On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there. Both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."
Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."
Six water pots made of stone were sitting there, used for ceremonial cleansing by the Jews, containing 20 to 30 gallons each.
Jesus said to them, "Fill the water pots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
Then He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast."
And they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water that had been turned into wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who drew the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom, and he said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and after men have drunk freely, then the poor wine is served. But you have kept the good wine until now."
This, the first of His signs, Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
There are also those who say it's OK to drink as long as you don't get drunk, citing this verse: "Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).
Yet I have seen and experienced both in thought and action.
When I first surrendered to the call into full-time ministry serving God, I had been delivered from drugs, alcohol and sexual perversion more than 18 years earlier.
When I say "delivered," I mean delivered. There was no desire or taste for any of it for years later. The only thing I had a taste for was Jesus.
Then one disappointment after another set in. One rejection after another came through. Feelings of loneliness made a home with me, and I allowed them to do so. During the first few years of ministry, I was on fire. I was ordained, had my first and only child and started a small ministry. With all of this going on, I was under attack with my marriage. My then-husband and I were already having trouble, but I believed God for our marriage to heal. I prayed, fasted and believed God for three years and no change; things got worse. After Holy Spirit led me to catch my husband cheating, I heard the Lord say, "End it now."
I was devastated. I didn't want this. I didn't want to be a single mother running a church. This was not my dream or my plan.
But I obeyed God. My life went from being married and covered to not married and covered anymore. Suddenly, I was single and overseeing a church. This is when it all began. The devil wanted to have his way with me. I had not yet been healed from mother issues, and now, I was divorced. I still had my son and the responsibilities of the church. I wanted to talk to the leaders from my church to tell them how I was hurting, but they depended on me to lead them to Jesus.
I plowed through. I kept preaching. I kept praising, I kept praying, seeking and knocking for healing. I kept praising Him. I knew Father would heal me and deliver me again someday. I never gave up no matter how my heart was broken, no matter how much my soul was in pain and no matter how alone I felt. I kept pressing.
This would go on for years. Two churches. Two books. A growing internet radio show and podcast until I finally got my deliverance. Hallelujah! But what a road from the beginning to now. I had given up when I took that first drink of wine. I got tired and didn't know it. Too many disappointments. Too much discouragement and too much hurt. I really didn't realize how much it weighed on me because I had become immune to it all. So when I took my first glass of wine on a New Year's Eve some years back, I used the Scriptures I mentioned to justify my choice.
I started having a glass of wine once a week at a restaurant. Social drinking wine. That's OK, right? I'm not drunk. One glass of this "Jesus juice" isn't going to hurt, right? Then it became OK to drink with other Christians and so on and so on. I have been drunk, and so were my Christian friends. We drank together. Leaders, laymen, whatever and whomever, serving the Lord.
Some would say they don't have a problem with alcohol. But I would say if anything holds you back from the fullness of God, it's a problem. It became a problem for me. I would fast from wine and declare, "It will have no control over me." Then I started liking tequila, not just liking tequila but loving tequila. The drinks were just tasting so good. The pressures of life were starting to kick in even more and before you knew it, I thought about a glass of wine or a margarita before turning to God up to four or five days a week.
The morning after, I would pray an extremely self-condemning prayer to our Father, who knows all and loves us all so much. The devil was sinking his hooks even further into my soul. After fasting often and trying to show some sort of discipline didn't work, I totally surrendered to God. I chose to sacrifice my drinking.
That's when Holy Ghost came in, and Jesus delivered me again. People don't realize how much drinking is really going on in the church. With depression attacking God's people, it is really hard to say who can handle drinking and who can't.
It reminds me of when I first tried crack in the world. The woman who introduced it to me looked and acted fine. She didn't look like an addict because she wasn't. When she introduced me to it, she had no idea how this piece of rock would become the escape for someone like me, not yet healed from my mother, rejection and abandonment issues.
It's the same with leaders and church folks drinking wine and offering it to people who may be coming out of some sort of addiction or emotional hurt and pain. God will look at this as being on our hands: "But whoever misleads one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung about his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:6).
No one introduced me to wine on that New Year's Eve, but I have drunk wine and tequila with other Christians, old and new. The thought of how this can hinder the growth of a fired-up-for-Jesus Christian hurts my heart and soul so much. I am delighted God forgave and has set me free from the cause and the effect. I wanted to escape. I wanted to celebrate and pretend nothing was wrong. But no drink was strong enough. God stopped the enemy, and He gave me strength and power to war against him. Now the devil is defeated in that area of my life. I have been reinstated, and I am ready.
I can identify with Peter because I denied Jesus' power. I denied the fact that I was on a winning team. I wanted my countenance back. I wanted the light of Jesus shining through me again.
I was better off in the state I was in than where I ended up. The enemy wants to kill us. When we are weary, that's when He comes in.
"Ahithophel also said to Absalom, 'Let me choose twelve thousand men so that I may arise and pursue David tonight. I will overtake him while he is weary and weak and strike him with terror; all of the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike only the king'" (2 Sam. 17:1-2).
"The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
We must hold on to the fact that Jesus came so we might have life. He didn't die on that cross for nothing. He wasn't raised from the dead for nothing. We have been redeemed and resurrected because of His love for us.
I know some of you are tired. Some of you have turned to food, sex, alcohol and even anorexia. Please hear me: God can fix it! He knows all. Let Him pick you up, son. Let Him clean you off, daughter. You have work to do. You win!
Use the experiences of your past to set the captives free. You are not alone. Don't be ashamed of the gospel. This is gospel: Moses, Elijah, David, Jacob, Peter, Paul, just to name a few. God forgave, healed and delivered them all.
Get back up, and let's do this! You got this! Because the King of kings has you! You have seen God move for you many times. Don't give up! You have seen Him provide for you. Don't give in! You have seen Him do miracles. Don't stop now. Don't stop believing. Don't stop seeking. Don't stop praying.
If I had stopped, I probably would have been back on crack. If I had stopped, I would probably be dead right now. God is faithful. Don't allow the cause to give power to the action that destroys your destiny. This is your opportunity right now. Take it. Give it back to our Father!
We all fall short of His glory. He is waiting right now for you to trust Him. Trust Him with everything. Run to Him! He is still in control.
To listen to Dr. Gina's entire teaching on this topic, listen to this episode of The Keys Against the Enemy here.
Gina R. Prince is an apostle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a podcast show called The Keys Against the Enemy on cpnshows.com. Connect with Gina on Instagram and Twitter @ginarprince as well as Facebook at "The Keys Against the Enemy." Visit her website at drginaprince.com.
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