What does scripture mean by calling out drunkards for judgement? (See 1 Corinthians 5, for instance.)
What’s it mean to be a drunk. Or to be a Christian?
Does drinking define your life? If you live for and obsess about your next drink, you’re a drunkard. If you drink despite knowing you’ll experience negative consequences, you’re an alcoholic.
Does Christ define your life? If you live for and obsess about your relationship with Jesus, you’re a Christian. If you worship the Lord in all things, even when things seem desperate — you’re a child of God.
In reality it’s a matter of idols. One either worships things of this world or the next. These are absolutely exclusive — one doesn’t have idols in the world and still worship God.
Another way of discerning one’s position: When you’re under stress, duress — worries twist and churn the gut…
Do you crave the solace of the bottle over all else, are you counting moments and making plans that rest in drinking? Would you rather be at the bar, or hiding at home with the bottle? Do thoughts of drinking crowd out everything else?
Or do you crave the solace Jesus provides, does your reaction to difficulty produce a longing for spiritual closeness: you want to run, “hide your face” in Him?” Are your thirsty for fellowship, listening at a bible study, or sitting in church … drifting away in music, crave discussing Gods word? Do your silent prayers crowd out the unwanted thoughts?
Drinking & drugging mixed with Christianity are very much like oil and water. The two cannot exist in mixture: an initial suspension of the two fluids — no matter how well mixed — will begin to separate. Water and oil will stratify … leaving each in it’s own layer.
Separation can be very quick, or it can take longer periods of time. Intervening shaking mixes things up again. But inexorably the oil will be separated from the water. This is much like the call of God in our lives. Reversible to an extent, but he will never leave us or forsake us.
God is jealous of our love.
“…for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.” Deuteronomy 6:15
Much scriptural analogy is given to the picture of Adultry. Likening ones failure in Godly matters to the more familiar earthly failures we witness in marriages. Wandering in rebellion against the truth and in defiance of our promises. Have we not seen the hurt? Can we imagine a tiny bit of what God feels?
Much scriptural metaphor paints pictures of Idolatry. Devoting oneself to worship of ungodly things — separates us from God. Money, power, things. Even knowledge and science. So in the same way drugs and alcohol become Idols: consuming the means God has given us, polluting our interests and love – to the point that we have no place for the Creator in life.
God is not satisfied with a small portion, he will not remain in the dark corners of our being. He will not always permit us to hypocritically visit Him on Sunday mornings. He will not share us with the destructive forces that we must live amidst. This is where our hearts come in — can we hear his “still small voice?” Do we truly believe?
Have we been running away in our life? Like Elijah? The Lord asks each of us “What are you doing here?”
So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
We all must ask “What are am I doing here?” Are I satisfied? Really?
Christians who struggle with drinking and drugging will always experience grief over lapses. Repentance brings renewal the truth is found in “Returning and rest.” Separating the child of God from the drunk or addict most often takes time. Be patient with yourself. God is. Keep getting up, asking forgiveness of Him and His help. Learn how to hear and respond to the truth of sobriety being spoken into your life and put your weight on Jesus.