Monday, August 1st, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 84)
Alcohol? Stop Here
Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
'They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?'
Proverbs 23:29-35 (NKJV)
Clearly, alcoholism isn't new. Neither is tempting intoxication. Here's what's new: we have a mind-blowing number of ways to forget our troubles and fly around like helium balloons. For everyone who doesn't know Jesus, who's to blame for these binding addictions?
I say it's not the victims, but the perps. Yet it's not the perps pushing the spirits. Instead, it's the spirits pushing the perps. They are principalities and powers,* serving in the dominion of darkness for 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2).
Either from pain or foolish ignorance, people lose control of their heads and hearts to a host of demons pulling their strings. But helium balloons are bound to burst, likes the hopes and destinies of addicts. However, God loves to resurrect them when their binding ties become love for Him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As Jesus turned water into wine, alcohol is not condemned by God. He decreed, 'Wine gladdens human hearts' (Psalm 104:15). Therein, 'The Son of Man came eating and drinking' (Luke 7:34).
But drunkenness invites disaster, and everyone can see the fallout. 'Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation' (Ephesians 5:18), 'For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty' (Proverbs 23:21).
If dissipation is scattering,** then God's talents and men's callings are scattered, squandered and thrown to the winds by devilish intoxication. Your job? Show the world good times and joy aren't dependent on short-term fixes, but a never-ending high in God.
To Be Continued...
* 'For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places' (Ephesians 6:12).
** Latin meaning/derivation of the word, dissipate: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=dissipate
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.