Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Alcohol abuse is the main cause of accidental death, the main cause of domestic violence, the main avenue for trying other drugs, and is almost always involved in unwanted pregnancy and sexual promiscuity. People make a big fuss about all the illicit drug

A man and his wife are awakened at 3 o'clock in the morning by a loud pounding on the back door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the husband, "It is three o'clock in the morning." He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" asked his wife. "Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him?" she asks. "No. I did not. It is three o'clock in the morning and it is pouring rain outside!"

His wife said, "Don't you remember about three months ago when we broke down and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!"

The man does as he is told, gets dressed and goes out into the pouring rain. He calls out into the dark, "Hello. Are you still there?"

"Yes," comes back the answer.

"Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband.

"Yes! Please!" comes the reply from the darkness.

"Where are you?" asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing!!" replies the drunk.

Now we can joke about this stuff because a lot of funny things happen as a result of abusing alcohol and other things, but the reality is that addiction is a very serious and costly thing in our world.

Alcohol abuse is the main cause of accidental death, the main cause of domestic violence, the main avenue for trying other drugs, and is almost always involved in unwanted pregnancy and sexual promiscuity. People make a big fuss about all the illicit drugs out there, but it is the legal one, alcohol, that causes more trouble than all the others put together.

In the Bible drunkenness always seems to be associated with debauchery and sinful behaviour. They did not have the many drugs we have today, but it would certainly apply to them as well. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

I am convinced that using substances to alter oneself opens us up to negative spirits as well. It seems like it somehow opens a natural protective gate that God has put there. As we try to fill the hole that God is supposed to fill, we open it up to other spirits that are demonic.

What about all the other things people get addicted to: gambling, sex, work, technology, sports, TV, food. What is underlying all this? None of these things are bad in and of themselves, they’re not illegal, they don’t necessarily destroy your life, but they still keep us from dealing with the true void in our lives. It’s our nature that makes all this stuff cause trouble.

These things give us either good feelings or escape from uncomfortable feelings, and as they show their effectiveness early on, we seem to need more of them so that the uncomfortable stuff never gets a chance to come to our awareness. Many people will say, “I just do these things for fun”, “I can stop if I wanted to”.

The second statement may be true, but if they do stop, guaranteed they will experience the root of their problem which we’ll discuss a little later. They are denying the real problem, and don’t want to stop because it would mean facing the real problem.

There comes a time though when we have to make a choice between these dependencies and something else, whether it be our life, our job, our family, our health, our financial well-being, or God.

All of these things when used too much are a replacement for God, and the reason none of them provide lasting joy and a satisfying life in the long-term is because nothing can replace God.

But there is one such addiction that plagues Christians perhaps more than many others, and that is busyness. It’s true we’re not to be lazy or slothful, but we tend to have a habit of just filling our time with activities that have little eternal value, that keep us from experiencing the discomfort inside us.

I know many people who have a very hard time being quiet, doing nothing. These are the times when we can commune not only with ourselves, but also with God. These are often times that God is calling us. How many of you get very restless when you’re just sitting quietly, not reading, not listening to music, not saying a specific prayer that as soon as it’s over you get on to doing something else. Just being in the presence of yourself and God?

We must learn to persevere through the discomfort of doing nothing because that is when the truth about ourselves is revealed, and yes we may not always like what we see, but we need to see it just the same. We not only need a relationship with God, but we need an honest, open relationship with ourselves. Having inner conversations about important things in the presence of God are very valuable.

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