Prov 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.”
Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
This is an exhortation to not be a drunkard. Here we have several problems that arise from being drunk.
“Wine” is the Hebrew noun YAYIN, יַיִן that means, “wine or even drunkenness.”
We have noted YAYIN in Prov 4:17 in regard to the evil company we are to avoid, because they perform all kinds of wickedness and violence, and in Chapter 9, Vs. 2, 5, specifically for the temptress / adulteress woman, (a personification of Satan and his cosmic system), who tries to lure us into a lifestyle of sin and lasciviousness.
Here we see that the wine is a “mocker,” spelled variously as LETS, LUTS or LIYTS, which speaks to the controlling nature that wine, when drank in excess, has over the soul. We will see more of this below in the Doctrine of Drinking.
Then we have “strong drink,” the Noun SHEKAR, שֵׁכָר that means, “strong drink or an intoxicating drink, usually understood as some kind of beer.” This is the first time we have seen this word in Proverbs. It is derived from the verb SHAKAR that means, “to be drunk.” SHEKAR refers to any fermented beverage produced by grain, fruit, or honey. Beer was a common beverage throughout the ancient Near East and was made from fermented barley, but this word represents both beer and other alcoholic beverages other than wine. Interestingly the “strong drink” of that day has an alcoholic content 7-10%, compared to today’s alcohols that contain anywhere from 40-100% alcohol content.
Of its 23 occurrences in the Old Testament, 21 are paired with YAYIN or wine. Its pairing with wine is used to denote all other intoxicating beverages. Thus, the noun seems to represent the totality of intoxicating beverages, exclusive of wine.
SHEKAR was used legitimately in two ritual contexts. It is found in the course of presenting the daily offering in Num 28:7, and it was to accompany the lamb which was to be sacrificed. Likewise, during a time of celebration, it was to be poured out.
But here, SHEKAR is said to be a “brawler,” the Qal active Particle of HAMAH, הָמָה that means, “to roar or make an uproar.” So, “brawler” here is not necessarily someone who gets into a physical fight or wrestling match with another, but in the sense of someone who gets angry and starts to scream and shout, and / or argue loudly, just as the adulteress woman was of Prov 7:11; 9:13.
Combined, “wine is a mocker, and strong drink is a brawler,” indicates an addiction, or at least the mental incapacitation which accompanies drinking, as will also be noted in Prov 21:17; 23:19-21; 31:4-5.
In the second stanza, we have two warnings about drinking too much and becoming drunk, as it says, “and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.”
“And whoever is intoxicated by it” is WE KOL SHAGAH BO, that literally says, “and is totally straying or in err because of it,” where SHAGAH means, “to stray or be in err.” It is an idiom for intoxication or being drunk, where the root meaning tells us that being drunken means we are straying away from our fellowship with God, which means we are sinning and in error of our Christian walk.
Drinking does not accomplish this, as Prov 3:10 told us that wine and beer function as symbols of prosperity and the good life, as we will see in our doctrine on drinking, but drunkenness does.
Waltke notes, “The proverb protects itself against contradicting this favorable side of wine and beer by restricting it to the inebriated.” (New International Commentary)
Then the second warning tells us that the person who gets drunk “is not wise,” LO CHAKAM. Therefore, when we are drunk, we are not cycling Bible doctrine in a right way.
Many think they can get drunk on alcohol or get high on drugs and still cycle doctrine. They are wrong. You may be able to speak about God and doctrine, but you are absolutely out of fellowship at that time and are performing at best human good, which has no intrinsic value. And because you are under the total control of your sin nature, error and deception will inevitably creep into your discussions about God and the Bible while drunk or high.
Waltke notes, “The drunkard lacks consciousness and self-control, and in dissolute madness breaks the bounds of sanctity, morality and propriety.” (New International Commentary)
Therefore, this proverb warns us not to get drunk or high because the arrogance that mocks others is antithetical to Biblical wisdom that lies in folly’s heart, which destroys both wisdom and life. It also warns against trying to reason with drunkards, since they will either mock or rage against wisdom, Prov 26:4; 29:9, and therefore it is better to wait until they are sober. Finally, the wise person tries to anticipate the consequences of their actions and avoids over-indulgence, recognizing that trouble usually accompanies drunkenness, Prov 23:20f.
Therefore, this leads us to the:
“Doctrine of Drinking.”
Drinking alcohol is not forbidden in Scripture, but drunkenness is forbidden and condemned, and is described as a sin. For the believer, it indicates immoral degeneracy under the category of chemical sinning. Eph 5:18 emphatically prohibits drunkenness and the lifestyle of the drunk, as well as drug addiction.
Both the Old and New Testaments contain many examples and commands against excessive use of alcohol and drunkenness. Drunkenness is listed as one of the works of the flesh in Gal 5:21. That means it is the result of the undisciplined, indiscriminate use of alcohol. Jesus warned his followers not to be drunk in Luke 21:34.
Paul told the Corinthian church in 1 Cor 5:11, to “not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but cannot control his or her drinking.” This refers to people who will not face up to or will not even try to overcome drinking problems, not people who are working on and overcoming their problems. Likewise, no one who abuses alcohol should be ordained in the ministry of Jesus Christ, 1 Tim 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7. If a minister drinks, it should be in moderation.
In regard to the severity of God’s thoughts regarding those who consistently get drunk, the Bible says that drunkards will not enter the kingdom of God, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:21, which is speaking about traits of the unbeliever, because we know that the believer, regardless of his sins, cannot lose his salvation, John 10:28-29; Eph 2:8-9.
Throughout the Bible, God criticizes those who are “heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,” Isa 5:22, (as we may call them Chug-a-lugers, or Beercules), as excessive drinkers are committing evil, Prov 23:20-21, Isa 28:1-8, and those who “linger over wine” and spend a great deal of time in drinking, will find all kinds of woe, sorrow, and trouble, Prov 23:29-35.
Wine is often linked with pleasure or prosperity in the Old Testament, Psa 104:15; Prov 3:10; Ecc 10:19, and was a normal part of feasts, as well as being used as a drink offering when worshipping the Lord, Ex 29:40; Lev 23:13; Num 15:5, 7, 10; 28:14.
In fact, Paul instructed the young Pastor Timothy in 1 Tim 5:23 that drinking wine in moderation is not sinful and that there are medical benefits from it. Therefore, we see that drinking alcohol in moderation is permissible, but alcohol in the sense of drunkenness and dissipation is forbidden. The fact that the Bible has a lot to say about drinking proves that drinking has long been an issue in history.
By drinking, you are not going to lose your salvation, it will not put you in hell, it is not sinful, and it is good under certain circumstances. But for those who had or have personal problems with drinking, it will cause you many difficulties.
Excessive habitual use of alcohol by the believer is detrimental to your body, soul, and your spiritual life:
- The presence of large amounts of alcohol in the body changes the character and the personality of the drinker. One of the most serious problems of being a drunk is irreversible mental deterioration.
- It destroys your spiritual life, your relationship with other people, your physical health, and many other things.
- Being drunk, you cannot execute God’s Plan for your Life, making you a loser believer.
- You become involved in immoral degeneracy and cannot be distinguished from an unbeliever.
Even though people use alcohol to get a high, it is actually a depressant and is chemically related to the ether used to put people to sleep. It dulls one’s reactions and even one’s conscience. As a depressant, alcohol cooperates with the various characteristics of the sin nature to lower standards of resistance in all categories of sin. When you are drunk your integrity, judgment, and honor are gone.
God uses several Bible characters to condemn drunkenness and show some of the problems it can create.
