It's been two months now and he is doing well. He and his wife are renewing their relationship. He will be taking two courses this fall until he can be a fully admitted student in the spring.
The other day I was discussing his experience at Teen Challenge with him. I remarked that I don't consider his experience to be "rehab." I didn't even think of it as "recovery." He said, no, not even "restoration." He said "deliverance" is what has happened to him. Praise the Lord!
Deliverance isn't a word we hear often. But God has interesting ways of bringing things to our attention. The next week at my church convention, I heard the word at least three times from the pulpit. The following Sunday, there was an article in a church periodical on this very subject. Here is what it said:
The children of Israel were delivered from their bondage in Egypt in the same way in which sinners are delivered from the fetters of sin today. Let us examine the elements of their deliverance, which also apply to us.
- Recognition of personal bondage. They admitted they were slaves under the heel of the enemy. So must every sinner. This is the first step in the direction of victory.
- Complete abhorrence of the fetters that bind. If a person loves sinful habits, he or she is not a candidate for deliverance from them. Hating sin is a prerequisite to deliverance from sin. Israel found it so.
- Admitting the utter failure of self-deliverance. Humans always try to save themselves. Moses tried to deliver the people in his own way, but failed. Many are in bondage today because they try to deliver themselves.
- A daring faith in God's power to deliver. Moses had to come to that place where he trusted God to make a way where there seemingly was no way. There is no deliverance without faith, for faith brings God's power into play.
- Explicit obedience to and cooperation with God's methods of deliverance. God has ways to deliver that we know nothing about. Naaman had to go God's way. So did Moses. So will you. His methods may seem strange, but results come.
- Joyfully give God the glory for deliverance. The first thing the children of Israel did following their deliverance was to sing. The joy of the Lord is still our strength. When God delivers, give Him the credit.
- Continued obedience avoids a return to bondage. Israel had trouble at this point. So do some people today. The way to insure a continued deliverance is the way of continued obedience. You can keep the victory!
- Fletcher Spruce