Friday, February 23, 2007

Discipleship and Whiskey

In my book “The Mystery of the Empty Stomach” I made reference to a verse in Ephesians 5:18:

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

I explained that this verse is like a contrast between being addicted to liquor versus being addicted to the Spirit of God. Isn’t it amazing that the purveyors of liquor usually advertise: “wines and spirits”. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Have you ever seen an alcoholic? He would readily forego eating just so he can enjoy his “poison”. Isn’t that like a perverted form of fasting?

Not only will he not eat but he will go to the deepest, darkest, most dangerous and inconvenient places in search of his “spirits”. Doesn’t that sound like missions?

Then he willingly loses sleep so he can relish every minute of his “spiritual high”. Isn’t that a lot like long suffering?

Then with no food in his stomach no rest to his body he will spend the rest of his energies and party the night away – Doesn’t that remind you of praise and worship?

He does not tithe but worships his addictions with everything he has.

In contrast Christians spend 90 minutes on a Sunday as long as it does not interfere with afternoon football. Many will go where it is air-conditioned and can conveniently access the nearest restaurant where they can feed on their real addiction - food.

Is it any wonder that the world is not easily convinced? In their minds they are probably asking: “Do these guys love their Spirit as much as I love my sin?”

But probably the most glaring part of all is how addicts naturally convert others to receive their “spirits”. Addicts produce other addicts without even trying. Their lifestyle of radical abandon speaks so loudly it convinces others that what they have must be worth having.

On top of that they are not somber but look like they are enjoying it.

Keep in mind that when the Holy Spirit first dessended on the disciples at Pentecost the people made fun of them because they thought they had too much wine (Acts 2:13). Peter had to explain to the crowds that they were not drunk since it was only 9 AM (Acts 2:15).

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defined the word addict was:

“To devote time and attention by customary or constant practice; sometimes in a good sense. They have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. (1 Corinthians 20)”

Addiction is about devotion. Devotion is about relationship. In order to exude a radical abandon and a lifestyle that enjoys Christianity, we need to be devoted to a relationship with the Holy Spirit!

Prayer & Drowning

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Addison said...

Is this a prophetic blog? I read it on Thursday, February 22, when I noticed the date on your blog--Feb 23, tomorrow! Those Filipinos sure are on top of things. Don't give me any nonsense about timezones, I know you guys are just so cutting edge over there and I'm stuck in a former communist nation timewarp.

Addicted to Jesus,

P.S. I gotta go, I need a fix

Mike Watkins said...

Joey, I remember you teaching this last year during a fast, and I am glad to see it on your blog because you write better blogs than I take notes. Thanks

healingrevivalist said...

I like being filled with the Spirit more than eating. I didn't realize it fully at the time when I heard it, but your message on fasting being about relationship with God is so good.

fabieoulous said...

beautifully written...this is true...

Skywalker said...

wonderful parallels. Thanks!