After my first week in Betel of Madrid, I video-journaled my thoughts and understanding of Betel, which was already at that point awesomely overwhelming. Every day since then I found out more amazing details about how Betel functions and how they adapt to every culture and people group.
One thing stays the same, however, and that is the over-powering emphasis on the Gospel of Jesus. Only through the Gospel is there deliverance. Only in the Gospel are dependencies destroyed. The Gospel is the answer for every problem, in all ages, in every culture, for every addiction.
This is why I was able to be richly blessed and experience growth. The Gospel is for everybody and I have dependencies just like the Betelitos do. Actually, as I observed them, I was often convicted and shamed in my weak pursuit of destroying idols and lifting up the Cross in my life.
What makes Betelitos unique, in my view? They’re addicts, both past and present. Only the worst of the worst come to Betel. They have hit rock bottom. They’re extreme in their pursuit of drugs, alcohol, sex and money. They’re needy and they know that if something does not change, they will die soon (as several people personally told me this). They come to Betel to be free from addiction, yet they realize that the Cross demands more– they must completely give their lives. If they withhold anything, they will easily slip back into the former life, and they know that.
They literally know that it’s either Christ or death. Some cannot handle giving Christ everything, and they know they cannot just give a little, so they leave. Sin is too powerful to be half in, half out. But those that choose Christ find grace that is far exceeding greater and they live with just as much reckless abandon as they did before, except now they have a new Master, an ultimate King, a loving Savior.
They’re addicted to Jesus. And everyone knows it.
I realize now why these are the people that Jesus came to seek and the save. They know they’re sick. They see death. The decision may be intense, yet their passion is stunning because they know they’re needy and understand what they were saved from. Betel is literally a rescue shop within a few yards of hell.
If you want to know a little more about God’s work through Betel, read “They dance because they cannot fly”, which is a book I reference in the video.
So my suggestion: don’t run from the outcasts of society. They may act like they hate people, life and maybe even you, yet inside they’re dying for freedom, for love, for a Savior. They go to drugs to numb the pain, to be saved, to fill the empty hole in their heart, not realizing that they’re selling their souls to a fierce, controlling idol until it’s too late to turn back.
Thank God for Jesus. for the Gospel. Cause that’s they’re only hope. And that’s my only hope for release from the tailored idols of my heart.