Christian Life,  My Salvation

Alcohol Is Not A Sin

alcoholWhen I was about 16 or 17 I started drinking alcohol. My parents don’t really know this, but I waited one night when they were in bed and sneaked into a little cupboard where they kept hard alcohol. My parents did not really drink alcohol at this time anymore and it was probably years old. I reasoned that if I took just a little from every bottle it would be hard to detect any missing from the half empty containers. I combined them all in one cup. I think there was bourbon, scotch, whiskey and vodka, but it’s hard to say considering I knew nothing about alcohol at that time. To be honest with you, I just wanted to get as messed up as possible. You see, I was very depressed. I wanted to escape from reality and alcohol was easy access to an altered reality.

Alcohol was not as easy to get as other drugs, and it was not my most favorite high, so I didn’t drink as often as I partook in other substances. If ever it was available or offered though, I would drink it. Drinking alcohol is getting high and I wanted to get high. Drinking alcohol brings on a flood of joy and positive emotions at first. You feel good, sometimes you even feel great. You get more social and lose your inhibitions. All your problems seem to melt away and it’s all fun and happy. At least at first. That is unless you drink too much and you end up sick. Having a hangover is comparable to sea sickness. It is awful, yet somehow it never stopped me from drinking alcohol again on another occasion.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

I continued to drink alcohol over the years of my life, especially if it was in a social setting. When everyone else was doing it, I felt added pressure to do it. It was a social thing. People get a little weird when they are drinking and having a good time and you aren’t. You don’t want to feel like the odd one. Not that I didn’t want to, but there is just something about that added pressure to keep drinking, even though you know the end results. Once I start drinking alcohol, I don’t stop until I can’t drink anymore. And people love to keep refilling your drink or handing you another beer. It is kind of like an endless trap.

Alcohol is really poisonous to our bodies, especially when taken in for a long period of time in large quantities. I learned that the hard way. I remember going to a bar many years later and having a shot of vodka. I had to choke down the vomit right there on my bar stool. My body did not want that poison in it, but I wanted the effects of it. I wasn’t going to just let an expensive drink come back up. And then I had another shot. Disgusting you say? I agree. I knew I was an alcoholic, and I thought I had gotten a handle on it. Reality proved to be different though, because I could never turn down a drink.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

It wasn’t until I started going to church and learning about Jesus Christ that I started feeling like maybe I should quit drinking. It wasn’t like I was drinking all the time or anything. We would buy a pack of beer and it would sit for weeks before we drank 1 or 2 each. I have always been quite adamant about not drinking alcohol in front of my children. I remember being a child and my parents would have friends over and I have memories of beer bottles and wine glasses littering the living room table in the early hours of the morning when I would wake up. I don’t have a big memory of them actually drinking, yet somehow the knowledge of it has invaded my subconscious.

Getting high has been a huge part of my adult life. It is only about a year ago that I realized why I desired to get high and drunk. We are made to get high. Yes you just read that right. We are made to get high – just not on drugs and alcohol. You see those things are a counterfeit of what we were made to have – a Holy Spirit high. We certainly don’t need to call it a high, but drugs and alcohol are a cheap imitation of the amazing and wonderful experience of being filled up with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit brings intense feelings of joy, ecstasy, love and so much more! Your spirit is ecstatic at being so connected to your awesome Creator! It is like finally experiencing wholeness. The evil one wants to keep us away from this intense Holy Spirit filled kind of life, so he slid a counterfeit in to keep us away.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Instead of seeking out God, we seek out drugs and alcohol. We convince ourselves that it is just to be social or just for fun. We tell ourselves it is the comfort and escape from our pain we need. When all the while God is right there sorrowfully watching us do damage to our body and mind when we could bring it all to our Father! The Holy Spirit is our ticket to heaven on earth! He has been placed inside of us so that we may be comforted by Him when life has brought us down. He has the joy of the Lord to give us, that would elevate our spirits out of the depths of our despair.

The day my husband and I were baptized we both had all desire to do any drugs or drink alcohol completely removed from us. 100%. That was just over two years ago as I write this, and neither of us has even thought about wanting to drink again since that day. It was an absolute miracle. I can’t really tell you why God took that away from us, because I know many people who struggle with addiction. I just thank and Praise God for what He has done. It took probably a year after that before I had my first real Holy Spirit encounter. That is not to say that it took that long before God gifted me the Holy Spirit, but that was when I first came to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in a way that was very tangible. At first I was overwhelmed by His presence and even a bit afraid. But really being in the presence of the Holy Spirit is exciting and energizing and just fills you with love. Once I experienced Him I knew without a doubt how the enemy how used drugs and alcohol to deceive me for so many years. And what I had been missing out on! Absolutely a million times better than any high I ever had with mind altering substances.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

drunkI really feel that the use of drugs and alcohol can become a block to our experience with God. It has great potential to interfere with our relationship with God. Like many other things, we easily become enslaved to addiction to these substances. Where once we thought we had control over it, we suddenly find that it has become our master. There is only one Master that we should ever allow ourselves to submit ourselves to, and that is Jesus Christ. We must be careful to take our whole selves before Him and ask what His will is for our lives. Jesus only wants the very best for us, and will always guide and direct our paths with love.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 2 Peter 5:8