In Gen 9:20-23, the first time YAYIN or “wine” is used in Scripture, we see that Noah got drunk, (the Hebrew verb is SHAKAR, which also is used for the first time), from wine and took off his clothes as he fell asleep in his tent. His son Ham saw him naked and then went and told his two brothers, Shem and Japheth. In the ancient world, seeing one’s father naked was a breach of family ethic and the sanctity of the family would be destroyed as the strength of the father was made a mockery. Interestingly, this scene is a parallel to Adam and the woman in the Garden of Eden, who sinned, as demonstrated through their nakedness, with a resultant curse placed on future generations.
SHAKAR, שָׁכַר, meaning, “to be or become drunk,” is a verb that is also used metaphorically and indicative of either moral failure or coming Divine wrath. In addition, it is used as a metaphor for being powerless, unable to control oneself, or coming to a point of mental stupor.
We also see Lot in Gen 19:32-36, where as a result of getting drunk, his daughters committed incest with him. In addition, we see others like wicked Nabal, 1 Sam 25:36 39, David getting Uriah drunk, 2 Sam 11:13, Absalom waiting for Amnon to get drunk to kill him, 2 Sam 13:28, Belshazzar receiving the writing on the wall after getting drunk, Dan 5:2, and the entire Northern Kingdom headed by Ephraim being drunkards and receiving God’s discipline, Isa 28:1. So, drunkenness is a handicap to all, especially to those in authority, in both temporal authority, Prov 31:4-5, and spiritual authority, 1 Tim 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7.
Excessive use of alcohol leads to crime, suicide, divorce, traffic accidents, economic and industrial losses, loss of health, poverty, national disaster, and for the believer it destroys your spiritual life. It is a depressant which lowers inhibitions, dulls reflexes, destroys common sense, hampers good judgment, and stimulates mental attitude sins. Drunk drivers kill, drunk lovers abuse, drunk leaders lose integrity, and drunken women are seduced.
Drunkenness produces more than impulsive behavior and social tragedy; it also produces many diseases. Excessive alcohol affects the brain in many ways, including cerebral hemorrhage and delirium tremens. And “chug-a-lugging” is a sure way to kill yourself by anoxia, (inadequate oxygen reaching your brain or body tissue). It also attacks the liver, and one may suffer paralysis of the eyes, an unbalanced walk, and even coma can occur. All in all, it lowers resistance to sin, increases the desire to lie, destroys brain tissue, attacks the heart muscle, causes high blood pressure, and destroys the liver.
The Bible gives no encouragement and no excuse for excessive drinking. While drinking in moderation is permitted, there are many believers who cannot do so. For the believer who cannot or will not drink in moderation, he should avoid the use of alcohol except in medicine. When in doubt, abstain; for too much alcohol is toxic and detrimental to both the body and the soul.
1 Thes 5:6-8, “So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, and be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
See also: 2 Tim 4:5; 1Peter 1:13; 4:7.
Parts of the following outline and definitions are taken and adapted from the Mayo Clinic website regarding alcoholism at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcoholism/basics/definition/con-20020866.
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive condition that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect that results in physical dependence, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you cannot consistently predict how much you will drink, how long you will drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. There are two types of excessive drinkers: those that drink large amounts in a short period of time, and those that drink constantly for days, both are considered alcoholics.
There is also another classification called “problem drinking.” It is possible to have a problem with alcohol, even when it has not progressed to the point of alcoholism. This may not be classified as alcoholism, but would also be counter to God’s Word and the mandates to not be a drunkard. Problem drinking means you drink too much at times, causing repeated problems in your life, although you are not completely dependent on alcohol. This would include, “binge drinking.”
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking where a male consumes five or more drinks in a row, or a female downs at least four drinks in a row. It can lead to the same health risks and social problems associated with alcoholism. The more you drink, the greater the risks. Binge drinking, which often occurs with teenagers and young adults, may lead to faster development of alcoholism.
If you have alcoholism or you have a problem with alcohol, you may not be able to cut back or quit without help. Denying that you have a problem is usually part of alcoholism and other types of excessive drinking.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism, you may:
- Be unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Feel a strong need or compulsion to drink.
- Develop tolerance to alcohol, so that you need more to feel its effects.
- Drink alone or hide your drinking.
- Experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and shaking, when you do not drink.
- Not remember conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as a “black out.”
- Make a ritual of having drinks at certain times, and become annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned.
- Be irritable when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol is not available.
- Keep alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work, or in your car.
- Gulp drinks, order doubles, or become drunk intentionally to feel good, or drink to feel “normal.”
- Have legal problems or problems with relationships, employment, or finances due to drinking.
- Lose interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you pleasure.
If you binge drink or have other problems with alcohol, you may have many of the signs and symptoms above, although you may not feel as much of a compulsion to drink compared with someone who has alcoholism. Also, you may not have physical withdrawal symptoms, when you do not drink. But this pattern of drinking can still cause serious problems and lead to alcoholism. As with alcoholism, you may not be able to quit problem drinking without help.
If you have ever wondered whether your drinking crosses the line into problem drinking or alcoholism, ask yourself these questions:
- If you are a man, do you ever have five or more drinks in a day?
- If you are a woman, do you ever have four or more drinks in a day?
- Do you ever need a drink to get you started in the morning?
- Do you feel guilty about your drinking?
- Do you think you need to cut back on how much you drink?
- Are you annoyed when other people comment on or criticize your drinking habits?
If you answer yes to even one of these questions, you may have a problem with alcohol.
Causes of Alcoholism:
Alcoholism is influenced by genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors that have an impact on how it affects your body and behavior. The process of becoming addicted to alcohol occurs gradually, although some people have an abnormal response to alcohol from the time they start drinking. Over time, drinking too much may change the normal balance of chemicals and nerve tracks in your brain associated with the experience of pleasure, judgment, and the ability to exercise control over your behavior. This may result in your craving alcohol to restore good feelings or remove negative ones. Nevertheless, alcoholism stems from the individual’s volition. They choose to drink in excess. It is a volitional responsibility.
Risk factors for alcoholism include:
- Steady drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period or binge drinking on a regular basis can produce a physical dependence on alcohol.
- Age. People who begin drinking at an early age are at a higher risk of problem drinking or physical dependence on alcohol.
- Family history. The risk of alcoholism is higher for people who have a parent or other close relatives who have problems with alcohol.
- Depression and other mental health problems. It is common for people with a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder to have problems with alcohol or other substances.
- Social and cultural factors. Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly could increase your risk of alcoholism. The glamorous way that drinking is sometimes portrayed in the media also may send the message that it is OK to drink too much. Drinking is an acceptable social drug, which makes is easy to abuse.
- Mixing medication and alcohol. Some medications interact with alcohol, increasing its toxic effects. Drinking while taking these medications can either increase or decrease their effectiveness, or even make them dangerous.
Alcoholism is chemical dependency guaranteed to destroy your life and the life of others with whom you associate. Over a period of time, alcohol abuse alters brain-cell function, induces nerve damage, shrinks the cerebral cortex, imbalances the hormonal system, depresses your central nervous system, and damages vital organs. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your thoughts, emotions, and judgment.
Scientists have also found that repetitive alcohol abuse wreaks a certain common havoc on the psyche that is perhaps even more insidious than the damage sustained by the liver, the heart, and other vital organs. Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination, and vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma or death. In some people, the initial reaction may be stimulation, but as you continue to drink, you become sedated.
Physiological signs of intoxication include slurred speech, lack of coordination, unsteady gait when walking, euphoria, depression, and emotional instability.
Psychological signs of intoxication include mood change, irritability, loquaciousness (talkative), impaired attention.
Excessive drinking can reduce your judgment skills and lower inhibitions, leading to poor choices and dangerous situations or behaviors, such as: motor vehicle accidents and other types of accidents, domestic problems, poor performance at work or school, and an increased likelihood of committing violent crimes.
