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Be Sober

If you give him an inch, he*ll take a mile. I am referring to the Devil. Many believers see no harm in drinking alcoholic beverages. Given the choice between being a little bit weak or very weak, I would rather be a little bit weak. Given the choice between being a little bit weak and being strong, I would rather be strong. Given the choice between being in control of myself or giving control of myself to something or someone evil, I would rather be in control of myself. Given the choice of being in control of myself or having God control me, I would rather have God control me. The Bible teaches that there is a direct conflict between God and alcohol. Both will control us if we let them.

Ephesians 5:18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Being out of God*s control or out of our own control for a just a moment can cause problems that last a lifetime. That happened to a number of individuals in the Bible. Noah found grace in God*s eyes. In spite of that alcohol got him into trouble.

Genesis 6:8: But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah was a preacher of righteousness. It took him about 100 years to build the ark. He obeyed God for about 100 years. In spite of those facts, there was an occasion when he was drunk and it caused major problems. His lack of control gave opportunity to his son to sin and brought a curse on his grandson.

Genesis 9:21-26: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father*s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

The passage is not totally clear about the nature of Ham*s sin against his father. Some believe that it was homosexual desire. At the very least, it was a violation of the commandment to honor his father. Noah knew what Ham*s sin was.

Lot was called a just and a righteous man. He was vexed by the sin of his neighbors. In spite of that alcohol caused him problems.

2 Peter 2:6-8: And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Lot was made drunk by his daughters. It led to incestuous relationships that produced offspring that were enemies of God*s people for centuries.

Genesis 19:30-38: And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Sexual sin is not the only sin committed by people influenced by alcohol. I have heard reports that as many as 50% of the inmates of prisons in America are there because of crimes committed while they were under the influence of alcohol. The majority of traffic fatalities are caused by alcohol or drug use. If you never take the first drink you will never take the drink that takes control of you.

When you drive your car, if you let go of the steering wheel it is out of control. If you close your eyes while driving the car is out of control. Why give away some of your control? Why ingest something that blunts your brain power?

Most of the mistakes I have made in my life have been caused by not thinking or improper thinking. My brain function is bad enough without damaging it further with alcohol. (Before you poke fun at me, examine yourself.)

The most serious consequence of not using our mind is that we cannot understand the Lord as well. We cannot know Him completely with incomplete use of our mind. We cannot accurately know His will without our mind. We cannot do His will without our mind.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Philemon 1:14: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

Alcohol puts our conscience to sleep. It reduces our inhibitions. It neutralizes our wisdom. It dulls our senses. It limits our perception. It limits our ability to feel pain or to enjoy the pleasures of life. Pain is not always an enemy. It sometimes alerts us to problems that we would not otherwise know about. Alcohol disconnects us from reality. Every sip takes us another step down the slippery slope.

Drinking alcohol is a selfish activity. Sobriety can benefit others.

2 Corinthians 5:13: For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

At best alcohol can ease the symptoms of a painful life. But it does not solve the basic cause of the pain. It creates new causes for pain. The numbing of the senses to pain is only temporary relief. The problems caused by alcohol are often cumulative and without God breaking the cycle they can last a lifetime.

Lack of attention to detail has caused problems for me in my life. Alcohol lessens our ability to see details. It interferes with our ability to focus. You don*t wear glasses to cloud your vision. Why willingly cloud your mind? Why short-circuit your brain? There are many desirable life principles that are unattainable if we use alcohol. Sobriety is beneficial to the others in our lives.

Alcohol eliminates watchfulness.

1 Thessalonians 5:6: Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8: But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Alcohol loosens the tongue and makes us undependable. It lowers our taste in companions, it blinds us to fairness and causes a lack of self-control. Drunkenness is particularly ugly in older people.

Titus 2:2: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

The idea that we ought to let the young sow their wild oats is unbiblical. Getting used to evil when we are young hardens our heart. A lack of sobriety causes problems in marriage and improper child-rearing. It makes parents a poor example to their children.

Titus 2:4: That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Titus 2:6: Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

Alcohol causes mental unpreparedness.

1 Peter 1:13: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Alcohol interferes with one*s prayer life.

1 Peter 4:7: But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Alcohol makes one vulnerable to Satan.

1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We owe the Lord 24 hours a day. Giving any portion of that to someone or something else is stealing from the Lord. Drinking alcohol is unprofitable. Throwing our money down a rat-hole is unwise. Wasting our mind or our time isn*t wise either.

Care to discuss Be Sober with Ron?

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