A few weeks ago I felt led to write this blog. I dismissed it immediately with the thought that I have no right nor credibility to discuss the matter. I'm no theologian, have no doctorate, and have personally never had alcohol in my existence.
God convinced me otherwise. Within the week, I saw numerous posts on my feed of Christian people drinking and God continued speaking to my heart with different Scripture verses and convictions. I want to share my perspective on the effects of drinking based on God's Word and from the eyes of a young, impressionable Christian.
No matter what I do, when I see or hear of Christian people drinking, my spiritual respect level for that person plummets. I have no judgement or condemnation towards them but I just can't help that I no longer carry the same regard that I did before. I wondered why, asking God to help me find clarity. I stumbled upon this verse in 2 Timothy 2:20-22:
"In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."
God gave humans free will, the power to choose. Because of this, our actions have consequences. As Christians, we must remember that just because we don't see immediate consequences doesn't mean they are not there!
Everything we say and do creates a ripple effect whether physically or spiritually, seen or unseen. Paul was instructing Timothy to choose purity above all else. Timothy was to narrow and set apart his life for God's work, choosing purity over loose living. By setting ourselves apart, we are giving God more room to work through us. By choosing a selfish and loose lifestyle, we are letting God know that He is not in control of our life, we are. Paul further emphasizes his stance in Ephesians 5:18-20 (Message):
"Don't drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ."
It's not the act of drinking or whether or not it's a "sin" that matters. It's the WHY. Why is it necessary for you to drink? Isn't the Spirit of God enough for you? What are you trying to fill?
Aren't we to be filled with the praises of God? Any person can find happiness and stress relief (though only temporary) from alcohol and that is why we have drunks and addicts. You may argue that you have never been "drunk" and you don't drink for pleasure. So then I ask, why do you drink at all?
If it isn't a stronghold in your life, then can you let it go for Christ's sake? It's easy to say something doesn't control you until you're asked to let it go. As the verse above states, it is better to drink from the Spirit and sing songs of praise than to be filled with a substance that cheapens the life God gave us, no matter what the substance is! Anything that we cannot give up for Christ is a stronghold, end of the discussion. Listen to this:
"Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me" (Acts 26:17b-18).
This was taken from Paul's encounter on the road to Damascus. This is Jesus talking to Paul. He says that we Gentiles are set apart BY FAITH in Him. It's one thing for God to come in and break the chains of addictions and sin to give us a new life, but it's another thing for us to step out in faith of what Christ did in us and remain pure! It doesn't take any faith to be like the world, who just so happen to find release in alcohol, life in selfish pursuits, and are plagued by depression and darkness. It DOES take faith to live a life of purity, showing the world the life-giving power that comes solely from God. I have FAITH that Christ lived the most narrow lifestyle, pursuing purity to be set apart for His Father, even to the point of dying for ME. Faith requires action. I walk out my faith by setting myself apart for God alone, living as Christ lived so that the captives might find life in He who lives in me.
*I do want to mention that my dad was an alcoholic in his younger years and it greatly affected his life in a negative way. He hasn't had a drink in over 30 years! I'm not totally removed from how alcohol can affect a life.
Here is my end perspective on drinking:
I have been made alive in Christ, the sinless man whom I am called to imitate. I am no longer my own for I am called to be a light in the darkness. If by drinking, I cause a stumbling block and dim the light of God in me, then I have no desire nor ambition to ever let it touch my lips. I will put my life on display to show how powerful my God is, giving up anything that tries to diminish the work of God in my life.
Bailey Riza is a young, passionate, up-and-coming voice in the music industry. A worship leader, songwriter and recording artist, she has a wealth of experience and a dynamic approach to teaching and leading. She is a member of the Faith Alive Band and travels throughout North America performing and ministering in many different arenas. Her songs have been featured on the Faith Alive Show as well as on Daystar Television Network. Her latest EP, Coming Alive, topped the iTunes charts in Canada! She was born and raised in Saskatoon, Sk, Canada, and attends Faith Alive Family Church, where her parents are senior pastors. She loves her family, church and country and has a zeal to see this generation experience a powerful outpouring of God's presence.
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