During early and middle stages, alcoholics may be able to function, but their productivity will be progressively hampered; their psychological disequilibrium will magnify small problems and render them unable to cope effectively with stress. This altered state of psyche will prevent them from seeing the reality of a situation and thwart the normal process of emotional maturing that enables people to understand and learn from lessons of experience. The condition of alcoholics changes them into people who think, act, and feel differently than they should. If you have problems with alcohol, you are more likely to also have problems with other substances.
Health problems caused by excessive drinking can include:
- Liver disease. Heavy drinking can cause alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. After years of heavy drinking, hepatitis may lead to irreversible destruction and scarring of liver tissue (cirrhosis).
- Digestive problems. Heavy drinking can result in inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), as well as stomach and esophageal ulcers. It also can interfere with absorption of B vitamins and other nutrients. Heavy drinking can damage your pancreas, which produces hormones that regulate your metabolism and enzymes that help digestion, and lead to inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
- Heart problems. Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure and increases your risk of an enlarged heart, heart failure, or stroke.
- Diabetes complications. Alcohol interferes with the release of glucose from your liver and can increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This is dangerous if you have diabetes and are already taking insulin to lower your blood sugar level.
- Sexual function and menstruation. Excessive drinking can cause erectile dysfunction in men. In women, it can interrupt menstruation.
- Eye problems. Over time, heavy drinking can cause involuntary rapid eye movement (nystagmus), as well as weakness and paralysis of your eye muscles due to a deficiency of vitamin B-1, (thiamine).
- Birth defects. Alcohol use during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, resulting in giving birth to a child who has physical and developmental problems that last a lifetime.
- Bone loss. Alcohol may interfere with the production of new bone. This can lead to thinning bones, (osteoporosis), and an increased risk of fractures.
- Neurological complications. Excessive drinking can affect your nervous system, causing numbness and pain in your hands and feet, disordered thinking, dementia, and short-term memory loss.
- Weakened immune system. Excessive alcohol use can make it harder for your body to resist disease, making you more susceptible to illnesses.
- Increased risk of cancer. Long-term excessive alcohol use has been linked to a higher risk of many cancers, including mouth, throat, liver, colon, and breast cancer. Even moderate drinking can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Alcohol abuse and cigarettes are one of the worst possible combinations, greatly increasing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Isa 5:11, “Woe to those who rise up early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, and who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them.”
Rom 13:13-14, “Let us behave decently (walk properly) as in the day time, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and debauchery, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”
Alcoholism and Your Volition:
Alcoholism is defined as a diseased condition due to excessive use of alcohol, although due to its cause of many physical ailments, which we have noted above, this may be an appropriate classification, but the problem with this definition is that it ignores the reality that no one ever takes a drink apart from their own volition. People drink or do drugs, because they want to do it. All sin is a result of human volition.
The Greek word ASOTIA in Eph 5:18, which is translated dissipation, means, “a wild and disorderly lifestyle, excessive drinking as a lifestyle.”
An alcoholic is a person who drinks alcohol habitually and excessively. Therefore, alcoholism is chemical dependence and part of Christian immoral degeneracy, and its effects on the body and the soul are a part of the Law of Volitional Responsibility, and can result in falling under the three stages of Divine discipline.
Alcoholic addiction begins with a series of bad decisions from a position of weakness, the carnal norms and standards of the conscience. Many believers do not make good decisions from a position of strength, because they do not have enough Bible doctrine in their soul to have developed doctrinal norms and standards. If you do not have metabolized doctrine in your soul, you are going to make bad decisions.
The adjective “alcoholic” is defined as, “a person who is addicted to intoxicating beverage.” “Intoxication” may be defined as, “maladaptive behavior due to recent ingestion of alcohol.” Maladaptive behavior includes mocking, brawling, or fighting, (verbally or physically), erring or straying, as we have noted in Prov 20:1, or even impaired judgment and interference with social or occupational functions. These are all bad decisions that result from making a first wrong decision to drink excessively.
Because alcohol blurs effective insight into the way alcoholics look on things, it is often impossible for others to reach them about what their drinking is doing, until they “hit the bottom” or are confronted with a serious problem. Victims are so dependent on alcohol to function or feel well that they feel there is nothing abnormal about their drinking, and they delude themselves, (perhaps one should say, lie to themselves), that they do not have a drinking problem. Many feel this way because they are not derelicts or “Skid Row” types.
Alcoholic dependence as a syndrome is the result of habitual drunkenness, but not the origin or cause. The cause or origin is always volition. Alcoholic dependency is alcohol controlling your life. It is not a disease that forces a person to drink, but a sin or a series of sins, the perpetuation of the sin of drunkenness. It results in disease, but is not the source of disease. The means of alcoholism is the individual’s function under the Law of Volitional Responsibility. Under the law of volitional responsibility, the believer inflicts on himself unbearable suffering through a series of bad decisions from a position of weakness. Those bad decisions come from the carnal norms and standards located in the conscience of the soul.
Volition is the key to understanding the problem of alcoholism, or any chemical sin. It is a matter of volition; you wanted to keep on drinking and you do. It is a matter of self-determination; disease results from it. It is the perpetuation of drunkenness to the point of self-destruction.
Drunkenness is the means of becoming an alcoholic. Drunkenness is a sin; therefore, sin is the source of alcoholism. It is not a disease but a sin, or a series of sins perpetuated on a continual basis. Therefore, when in doubt abstain.
An alcoholic can use his volition to start drinking, until he suffers compulsion. Compulsion is a warning to quit now, abstain, and stay on the wagon for the rest of your life. The believer manufactures the problems of alcoholic dependence through the function of his own volition. Alcoholism is a sin before it becomes a sickness and before it leads to other sins. The sin of drunkenness is intensified in alcoholic dependence. Therefore, to imply that alcoholism is simply a sickness in itself is to ignore its origin in the volition in the soul and its effects under the Law of Volitional Responsibility.
Alcoholism and the Law of Volitional responsibility is a major issue. While the believer becomes an alcoholic, through the use of his or her own volition, there is a point of no return in recovery. Once alcohol dependence exists, there is an irreversible mental deterioration. The blind side of alcoholism is the fact that the alcoholic continues to drink and becomes addictive. His cells are adaptive and his tolerance is gradually increasing. His body is getting ready to betray him. He is going to come to the point of total dependency on alcohol, where his volition is now changed to, “I’ve got to have it; I want it; I cannot live without it.” His body will betray his volition as the tolerance is built up in the cells.
As the drinking increases from the function of human volition, alcohol has a very toxic effect. It disrupts the brain’s chemicals and electrical balances. This results in both psychological and emotional disturbances. Irrationality sets in, so that the person is no longer aware of the physical, mental, and spiritual disasters which have overtaken him. This is where the Law of Volitional Responsibility has one of its greatest illustrations. Disease results from alcoholic dependence, and this disease status is the fulfillment of the Law of Volitional Responsibility. The Law of Volitional Responsibility is taught in the following passages:
Prov 22:8, “He who sows iniquity, reaps trouble; and the rod of his punishment will surely come.”
Hosea 8:7, “They sow to the wind; they reap the whirlwind.”
Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, that will he also reap.”
Col 3:25, “He who does wrong will receive the consequences of that wrong and with God there is no partiality.”
Under the Law of Volitional Responsibility, self-induced misery is created by the soul’s volition. Hence, the result is wrong thinking, wrong motivation, wrong decisions, and wrong actions.
The Washington Post quoted a recent article in Pediatrics by Northwestern University, professor Linda Teplin and her colleagues, who studied the violent side effects of alcohol abuse in young people, showed just how detrimental alcohol is in leading people to making even further bad decisions and committing violent crimes. The percentage of young people who had alcohol disorders and committed homicide was far greater than those who committed murder and were drug dealers, or those who were gang members, as the chart below depicts.
As the Washington Post put it, “When it comes to crime and violence, alcohol is THE MOST LETHAL SUBSTANCE IN AMERICA.”
