August 20, 2016


Here's yet ANOTHER MOST RELEVANT PROVERB...... "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise" (Prov. 20:1). Of course, all God's Proverbs are applicable to so many areas of life. It's His book of wisdom written mostly by Solomon. He knows all about living here-be-low. There are 31 chapters in the Proverbs, one for each day of the month. Read a chapter each morning.  

In a time when our Olympian champions shame themselves and embarrass all of us because of their foolishness in a drunken state, and, let me add this, when too many Evangelical Christians unashamedly flaunt their freedom to imbibe alcoholic drinks (in spite of the national life-agonies caused by over indulgence thereof!), it would be wise to long ponder the Word of God in the above verse and respect the wisdom and warning found therein. Read it again. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise" (Prov. 20:1). 

Thomas Brooks once remarked, “Drunkenness unmans the man.” It has also been said, “The sight of a drunkard is a better sermon against the vice than the best sermon that was ever preached on that subject.” But we need sermons and lectures too.

God’s antidote? It isn’t mere self-resolve, although much is needed. Nor is it just a detox center (although some programs of education and emergency help can prove helpful), but God’s answer lies in appropriating a Holy Spirit driven and empowered God-given remedy. It will be effective if appropriated! Many have experienced this! God's ways are always best.

Ponder this: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions,  factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…” (Galatians 5:19-21). 

And, think about this: “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled (literally be being filled with the Spirit…” (Ephesians 5:17-18). This Spirit filling, God enabling provision is designed to be sought every day and every moment of every day. 

I do believe in a personal and absolute prohibition. I know there are passages which seem even to encourage alcohol intake. One of these is: “Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more.” (Proverbs 31:6-7). But nowadays, given the horrible and devastating effects seen in a society (that’s us) agonizingly and wildly suffering from the uncontrolled usage of potent alcoholic drinks, we have helpful pharmaceutics. These can much better aid us in our bitter and troubled lives. These may have some questionable side effects, but, all in all, are much safer than the devastation seen too often from alcoholism.

What is God’s antidote? Review again the above verses in Ephesians 5. Search out the meaning of what is means to “be being filled” with the Holy Spirit. This is a continual state all Christians should covet. It pertains to truly being “born again” (John 3), having the Holy Spirit within (this happens at the moment of genuine salvation) and then living a life fully yielded to the Lord. This means to be in His Word (Psalm 1:1), applying it obediently to every aspect of life, confessing sin regularly, and prizing God’s will above all else. It entails attending a Bible centered church where one is taught the truths of Scripture. This process of daily holiness enlightens us to an available and necessary Godly power and sensitivity; in this we refuse to quench or grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit. At this point His power flows within and proves God’s enabling grace making us over-comers. IT WORKS, even though the process requires a diligent pursuit. It all comes down to whether I want to please God and live according to His will, even though His steps are arduous. They are such because He thereby teaches us persevering faith. Do I really love and believe God? Will I live by His wisdom, or, will I insist living in MY ways or the ways of this sin-sick world?

Long ago Seneca said, “Drunkenness is nothing else but a voluntary madness.” God’s program is a voluntary and sane determination to follow Divine wisdom, to do it unstintingly and to reap His glorifying success. Can God be wrong about this?

-       Dick Christen