Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
In this day and age, we have advanced in many ways. We have been able to duplicate what appears in nature and come close to that which God created. Now, before you think me accepting of this, I am becoming quite the believer in all things natural.
We’ve created sweeteners, drugs, hydroponically grown food, synthetic clothes, fake leathers and fur, teeth, wood, hair – we’ve advanced enough to create an artificial heart. All of these contribute to a prevailing thought – that man has the ability to create substitutes for everything.
This verse in Proverbs speaks well against the evils of drink. Anyone who thinks that a person, saved or lost, is “OK” to drink alcohol is; as the verse states – deceived and not wise. I will not use this time nor space to justify biblical truth on drunkenness, revelings, inviting another ‘spirit’ to influence you. But, I will bring out this one point that God pricked my heart about today – substituting what only God can do.
I speak from experience as to the reasons why I drank and drank to get drunk. I wanted comfort. I wanted relief from the troubles and cares of my life. Escape. We all feel the press of life and sometimes it can be quite overwhelming – especially during the holidays. Many cultures have made drinking an acceptable behavior, even expected.
My testimony speaks to the bondage that alcohol brought to my life. I could not break the cycle of running to drown my sorrows or comfort my heart or seek refuge from my troubles. Prideful individuals would say – he is weak and needed a crutch. It was my substitute.
Some would substitute the physical – from working out to pleasure and immorality. Others would seek out work – activity drowning out the need to address the problems of life. Still others would seek out the emotional – diving into depression or such manic behavior that their natural balance is always in the extreme.
God loves us so very much. He has provided EVERYTHING we need here on this earth to not only survive, but thrive. When Jesus Christ walked the earth, those who walked with Him found His presence comforting, challenging and so desirable that when it came time for Him to go, they begged Him to stay.
John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
Even His very name “Comforter” should give us a clue that He is the real deal. Often, we choose the path of least resistance because we hate conflict, get flustered under pressure or just plain fear to face our problems honestly.
At the very beginning, God knew that it was not good for man to be alone.
Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
Eve was not a ‘substitute’ for God. She was created by God for Adam. She was unique and special. She ‘completed’ Adam.
When we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ to save us, so much takes place in us, for us, to us and through us that we cannot know it all here in this life. But God did give us the earnest of the Spirit – the indwelling of Himself to be with us throughout the rest of our life as a child of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
That same Spirit is to be for us, all that God desired to be for any and all things. Need wisdom? Ask of God who is the most liberal of givers when it comes to wisdom. Need Comfort? His very name; Comforter, should be all we need to know about His promise to fulfill. Need help out of sticky trials?
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
And just Who do you think is the One to lead us in the way to escape?
John 16:13-15 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
By faith, we must believe that God will do what He said He will do. Our lack of faith causes us to hear the enemy’s voice saying, ‘God doesn’t care about you…’, ‘He doesn’t love you’, ‘You are too insignificant for Him’, ‘How could God love someone who did what you did, said what you said, gone where you’ve gone?’
And on and on it goes. Satan assails the child of God in the very area we are weakest. Trusting the One closest to us seems so very far when our faith fails to see that He is all we need.
In our weakness, we run to the bottle, to the medicine cabinet, the psychologist, the psychiatrist. All worldly substitutes for what God gave us to make it through. God wants to show Himself faithful to us. He asks us to prove Him.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
There is no substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit in our life. His fruit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, cannot be worked up, sustained and made a part of us unless He has the preeminence.
“When God becomes all you want, He will be all you need.”