H.A. Ironside notes, “Who can tell the agonies, the broken hearts, the blasted lives, the lost souls that have been the result of failure to heed the warning of the opening verse of Proverbs 20? No other vice has so cursed the world and caused such awful misery and suffering as intemperance. Those who laugh at jokes about drunkenness should go out after nightfall through the dark streets of our large cities to see the disastrous results of this vice. The wretched victims of alcohol have been numbered in hundreds of millions; yet Satan has no difficulty in persuading thousands of reckless youths to start on the same fearful road that has lured many to their ruin.” (H.A. Ironside Expository Commentary.)
Since alcoholism originates in the volition of the soul as a sin, it can only be cured by the use of that same volition in the soul. The start is the Rebound technique, followed by a willingness to choose abstinence. Abstinence requires the use of the same volition that started the habitual drinking to the point of alcoholic dependence.
Becoming a Christian alcoholic is a matter of your own volition. Alcoholism is created by your own volition. Alcoholism is created by individual self-determination. When alcohol takes over, the believer is no longer in control; the alcoholic beverage has now taken control. The believer’s volition is in control as long as he or she uses that volition to either abstain or drink in moderation. This is why the Bible teaches that either abstinence or moderate drinking is not a sin.
Calling the condition of alcoholism a disease is not necessarily a cop-out for alcoholics. But when alcoholics become aware of the far-reaching, damaging effects of their condition to their own souls, minds, lives, families, and society, they have more responsibility, not less, for seeking treatment and abstaining from alcohol.
Three Approaches to the Subject of Alcoholism:
- Abstinence: the function of human volition in voluntary self-restraint, refraining from imbibing in alcoholic beverage, or taking drugs. Abstinence is not only commendable but a problem solving device of human volition related to both alcohol and drugs.
- Moderation: the function of human volition in keeping within reasonable and proper limits by avoiding extremes or excessive use of alcoholic beverage. There is no moderation in the use of drugs.
- Drunkenness: the function of human volition in the excessive use of alcoholic beverage, resulting in a state of intoxication or inebriation. It results in loss of control over both physical and mental function.
- Alcoholism must not be solely defined as a disease; for this ignores the volitional cause of this chemical dependence.
- Diseases of all kinds result from perpetual overindulgence and unrestrained use of alcohol. Your life depends upon how you use your volition.
- We must distinguish between cause and effect. Volition is the cause, disease is the effect.
- Alcoholism is a perpetual series of bad decisions from a position of weakness resulting in alcoholic dependence.
- Alcoholic dependence results in both physiological and mental dependence, which obviously destroys the spiritual life.
- Alcoholic addiction results in three categories of very serious problems.
a.) The spiritual problems which are related to Christian degeneracy.
b.) The physiological problems which are related to disease.
c.) The psychological problems which are related to mental illness.
- Two basic solutions are offered by Scripture.
a.) For the unbeliever, the solution is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
b.) For the believer, the solution is the Problem Solving Devices of the Protocol Plan of God.
Eph 5:18-21, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
Alcoholism is Treatable:
Thousands of alcoholics are helped to stop drinking every year. The chances of recovery are good if alcohol abuse or alcoholism is treated in its early or middle stages. Unfortunately, most alcoholics do not receive treatment. Over 90 percent of them will die as a result of their alcoholism. Most of them won’t die directly, as a result of alcohol’s ravages to the organs of their body but to accidents caused by their drinking.
Proper treatment for the alcoholic must be more than a drying-out period and an interlude between binges of drinking. Treatment must be a well-designed program to get the alcoholics back on their feet and started in a new life of sobriety. They must learn how to cope with life and problems without alcohol. If alcoholics continue drinking, most will continue to deteriorate emotionally and physically.
Many alcoholics who recognize they have a problem have great guilt and embarrassment because of their condition. It is very difficult for them to admit they are different from others who can drink and enjoy a little alcohol. It is difficult to give up something that seems so essential to coping and feeling better in their lives.
Alcoholics, like all humans, vary in what moves and motivates them. Relatively few alcoholics stop drinking by themselves. If they do, it is usually related to some personal shock caused by their drinking.
Experience has shown that alcoholism alters rational thinking in most alcoholics as long as they remain drinking. The vast majority of alcoholics simply do not face the reality of their condition and cannot permanently stop drinking without help. Long-term or late-stage alcoholics need professional treatment. Quitting “cold turkey” for these people could cause withdrawal symptoms that could be life-threatening.
The overwhelming preponderance of experience indicates alcoholism is rarely, if ever, totally cured. Most alcohol experts have found, for practical purposes, that once the “addiction switch” to alcohol (or any other addictive drug) is thrown “on,” it rarely returns to “off,” even after years of abstinence from the drug. This is why alcoholics in treatment are educated to call themselves a “recovering alcoholic.” They can never safely return to even moderate social drinking.
All successful drug abuse treatment programs have the same goal: to help drug-dependent people become and remain drug free. It is important to stress drug free. Once people become addicted to alcohol, they are highly susceptible to addiction to all other drugs that work in a similar fashion. Recovering addicts must beware of all potentially addictive substances.
Organizations like AA and their 12-Step Program, and others, have very successful programs that lead to recovery from alcoholism. One such program is the “SMART Recovery” program which provides its members with tools and support that they can use to help them recover from addictions – be it alcohol, or other drugs or negative behaviors. There program is a 4-Point Program® designed to help you overcome your problems with abusing alcohol and quit drinking. It includes:
- Building & Maintaining Motivation – Help you to identify and keep up with your reasons to quit. Why do you want to stop drinking – what will keep you focused on that goal?
- Coping with Urges – Dealing with urges and cravings is important to your recovery. You must learn how to cope with urges to drink alcohol in order to maintain abstinence.
- Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors – People frequently turn to using drugs to either escape from or avoid addressing problems. You need to learn the problem-solving tools to help you manage the various challenges along the way.
- Living a Balanced Life– When you abuse alcohol, your life frequently falls out of balance – you may find yourself opting to drink rather than go to work or school. You may find that things you once enjoyed are not fun anymore. You need to learn the skills necessary to balance both short and long-term goals, and the pleasures and needs that were once out of balance due to drug abuse.
Each of these steps, in conjunction with the application of God’s Word, can lead you to full recovery and spiritual advancement once again.
Drinking and the Laws of Christian Behavior:
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and a member of the Royal Family of God, you have an even higher calling in regard to your conduct and daily walk, compared to the unbelievers of this world. Not only are you obligated to live by the Royal Family Honor Code (RFHC) for the Church Age believer, but you also have no less than four laws of Christian behavior by which you must live, as noted in 1 Cor 8-10. As such, if you have a problem with any category of sin in your life, including drunkenness, you are obligate to overcome that category of sin, and live by the RFHC and the Four Laws of Christian Behavior. If you are drunk on a consistent basis, you are unable to fulfill these laws as part of your Christian walk. Therefore, it is imperative that you overcome the sin of drunkenness within your life by first Rebounding, (1 John 1:9), then relying upon and trusting in the filling of God the Holy Spirit, then consistently take in God’s Word, and finally, consistently apply His Word, including the application of the 11 Problem Solving Devices, the Royal Family Honor Code, and the Four Laws of Christian Behavior. In addition, you need to actively seek out and participate in any appropriate treatment or programs you may need.
In regard to the Four Laws of Christian Behavior, these are important reminders of what your personal responsibility is towards yourself, those around you, and God that should provide motivation to stop drinking and be sober with the filling of the Holy Spirit.
The Four Laws of Christian Behavior:
- The Law of Liberty, 1 Cor 8:4, 8-9.
1 Cor 8:4, 8-9, “Therefore, concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols. We know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and there is no God but one… 8But food will not commend us to God. We are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor are we any better if we do eat. 9Take care, lest this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.”
