Back in March, I wrote a post entitled "Set Free" in which I discussed a little problem I have had in the past. I want to share an update on that post. I'm all about honesty, so here I am. I will share with you a certain revelation I have had within these last couple of months.
The Following is an excerpt from that post from March 3, which ironically, (or not) is my Birthday. Hope you find this as interesting as I do.
19. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20. idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21. envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Getting rid of our old fleshly nature was God's job and gift to us at the cross. He changed our nature, supernaturally, but it is our responsibility to change our "behavior", by putting to death the "deeds of our body".
I, and all of us for that matter, exhibit certain bad habits, sinful actions, and problematic behaviors, even as a born-again child of God. All we have to do is take a look at that scripture from Galatians 5 to see some of the biggies.
... I cannot drink. When I do, I turn into someone else. Someone who I don't care to be. I cannot hold liquor and I frequently made a fool of myself. Actions, words... oh my, I was a mess. So, I don't drink.
I love the taste of wine, and a variety of other alcoholic beverages, but I cannot just have one and be done. Nope, I just keep going. There are other reasons I don't drink: medications, and a promise I made to God when our daughter was going through a tough time. I know it's just not something I need to do.
Now, having said that, I don't have any problem with anyone else, so this is not about you all out there. It's my way of confessing my own problems. If you can enjoy yourself with a great glass of wine, or find a drink at a get together is a social indulgence, then I find nothing wrong with it, but for me... I couldn't control it. I wanted one or two drinks everyday. Then it got to be a bottle of wine, you get the picture? For me, it didn't work.
The same principle would hold true if it were 5 candy bars a day, a pack of cigarettes, or 2 liters of soda. It's not a moral thing with me, but a health and behavior issue. I don't want to be controlled or dominated by any thing. And there are certain things that for me are just not worth jeopardizing my relationship with God. I know it's wrong for me, so I don't do it.
After what I know now these many years later, could I drink responsibly? Probably. I think I could use discernment and maturity to my advantage, but I just don't want to go there again. So, as I said, I make no judgement on others, I just know it's not the best for me.
So today God led me to this chapter in John for what He wanted me to share. Funny, I thought. But Truth, none the less.
1. And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2. and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding. 3. And when the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." 4. And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come." 5. His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." 6. Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. 8. And He said to them, "Draw [some] out now, and take it to the headwaiter." And they took it [to him]. 9. And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10. and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when [men] have drunk freely, [then] that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now." 11. This beginning of [His] signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
A few weeks before Easter, when many devout Christians are "giving up" for Lent, God started talking to me about something in particular that I had given up in the past, and that was drinking. Eleven years ago, God had dealt with me about letting it go, and asking me to be responsible for behaviors that I had fallen into. So for eleven years I did exactly what He had asked of me. Not a problem. As I stated, nothing is worth having it come between you and God.
I had mentioned that it was not a moral issue, but one of behavior, and I also said that I just didn't want to go there again. Thing is, God asked me if I was really "free" with that line of thinking.
Now, I know I have many different readers here, of all denominations and beliefs. But since this is my blog and about me at the moment I'll give my opinion... Jesus drank wine. There's no way around it. I've heard all the arguments that it was really grape juice etc. but in all actuality, it was wine. No refrigeration, water was not too plentiful...people drank wine. AND they were expected not to overindulge or to let it lead to other problems or situations. We all have our opinion on this. So we may not all agree...
but...Jesus drank wine.
So when God asked me if I was really "free" in regard to this particular situation and line of thinking, I had to admit that my fear of what I might do, or not be able to control, was really a bondage, not a freedom. Now some of you out there might not believe this, but God invited me to have a glass of wine Easter Sunday...a glass. Not a bottle...a glass.
Guess what?... I didn't become a monster or a raving maniac or a tipsy exotic dancer. I had one glass of wine with my dinner and I survived.
No more fear, no more bondage...I was right. I am able to walk by being led by the Holy Spirit. I'm not going back to the old way. I've learned my lessons, and I'm not afraid.
I love the above passage from John 2. It is so rich with so many levels of different ideas and revelations. Jesus' first miracle...and it was at a wedding. It was a sign that He was the Messiah. It is a "picture" of the marriage supper of the lamb...He was in charge and in control...even in something as basic as a wedding celebration. He fills us with His new wine, the Holy Spirit leads and directs, and He desires our lives to be filled with Him.
So, after all these years, a little confession that I was struggling in sharing, ended up being a key to walk out of a fear that I really hadn't considered that I had had. Walking in freedom...means depending on Jesus to lead. Not making the call ourselves, but waiting for His perfect timing and direction.
Just a little practical application here in my life, and a look at what I call, "being real".
love, in Jesus,