Thursday, November 17, 2016

To Drink Or Not To Drink

It has been heavy on my heart to write this article. When I first feel the need to write I should always go ahead and do it because it will flow freely and need very little if any corrections or rewrites. Now, I have had to go back over the scripture that was laid on my heart and meditate on it and pray to tap back into that flow. Life gets so busy sometimes that I forget what I need to do first and that is serve my God, my Father, my Creator. If only I made enough money writing to stay home and write and do more for my church and family. But I do not make writing my priority. That is no one’s fault but my own.

This article is on drinking alcoholic beverages.

James 4:1-17 NKJV BLB
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2. You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (improperly), that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity (a reason for opposition) with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world make himself an enemy of God. [This being because the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ. *Strong’s Greek Lexicon, www.blueletterbible.org.] 5. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6. But He gives more grace, Therefore he says: “ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9. Lament and mourn and weep? Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10. Humble yourselves (lower one’s soul, bring down one’s pride; have a modest opinion of one’s self; behave in an unassuming manner; devoid of all haughtiness) in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the laws and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? 13. Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14. Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15. Instead you ought to say, “if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16. But now you boast (to glory on account of a thing) in your arrogance. All such boasting (rejoicing) is evil. 17. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

My relationship with alcohol has been rocky to say the least. I have drunk to find out why it was so good to others, because it was acceptable to my dad, to rebel against my dad, to deal with grief, because I was having muscle spasms and pain, to open my sinuses, to help me sleep, because everyone else was, to calm my nerves, because I was angry and depressed, and so the booze would run out quickly and I could secretly pour it out. I never cared much for partying. I hated clubbing and going to a bar but I enjoyed drinking while sitting around a fire talking to someone who had some sense, drinking in a warm bath to relax, and drinking while I was cooking to relax so I could eat. However, the ideal thing would have been to deal with the things and people that were causing me the stress and pain instead of using alcohol to keep trudging on.

I stopped drinking for many reasons almost 4 ½ years ago. I have drunk a few times since June 11, 2012. I have no interest in drinking thank God, and to me it is not an option because I choose to remain sober minded and to keep my mind on God and His Word and promises, and because I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia and fibromyalgia. Also, alcoholism runs in both sides of my family and I do not ever want to become dependent on alcohol. Some of the worst guilt I have ever experienced was when my children saw me drinking because I didn’t want to influence them to drink. Alcoholism runs in both sides of their family too.

Alcoholism like many other habits derive from wrong thinking patterns and it is developed and encouraged one thought and one action at a time. A decision leads to a decision which leads to a decision until that thinking pattern is locked in and becomes habit. We are predictable creatures and repeat what we think works for us not seeing the available alternatives or other choices that we have. I know people who will do without basic needs like food and shelter to drink and smoke. I know people who will work and drink and that’s it. They never go anywhere else or do anything else. Their ambition in life is to work for someone else and drink. Work to drink. Drink to work.

The only way they will ever change their thinking patterns will be to give their heart and soul to God or something that they think is bigger than them. Often it takes a life changing event to alter someone’s thinking patterns, an infomercial in the movie of their life so they are paused and see the light. I do not know if you have ever read a 12- step program but they are faith based.

I was not addicted to alcohol but I was addicted to nicotine and the habit of smoking. I tried patches, medication, chewing gum, and even making a promise to God because I thought that I would be strong enough not to break my promise because I loved Him too much to break my promise. WRONG! Then I had to deal with the guilt. I humbled myself to God and asked him to take the desire to smoke away from me and he did. I didn’t have any withdraw symptoms whereas when I tried to quit on my own my family would ask me to smoke because I became so irritable. I have not smoked since June 11, 2011 except for one time I got angry and discouraged and I took 2 draws off a cigarette. It was so nasty and I disgusted myself for doing it.

Let’s look in the Holy Bible at some facts about drinking. I have not found anywhere in the Word of God  that it is a sin to drink wine or strong drink but I have found guidelines for drinking. In Proverbs we read that it is not for king’s or princes to drink wine or strong drink because they may forget the law and pervert the judgement of all of the afflicted.

Proverbs 31:4-7 NKJV BLB
4. it is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for king’s to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; 5. Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. 6. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. 7. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.

We read in 1 Corinthians who will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators (a male who prostitutes, a man who indulges in unlawful intercourse), nor idolaters (a worshipper of false gods; a covetous man as a worshipper of mammon), nor adulterers (an adulterer; metaphorically one who is faithless toward God), nor homosexuals, nor sodomites (one who lies with a male as with a female), 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous (one eager to have more, especially what belongs to others), nor drunkards (drunken, intoxicated), nor revilers (a railer), nor extortioners (an extortioner, a robber) will inherit the kingdom of God. 11. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Have faith in God and know that His Word is truth. Trust in His promises. Do not take something that does not belong to you. Do not put anything or anyone before God. Do not drink in excess so as not to  cloud your judgement or become intoxicated. Do not use insolent or reproachful language toward someone. The list goes on. But all is not lost.

God equips us so that we can live in peace and harmony with him. We are made righteous through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Righteousness is our God given ability to stand before God without any consciousness of sin or guilt. Once we are forgiven of something people or the devil may try to remind us to bring us down or to try to suck us back into that old way but God will never remind us because we are washed. Our sins are as far as the east is from the west. They are no more. They are forgotten. God only sees his son’s blood and a heart that loves him.

Unless you humble yourself to God and go to him in the name of Jesus, aware of the sacrifice that he made so you can be forgiven of your sins, you are not worthy to enter into heaven. The blood of Jesus makes us worthy. We can never do enough to be worthy. Only Jesus makes us worthy. We have to trust God’s word and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and what he did for us to be made righteous.
First we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Romans 10:9-11
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Everything after that is us learning how to be better people, learning how to live an acceptable and pleasing life unto God, learning how to change our thought patterns and put on the mind of Christ, learning how to serve God, and help others in our family in Christ and lead others to Christ. God’s holy Word gives us examples and directions to living better from Genesis to Revelation.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I am going to share one last passage of scripture with you before I close. If you have given your heart to God and accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and need instruction or prayer you can contact me at lisa.clewis.lc@gmail.com.

Ephesians 5:15-20
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless you.

Written By: Lisa C Clewis 11-17-2016



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