The Law of Liberty is directed toward self. Biblically the believer has a right to do certain things which are not sinful, and will not tempt the strong believer to sin. The Law of Liberty says that every believer has a right to drink a moderate amount. Yet, in regard to 1 Cor 8, new believers and believers without doctrine only have carnal norms and standards in their conscience. Therefore, the Bible says they have a weak conscience. The weak conscience makes a taboo out of wine and food, which had been sacrificed to idols, in the meat market of the heathen temples. They have set up false criteria for spirituality. A weak conscience substitutes taboos for the doctrinal norms and standards it does not possess.
On the other hand, the enlightened (mature) believer thought nothing about eating and drinking the food and wine from the temple meat market, because there is not a command against it. Nevertheless, the enlightened believer has a responsibility not to offend the ignorant believer, as long as it does not encourage legalism. If it is a new believer, then the liberty of the mature believer could become a stumbling block when the new believer witnesses the mature believer partaking of the meat. Therefore, the mature believer is obligated to abstain from eating the meat in the presence of immature believers, who are not yet enlightened to the liberty that God has given to them in the Church Age. In addition, if the mature believer’s abstinence encourages legalism, then the mature believer has no responsibility to not offend the legalistic believer. In other words, he should eat the meat in their presence to teach them about the freedom and grace they have been given.
In regard to drinking alcohol, if you are in the presence of an alcoholic who cannot control their drinking, then by obligation, you too should not drink, even though you have the right to drink. In addition, if you are drinking in the presence of a non-alcoholic, but legalistic person who believes any drinking is a sin, then you are not under obligation to stop drinking and should use your responsible drinking as a teaching opportunity. Finally, if you are an alcoholic, you should never drink, especially in the presence of new or immature believers.
- The Law of Love, 1 Cor 8:13.
1 Cor 8:13, “Therefore, if food makes my brother to stumble, I will not eat food again, that I might not cause my fellow Christian to stumble.”
The Law of Love is the function of Impersonal Love toward all believers, including legalists. This is impersonal love toward the “weaker brethren.” The Law of Love says to refrain from your liberty as a Christian when it leads a weaker believer astray. The Law of Love avoids offending or putting a stumbling block in front of a weaker believer by doing something legal like eating meat or drinking alcoholic beverage. The Law of Love is generally directed toward new believers who are ignorant of doctrine or toward believers who are distracted by legitimate functions. The only danger in the use of the Law of Love is compromise with legalism. The legalist seeks to establish tyranny over those who drink in moderation.
Therefore, if you are an alcoholic, out of love for your fellow believer, you should abstain from drinking in their presence because your drinking could lead them to commit various mental, verbal, or overt sins, including the sin of judging you wrongly.
- The Law of Expediency, 1 Cor 9:16-23; 10:23.
1 Cor 9:23, “And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.”
The Law of Expediency is directed toward the unbeliever. It says that it is expedient not to drink when witnessing, or when drinking becomes an issue to an unbeliever. There are times when the unbeliever will superimpose certain standards on the believer, and expect him to comply with those standards because he is a Christian. Every believer is a minister of reconciliation and must refrain from doing things, not because they are wrong, but because they prevent some unbeliever from seeing the true issue of salvation.
The Law of Expediency is related to the function of the believer as a witness for Jesus Christ. It is expedient not to drink under certain conditions where the believer is witnessing, because it becomes a stumbling block to the one hearing the gospel. When in doubt, abstain. And remember that your witness is not only with your words but with your life / behaviors.
- The Law of Supreme Sacrifice, 1 Cor 9:1-15.
The Law of Supreme Sacrifice is directed toward God and relates to several of the Problem Solving Devices of the Predesigned Protocol Plan of God, i.e., Personal Love for God the Father and Occupation with Christ. This is the highest law of Christian behavior. It generally applies to mature believers to forsake normal living and legitimate functions in life, in order to serve the Lord in some special way. Paul functioned under this law in 1 Cor 9:1-15.
1 Cor 9:4-6, “Do we not have the right to eat and drink? (Yes, we do!) 5Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife like the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6Or do only I and Barnabas not have the right to refrain from working.”
Paul had the right to eat and drink anything he wanted, get married, and stop working. But he did not because of the Law of Supreme Sacrifice. Under the Law of Supreme Sacrifice a few normal things in life are set aside when they interfere with concentration on a special ministry or leadership function in life.
As Solomon noted in Eccl 2:13, “And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.”
Therefore, let us have the wisdom to abstain when necessary and partake when profitable!
Principles of the Recovery Process for Alcohol Abuse.
The Volitional Responsibility in Regard to Alcohol and Alcoholism:
Recovery from any sin can only begin when we recognize the genesis of the problem. The genesis of alcohol abuse is the Sin Nature’s influence and dominance over our soul. This means the genesis is a volitional issue.
Alcoholism is influenced by genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors that have an impact on how it affects our body and behavior. The process of becoming addicted to alcohol occurs gradually, although some people have an abnormal response to alcohol from the time they start drinking. Over time, drinking too much may change the normal balance of chemicals and nerve tracks in your brain associated with the experience of pleasure, judgment, and the ability to exercise control over your behavior. This may result in your craving alcohol to restore good feelings or remove negative ones.
Nevertheless, alcoholism stems from the individual’s volition. It is a volitional responsibility. It starts by choosing to drink in excess, where over time it can lead to chemical, physical, mental, or habitual dependence. At that point, it may seem like it is not a volitional issue, yet the volition is still the determiner to whether you will continue to drink or not.
Therefore, alcoholic dependence as a syndrome is the result of habitual drunkenness, but not the origin or cause. The cause or origin is always volition. Alcoholic dependency is alcohol controlling your life. It is not a disease that forces a person to drink, but a sin or a series of sins, the perpetuation of the sin of drunkenness. It results in disease, but is not the source of disease.
The means of alcoholism is the individual’s function under the Law of Volitional Responsibility. Under the Law of Volitional Responsibility, the believer inflicts on himself unbearable suffering through a series of bad decisions from a position of weakness. Those bad decisions come from the carnal norms and standards located in the conscience of the soul.
Alcoholism is defined as a diseased condition due to excessive use of alcohol, although due to its cause of many physical ailments, which we have noted above, this may be an appropriate classification. The problem with this definition is that it ignores the reality that no one ever takes a drink apart from their own volition. People drink or do drugs because they want to do it, just as all sin is a result of human volition. The Greek word ASOTIA in Eph 5:18, which is translated dissipation, means, “a wild and disorderly lifestyle, excessive drinking as a lifestyle.” An alcoholic is a person who drinks alcohol habitually and excessively. Therefore, alcoholism is part of Christian immoral degeneracy, and its effects on the body and the soul are a part of the Law of Volitional Responsibility.
Alcoholic addiction begins with a series of bad decisions from a position of weakness, the carnal norms and standards of the conscience. Many believers do not make good decisions from a position of strength, because they do not have enough Bible doctrine in their soul to have developed doctrinal norms and standards. If you do not have metabolized Bible doctrine in your soul, you are going to make bad decisions.
Because alcohol blurs effective insight into the way alcoholics look on things, it is often impossible for others to reach them about what their drinking is doing, until they “hit the bottom” or are confronted with a serious problem. They are so dependent on alcohol to function or feel well that they feel there is nothing abnormal about their drinking, and they delude themselves, (lie to themselves), that they do not have a drinking problem. Many feel this way, because they are not derelicts or “Skid Row” types.
Yet, volition is the key to understanding the problem of alcoholism, or any chemical sin. It is a matter of volition; you wanted to keep on drinking and you do, or you do not want to keep on drinking and you stop drinking. It is a matter of self-determination. Becoming a Christian alcoholic is a matter of your own volition. Alcoholism is created by your own volition. Alcoholism is created by individual self-determination. When alcohol takes over, the believer is no longer in control; the alcoholic beverage has now taken control, which means the Old Sin Nature has taken control of your soul. The believer’s volition is in control, as long as he or she uses that volition to either abstain or drink in moderation.
