or enemies might and often do overwhelm us, but God does not."

One little girl came forward after the meeting and shyly requested a set of scriptures. "I came in here convinced I didn't need God in my life. Now I know I can't possibly make it without Him."


Booklogged said...

Beautiful lesson. It warms the heart to see those little steps in the right direction.

Love Life and Learning said...

I love my brother

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