For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17

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View December 2006 Issue >>
 

Some time ago, my wife and I went to a restaurant with some friends of ours to enjoy an evening out.  We noticed a woman at the adjacent table who was drinking glass after glass of wine, and as the evening wore on she became increasingly more vocal about all the problems in her life.  Many people in the restaurant looked on in embarrassment as she got louder and more upset.  It was obvious to me that this woman was in a lot of emotional turmoil, and that she had suffered a lot of hurt in her life.  Seeing her in this state, one of our friends whispered loudly, “See what alcohol does do you!”
To which I replied, “It is not the alcohol that causes her pain, it is the alcohol that is letting it out.”
Alcohol will allow your pain to be seen, but will never heal you.
Alcohol will allow your lust to be seen, but will never love you.
Alcohol will allow the real you to be seen, but can never change you for the better.
The Holy Spirit lets the pain out and heals within.
Alcohol does not make you do things, but it lowers you inhibitions and allows the real you out, it unmasks what hides behind your mask.
The Bible itself, is clear on some points, and not so clear on others.  What we do know for sure is that drinking in itself has not been absolutely outlawed by the Bible.  In 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul tells Timothy that there are certain things deacons should not be, these include not being “given to” much wine, not being greedy for money and not being double-tongued.  He gives the same instruction in Titus 1:7. 
Let us not demonise alcohol as worse than any of those other things mentioned, but let us realize that as children of God we are not to be “given to” anything other than God Himself.  In the original Greek language, the word “given” also means, “to be enslaved by” and “to hold the mind”.  We are not to let anything enslave us or hold our minds other than God Himself.  He is the one who should hold our minds, because in Him we are free.  Nothing should be in control of us.  Ask yourself, “What am I given to?  What ensnares me?”  If you are more given to something than you are to your fellowship and relationship with Jesus Christ, things are out of order in your life.  If there is anything in your life that you could not let go of right now, if God wanted you to, then you are probably “given to” that thing.
Ephesians 5:18 gives us the clue about what we should be doing.  “And do not get drunk, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit.” AMP.
God wants us to be filled and stimulated by His Spirit.  His greater desire for your life is that you be filled with His Spirit, experiencing a life of joy in Him.  Only when you are filled with His Spirit will you find peace and joy like you have never known in your life before.  These are things no addiction can buy.  The Holy Spirit living in you, will not only heal you from your pain, and rescue you from your pain, but He will heal the wounds permanently and without scars.
Many people see alcohol and drugs as the major addiction problems in society today, and while this is true, there are many other things that are just as addictive (when they are out of balance), that may seem perfectly innocent and acceptable in Christian society. 
Anything you use to feel better about your life or yourself, anything you use to block the pain out of your life is your personal addiction or enslavement.
Some people are enslaved by work, they work until they are so tired they cannot work anymore, thereby successfully locking out any time for God or dealing with their pain.  Their families suffer, their health suffers, their fellowship with God suffers.
Others are enslaved by the TV, they cannot go home without switching it on, it runs all day until nightfall, successfully blocking out any form of communication and killing time for self-reflection.
People suffering from severe depression are many times known to have become addicted to excessive sleep, what better way to block life out completely than to shut down altogether?
Hypochondriacs are enslaved by their need for the attention they receive every time they go to the doctor with a new ailment, in their search for love.
Some people are enslaved by their craving for the company of other people, and can never be alone.  They crave the company of other people so badly that they begin to make bad choices in friends and sink into deep bouts of depression when they are alone.
People who are enslaved with addictive behaviours find that while they can temporarily shut out their pain, and avoid it, they never deal with life or take responsibility for themselves.  They always feel unfulfilled, and are continuously looking for a better way to fix their problems, which is why so often, one addiction leads to another.
All enslavements, no matter what name they carry, come from the same place and have the same ultimate goal.  A spirit of addiction will keep you from having fulfilling fellowship with your living, loving Father, it will prevent you from finding that place in God where you know you have complete acceptance and pure unconditional love.  It will cause you to go through life spiritually crippled and unable to accomplish anything of any eternal value.  It will tell you to wait one more day before you change, it will tell you tomorrow is a better day to start again.
Each person has there own personal thing that they can become enslaved by.  It is not the same for everyone, and only you know what your personal weaknesses are.  However, there is a common root with all who suffer addiction:  the need for love.  This is why there is only one Person who can bring relief to the search.  He is Jesus Christ.
Those who are enslaved, need to turn away from all those things that distract from Christ and put Him first, let Him take the pain you have, and heal it.  Allow Him into the deepest part of your heart to fix those things that have hurt you so much and kept you in bondage for so long. 
Only then can you truly live a free life and experience the relationship with God that you were created to have. 
No substance or activity can fill the chasm in the spirit of man, that was meant for God to fill.  No human can fill your need for love as completely and fully as the One who made you and knows you better than you know yourself.
There is no better day than today, there is no better time than right now, to make the change in your life.  When you cannot, He can.  Where you are not able, He is more than able.  Where you may be weak, He is always strong.  When you live your life through Jesus and not on your own, you have all His strength available to you. 
When you give all you are to Him, you are a new creature in Him, and you can do all things through Him.

—by Ps. Llewellyn Roberts

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