Therefore, the problem is that drunkenness is the means of becoming an alcoholic. Drunkenness is a sin; therefore, sin is the source of alcoholism. It is not a disease but a sin, or a series of sins perpetuated on a continual basis. If it were a disease:
- It is the only “disease” acquired and continued by an act of the free will.
- It is the only “disease” that is habit forming.
- It is the only “disease” that comes in a bottle.
- It is the only “disease” promoting crime and brutality.
- It is the only “disease” playing a major part in more than half of fatal highway accidents.
- It is the only “disease” that is bought in grocery stores, drug stores, and well-marked retail outlets.
- It is a “disease” that provides the government revenues such as Washington D.C., New York, and Hollywood.
To imply that alcoholism is simply a sickness in itself is to ignore its origin in the volition of the soul and its effects under the Law of Volitional Responsibility. Unfortunately, if you keep on drinking, disease results from it. Diseases of all kinds result from perpetual overindulgence and unrestrained use of alcohol. Your life depends upon how you use your volition.
Avoidance and Recovery from Alcoholism:
An alcoholic uses his volition to start drinking until he suffers compulsion. Compulsion is a warning to quit now, abstain, and stay on the wagon for the rest of your life. Since alcoholism originates in the volition of the soul as a sin, it can only be cured by the use of that same volition in the soul. For the believer, the start of recovery is the Rebound technique, followed by a willingness to choose abstinence. Abstinence requires the use of the same volition that started the habitual drinking to the point of alcoholic dependence.
There are two initial solutions to alcoholism offered by Scripture.
- For the unbeliever, the initial solution is to believe on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- For the believer, the initial solution is the use of the first Problem Solving Device, Rebound,1 John 1:9.
Then there are two approaches to not becoming an alcoholic or to overcome alcoholism.
- Moderation: the function of human volition in keeping within reasonable and proper limits by avoiding extremes or excessive use of alcoholic beverage. There is no moderation in the use of drugs.
- Abstinence: the function of human volition in voluntary self-restraint, refraining from imbibing in alcoholic beverages or taking drugs. Abstinence is not only commendable but a problem solving device of human volition related to both alcohol and drugs.
Thousands of alcoholics are helped to stop drinking every year. The chances of recovery are good if alcohol abuse or alcoholism is treated in its early or middle stages. Unfortunately, most alcoholics do not receive treatment. Over 90 percent of them will die as a result of their alcoholism. Most of them will not die directly as a result of alcohol’s ravages to the organs of their body, but to accidents caused by their drinking.
Proper treatment for the alcoholic must be more than a drying-out period and an interlude between binges of drinking. Treatment should include a well-designed program to get the alcoholic back on his feet and started in a new life of sobriety. He must learn how to cope with life and problems without alcohol. If alcoholics continue drinking, most will continue to deteriorate emotionally and physically.
Many alcoholics who recognize they have a problem have great guilt and embarrassment because of their condition. It is very difficult for them to admit they are different from others who can drink and enjoy a little alcohol. It is difficult to give up something that seems so essential to coping and feeling better in their lives.
Alcoholics, like all humans, vary in what moves and motivates them. Relatively few alcoholics stop drinking by themselves. If they do, it is usually related to some personal shock caused by their drinking. But, the vast majority of alcoholics simply do not face the reality of their condition and cannot permanently stop drinking without help. Long-term or late-stage alcoholics need professional treatment. Quitting “cold turkey” for these people could cause withdrawal symptoms that could be life-threatening.
Organizations like AA and their 12 step program, and others, have very successful programs that lead to recovery from alcoholism. These programs provide their members with tools and support that they can use to help them recover from addictions – be it alcohol, or other drugs or negative behaviors. Another program called the “4-Point Program®” is designed to help overcome the problems with abusing alcohol and quit drinking. It includes:
- Building and Maintaining Motivation – Help you to identify and keep up with your reasons to quit. Why do you want to stop drinking? What will keep you focused on that goal?
- Coping with Urges – Dealing with urges and cravings is important to your recovery. You must learn how to cope with urges to drink alcohol in order to maintain abstinence.
- Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors – People frequently turn to using drugs to either escape from or avoid addressing problems. You need to learn the Problem Solving tools to help you manage the various challenges along the way.
- Living a Balanced Life– When you abuse alcohol, your life frequently falls out of balance. You may find yourself opting to drink rather than go to work or school. You may find that things you once enjoyed are not fun anymore. You need to learn the skills necessary to balance both short and long-term goals, and the pleasures and needs that were once out of balance due to alcohol or drug abuse.
In the Christian way of life, this means you need the “Balance of Residency” in your life, which is: The filling of God the Holy Spirit, plus maximum Bible Doctrine in your Soul ready for Application.
Therefore, each of these steps, in conjunction with the application of God’s Word, can lead you to full recovery and spiritual advancement once again.
As with any recovery from sin, it begins with recognizing what you have done or are doing is a sin, and then turning to God for forgiveness and cleansing of that sin. This is the process called “Rebound,” as noted in 1 John 1:9, which is the first of the 11 Problem Solving Devices, (PSD), found in God’s Word.
The 11 Problem Solving Devices:
- Rebound – Psa 32:5b; 1 John 1:9.
- Filling of the Holy Spirit – John 14:26; 16:12-14; Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16.
- Doctrinal Orientation – Heb 11:1; 1 Thes 4:13.
- Faith Rest Drill – Psa 37:4-5; Rom 4:20; 2 Cor 8:9; Heb 4:1-3.
- Grace Orientation – Eph 3:20; 2 Cor 12:9.
- Authority Orientation – Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-3:6; 2 Cor 10:8; Eph 5:22-24, 33b-6:9; Col 3:18-25.
- Personal Sense of Destiny – Eph 3:16; Phil 4:9; Rom 9:23.
- Personal Love for God the Father – 1 John 4:19; Rom 5:5; 8:28; 1 Cor 2:9.
- Impersonal Unconditional Love for Mankind – John 15:15; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14.
- Sharing the Perfect Happiness of God – John 15:11; Prov 3:13; 1 John 1:4.
- Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ – Eph 3:17; 1 Peter 1:8.
Rebound is the grace function for the believer which accomplishes the following results:
- Restoration to fellowship with God and others.
- Recovery of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Reentry into God’s Power System.
- Recovery from cosmic influence, i.e., Grieving and Quenching the Holy Spirit.
Rebound is the most basic mode of operation for spiritual victory over the Old Sin Nature in the Christian life, and the most important function of the priesthood outside of God’s Power System, (i.e., the filling of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God resident within the soul). Rebound is the basis for executing all the mandates of God related to “yieldedness,” as found in Rom 6:13; 12:1, that is the first step on the road to recovery from drunkenness and alcoholism. Rebound is a part of God’s logistical grace provision for the execution of the Christian way of life.
Without this grace provision, the believer in phase two of God’s plan could not exploit his positional victory over the Old Sin Nature, which was provided by the baptism of the Holy Spirit and subsequent retroactive positional truth. Apart from Rebound, there can be no function for the believer in God’s Power System. Rebound is recovery of fellowship with God or reentry into God’s Power System for the continuation of the Christian way of life, as noted in 1 John 1:3-10. Rebound is the first Problem Solving Device provided by God for the execution of the Plan of God for your life. The filling of the Holy Spirit, (PSD #2), the empowerer and enabler for the spiritual life, can only be recovered after sinning through the Rebound technique.
Five Aspects of Rebound and Recovery:
Name it, 1 John 1:9. God’s Word tells us to “confess” our Sin to God the Father. It never tells us to feel sorry for our sins or even to plead for the forgiveness of our sins, we simply name them to God and faith rest in His Word that says we are “forgiven for those sins and cleansed from all unrighteousness.” He does all the work; we just apply His Word in faith.
