Easter Ecstasy

There was an Easter Saturday Night several years ago when I had a life-changing experience with ecstasy.  I had just begun to follow Jesus and was about 5 months clean.  I was out with some friends from recovery at a club and I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in a while; she was rolling pretty hard on ecstasy.  I have to be honest—I really wanted to get high.  All of the memories of partying and having fun came rushing back.  Thank God, He gave me the strength to leave the club.  I went home to my apartment, locked the door, got in bed and tried to pray and fall asleep.  As soon as I began to pray, all those memories flooded my mind about raves and happy times with my friends when we were doing ecstasy.  I wondered if I really could be happy without sin.  After I tried and failed to pray a full-length goodnight prayer, an idea hit me like a forty pound light bulb—my Lenten devotional might get my focus where it needed to be!  I opened it up and saw a figure dancing with joy on the page for the next reading.  The words of the devotional by C.S. Lewis were about how each of us has a choice each day—to do good, or do evil—to walk in the light, or walk in darkness.  He highlighted how the sinful path looks really enticing and seems to result in happiness, but how it is deceiving.  I’m going to paraphrase, but it ended something like this:  “In reality, the choice to walk in the light is the only one that brings true ECSTASY!”  Have you ever seen a devotional use the word ecstasy?   But this one did and I read it on the right night.  I said a short prayer of thanksgiving and was able to sleep like a baby.  I have honestly not had a strong desire to drink or drug since.

light_in_darknessJesus is our life, our abundant life, when we believe in him.  He gives us strength when we are weak, peace when we’re going crazy, he cleanses us when we’re dirty, and provides light at the end of the darkest tunnel.  Jesus is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end, the one who brought us into this world, will take us out, and can bring us to everlasting life.  He is the King of kings, Lord of lords, and Boss of bosses, and Father for the fatherless.  Jesus is my savior and he can be yours too.  Jesus gives me a life filled with joy and peace and he can give it to you too.  Do you know him?  Do you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and that you have nothing left?  Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection.”  Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions and your world has no meaning?  Jesus says, “I am the Life.”  Do you know the one called resurrection and life?  His name is Jesus Christ and he invites you to the joy of his Father’s house this Easter.

Step by Step: Step 12

The first nine steps are all about reforming and rehabbing our lives in order to walk in the Spirit.  Steps 10-11 show us how to maintain the new life that comes as a result of committing one’s life and will to God.  The final step 12 is about giving away what we have received.  If you have worked the steps with honesty and thoroughness, you have witnessed the fruit of the Spirit born in your life:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  This is good stuff!  Too good to keep to ourselves.  We have it to share it.  The spiritual life that comes as the result of the steps is too good not to share.  This is at the heart of what we’re about at Jacob’s Well.  We call it reciprocation.Step 12:

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