Isolate it, Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one come short of the grace of God, that no root of bitterness sprouting up cause trouble, (self-induced misery), and through it many, (other believers), are contaminated.”
Isolation means to leave the sin you confessed to God with God, and not let it fester in your thoughts. If you let the sin fester, you may react in a negative way towards that sin or the reason that you committed that sin in the first place, which can lead to further sins like bitterness and revenge. For example, if you face injustice, you must not react and remain in the status of victimization. The seed of bitterness is planted by unjust treatment. Once you are forgiven of your sins, the danger is not over, because you can get right back out of fellowship by becoming bitter toward others. Isolation means that once you confess your sins to God the Father, you leave it with Him and not allow that sin, or the reason for that sin, to lead you to future sins, as a result of anger, bitterness, vengeance, etc. Confess the sin and move on.
Forget it, Phil 3:13, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, (Spiritual Maturity and Evidence Testing); but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
If you are still bitter, hateful, complaining, vindictive, and have malice in your soul because you have been victimized, then you are so far out of line with the plan of God you are not even in the ballgame. The believer must never handicap himself with regard to spiritual momentum. This is what we do when we do not forget those things which are behind and dwell on our past failures. Recalling past failures can only cause guilt reaction, denial, projection, dissociation, multiple personality disorder, etc. The greatest problem is self-absorption related to guilt. Victimization always sets it off. Therefore, once you confess your sin(s) to God, you need to forget the sin, in terms of not continuing to dwell on it, and realize that you now have a clean slate with God, guilt free to go forward in your fellowship and spiritual walk with him. 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Keep moving, Phil 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Once you have confessed yours sins, you move forward in God’s plan for your life. You do not look back in guilt or shame, other than as an object lesson of life and of mistakes you made that should not be repeated again. Moving forward means the advancement of your spiritual life, Rom 12:1-3.
Stay on the playing field, 2 John 8-9, “Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.” Now that you have a clean slate with God, keep it that way by saying “no” to sin temptations by applying God’s Word to your life, and thereby remaining filled with the Holy Spirit.
As noted above, rebound is the grace function to the believer which accomplishes: Restoration to fellowship; Recovery of the filling of the Holy Spirit; Reentry into the God’s Power System; and Recovery from cosmic influence. It is the first step on the road to recovery from any sinful lifestyle including drunkenness and alcoholism.
Remember, there are four battles fought in the soul, and the believer must be filled with the Spirit to be a winner in these battles.
- The battle of sin, versus the Filling of the Spirit.
- The battle between the outside pressures of prosperity and adversity, versus the Problem Solving Devices.
- The battle of false doctrine in the soul, versus Divine norms and standards in the soul.
- The battle of maladaptive defense mechanisms (e.g., alcohol and drug abuse), versus the Problem Solving Devices.
We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to apply God’s Word to be victorious in these battles. This cannot be accomplished without first naming your sins to God, “Rebounding,” to receive His experiential cleansing. God is perfect and we must operate in His perfection to be victorious overcomers in this life.
You must recognize the reality of the problem before you can understand the function of the Divine solution. Recognizing the reality of the problem means taking the responsibility for your own sins and not blaming them on someone else. When you start blaming other people for what you are, you are a fool. When you have a problem, you do not run to someone else for them to fix it or to get them to gang up against your enemy. When you recognize the reality of the problem yourself, you examine yourself for culpability. Only then can you start to recover! Once you take responsibility for your own sins, then you follow the instructions of 1 John 1:9 and carry on with your spiritual life. There is no problem in the Christian life you cannot personally handle from application of Bible doctrine. But this requires knowledge of doctrine and spiritual growth to the point of spiritual self-esteem. This is the first step to the road of recovery and victory. Step 2 is the faith rest life.
Faith Rest Life
After rebounding, 1 John 1:9; Mat 6:12; 1 Cor 11:31; Psa 32:5; 38:18; Prov 28:13, which results in the Filling of God the Holy Spirit, (PSD #1 and 2), the next phase in recovery from any sinful lifestyle like drunkenness and Alcoholism, is putting your faith in God and Jesus Christ to work. This is called the “Faith Rest Drill,” (PSD # 3).
The faith rest life is a plan designed by God to stabilize your soul mentality when the pressure and adversities of life come upon you. Knowing that God is in absolute control of every circumstance in your life, you therefore respond to adversity with Bible Doctrine rather than react to it with emotion and sin. Reaction is when your emotions take control of your soul. It is when your emotions overwhelm your soul or thinking process and cause you to fall apart and lose control. On the other hand, response requires clear thinking. Response is thought, not emotion, and requires courage and spiritual strength to come to a good doctrinal conclusion and decision about your situation that you then apply or walk in.
“Faith” is the Greek Noun PISTIS and the Verb PISTEUO that means, “faith, trust, trustworthiness, reliability, confidence, assurance, conviction, or belief,” and sometimes it is used for God’s Word – Bible doctrine, cf. Acts 6:7; 14:22, 27; 24:24; Rom 1:12; 10:8; Gal 1:23; 3:5; Eph 4:5; 1 Tim 4:1, 6; 2 Tim 2:18; Titus 1:4; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:3, 20; Rev 2:13.
Heb 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
PISTIS corresponds to the Hebrew term ’EMUNAH, that means, “fidelity and faithfulness.” The related verb form ’AMAN describes a faithful attitude toward another; it is especially used to denote a relationship with God, Gen 15:6; Ex 14:31; 2 Chron 20:20. Faith is also expressed by the Hebrew verb BATACH that means, “to rely on or put confidence in,” as well as by the verb CHASAH, “to seek refuge in.” In both cases God is often the object in whom trust/confidence/refuge is placed or sought.
Our English definition of faith from “The American Heritage Dictionary” includes: “A confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. It is a belief that does not rest on logical proof, (rationalism), or material evidence, (empiricism). It is loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance. It is trust in God and in the doctrines expressed in Scripture.”
Faith is not a passive resignation to life like fate; rather, it is confidence that God will fulfill His promises and will carry out His salvation plan just as it is expressed in the covenant relationship.
Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” Cf. Rom 1:16-17.
According to the Bible, faith is:
- Trust in Jesus’ ability and willingness to meet both physical and spiritual needs, e.g., Mat 8:10; 9:2, 29; 15:28; Mark 10:52; Luke 7:50; 17:19.
- The life made possible by the Spirit in the hearts of believers. e.g., Gal 2:20; Rom 1:8; 2 Cor 5:7; Eph 1:15; Col 1:4; 1 Thes 1:3; 3:5; 1 Tim 6:12.
- The strength of the believer grounded and established by God, Acts 16:5; Rom 4:20; Col 1:23. Therefore, the believer can:
a.) Stand fast in the faith, 1 Cor 16:13.
b.) Be full of faith, Acts 6:5; 11:24.
c.) Be on the road to deeper faith, 2 Cor 10:15; 2 Thes 1:3.
- It contrasts fear, Deut 31:8; Psa 56:11; 1 Peter 5:7; Mark 5:36,“But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”
- It is a conviction that God can fulfill the promises He has made. It is centered in Jesus Christ, the manifestation of God’s Salvation Plan.
- It is the normative expression of the Christian, being obedient towards God and His Word, Rom 16:26. Therefore, we are to:
a.) Live the life of faith, Gal 2:20.
b.) Walk in faith, 2 Cor 5:7.
c.) Offer prayer in faith, James 5:15.
d.) Produce the work of faith, 1 Thes 1:3.
e.) Fight the battle of faith, 1 Tim 6:12.
f.) Obtain the outcome of faith, the salvation of our souls, 1 Peter 1:9.
- Faith is a quality that marks God’s people, even from ancient times. In the great portrait gallery of faith, Heb chapter 11, the writer gives a lengthy series on the old Covenant models of faith. These saints believed God’s promises in spite of the apparent hopelessness of their circumstances. Without seeing the realization of the promises, they lived and died believing that the promised Messiah would one day come, and He did, albeit not in their lifetimes. Nevertheless, faith characterized their lives. They realized that “without faith it is impossible to please (God),” Heb 11:6.
- James cautioned against a “faith” that rests upon an intellectual assent to the truth but lacks a life yielded and obedient to God, cf. James 2:18, 20, 26.
- The basis of faith is the Word of God, and His action in history; thus, faith is directed at God Himself. This concerns not only the subjective dimension of faith but the objective dimension as well.
- God and Jesus Christ are the objects of our faith. This is central to the life lived by faith, John 14:1. Jesus is rightly called the “author, (leader, pacesetter), and finisher, (perfecter), of our faith,” Heb 12:2.
- There is victory in faith, 1 John 5:4‑5, Rom 4:17-21. Having a faithful relationship with God and His Word is greater than any pressure or disaster in life. It is more important than anything in life, whether failures, successes, pressures, or prosperity. With faith in God, we have victory over the things of this life.
1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
Therefore, with faith we trust in God and His Word to empower and enable us to overcome any prosperity, problems, pressures, difficulties, adversities, or disasters in life. Rather than turning to pseudo “fixers” like drugs and alcohol to overcome our problems, when we trust in God and His Word our problems are overcome.
The Faith Rest Drill:
The Faith-Rest Drill is that Problem-Solving Device used by believers, in all dispensations for carrying and using the shield of faith, to protect and defend your soul from the adversities and pressures of life.
Eph 6:16, “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.”
1 Thes 5:8, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
It is designed by God for every believer to deal with every adversity and problem of suffering in this life, but to do so from your own soul filled and empowered with the Word of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit, not from someone else’s human viewpoint counseling.
The beginning of the Faith-Rest Drill is to learn God’s Word so that it becomes a reality in your life. It is the reality of Bible doctrine circulating in your very own stream of consciousness. Then when you know something about God and His Word, you can apply it to your situations. It begins with learning and applying the various promises that God has made to you. Then in faith, you believe God when He makes promises to you, such as Prov 3:5-6; Psa 37:4-5; 1 Peter 5:7. You begin by reaching out to God with your faith and claiming these promises.
Psa 3:5-6, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me. 6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.”
Psa 37:4-5, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”
1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your anxieties on Him; for He cares for you.”
Psa 4:8, “I will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for You Lord only make me to dwell in safety.”
Psa 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of all of them.”
Prov 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Psa 55:22, “Cast all your burdens upon the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
Psa 56:11, “In God I put my trust. I will not be afraid of what man can do to me.”
Deut 31:8, “And the Lord, He it is who goes before you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Fear not, neither be confused.”
2 Cor 12:9, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
But the Faith-Rest Life has far greater implications than just mixing the promises of God with our faith, as there are three spheres of operation involved in the function of the Faith-Rest Life: Faith Mechanics, Faith Functions, and Faith Execution.
- The first sphere of the Faith-Rest Life is Faith Mechanics that has two stages, Heb 4:1-3a.
Heb 4:1-3, “Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, …”
a.) As we noted above, stage one of Faith Mechanics is mixing the promises of God with your faith. That means that you learn the promises of God from His Word and then trust upon them as you face whatever circumstances you are in. You recall what God’s promises are and you rely upon them in your situation.
Mixing the promises of God with faith is designed to stabilize the mentality of the believer under pressure, confusion, adversity, stress, and disaster. Claiming promises is the way new believers and young believers, who have not yet grown up spiritually, can function under the Faith-Rest Life. In time of stress, the believer begins by claiming promises of God and mixing those promises with a weak faith. As the believer grows spiritually, his faith increases.
As a result of stage one of the Faith-Rest Mechanics, you begin to prevent the outside pressures of life from penetrating into the soul. Faith claims the promises of God; faith applies the promises of God; faith takes control of the situation. The increase of the Faith-Rest Life means the increase of control over your soul and your spiritual life.
Abraham used the first stage mechanics, Rom 4:20-21, “Yet, he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, being fully persuaded that what God had promised, God was able to execute.”
When stage one of the faith-rest mechanics is fully operational, the believer fulfills 2 Cor 5:7, “We walk by faith (the Faith-Rest Life) and not by sight (human viewpoint).” This is the utilization of Divine promises in the Bible.
The blessing that comes from claiming God’s promises and utilizing Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness is the basis of entering into this rest. This is a rest of great tranquility of soul in the midst of the greatest adversities in life. This is also a rest of being able to deal with stress from Bible doctrine resident in your own stream of consciousness.
b.) Stage two is called coming to the Doctrinal Rationales that lead to Doctrinal Conclusions that can be applied to your experience. The second stage of the Faith-Rest Mechanics requires a much stronger faith and a greater understanding of the Word of God. It requires a true scale of values in which Bible doctrine has the number one priority in your life. The word of God, communicated by the spiritual gift of your Pastor-Teacher, must have first place in your scale of values if you are ever going to grow up spiritually and live the Faith-Rest Life.
As such, you need cognition of the whole range of Bible doctrine, which gives the Faith-Rest Life an option to meet the stress and pressures of life. Cognition of doctrine results in the development of a stronger faith.
Rom 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing, (positive volition to the intake of God’s Word), and hearing by the word of Christ, (the teaching of the mind of Jesus Christ).”
The Word of God is the thinking of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16. Through the Word, your faith becomes strong and can be developed. Therefore, in this stage, we have the development of a stronger faith through the perception of Bible doctrine. With this perception of Bible doctrine, your faith becomes strong enough to do more than just claim a promise from God.
In the second stage, you begin to claim doctrinal rationales, as your stronger faith now applies doctrinal rationales to experience. This means that you learn more than just the promises of God, you now learn the various aspects about God, who He is and how He operates, from His Word and apply that knowledge in faith to your situation.
Some Principles for Doctrinal Rationales Include:
- The essence of God rationale; Knowing who God is, you can apply any or all of His essence to your situation, e.g., God is Omniscience; all-knowing, therefore, He knows your problem and what you need to overcome it.
- The plan of God rationale; God has a plan for human history and specifically for your life; therefore, He will provide for you needs, because He wants you to continue to walk in His service.
- The policy of God rationale; God is perfect, absolute righteous, and just; therefore, we too must walk in righteousness doing a right thing in a right way. When we do, God will defeat our enemies.
- The a-fortiori rationale; if God can do the greater, He will do the lesser; therefore, God has saved me from my sins; therefore, He will save me from the temptations of my Old Sin Nature, and my enemies.
Rom 8:31-32, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
Jer 29:11, “’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’.”
Therefore, the Faith-Rest mechanics of stage two are as follows: faith applies a doctrinal rationale; faith reaches doctrinal conclusions about God and how God’s Word applies to your situation, and then faith takes control of the situation.
The Faith-Rest Drill has the power to avoid reaction to every injustice, every act of unfairness, and every wrong that has ever been committed against you. It has the power to avoid reaction to all injustices against you, by putting them in the hands of the supreme court of heaven, through faith. The doctrinal rationales result in not only Sharing the Perfect Happiness of God, a Personal Sense of Destiny, and Occupation with the Person of Christ, but also magnificent spiritual strength to survive any adversity.
1 Cor 2:5, “That your faith should not stand on the wisdom of man, but on the power of God.”
2 Cor 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.”
2 Cor 5:7, “Therefore, we walk by faith and not be sight.”
The Faith-Rest Life has the power to avoid reaction to every injustice, every act of unfairness, every wrong that has ever been committed against you, (child abuse, physical abuse, injustices, etc.). It has the power to avoid reaction to all injustices in life by putting them through faith in the hands of the supreme court of heaven.
Psalm 130:5-7, “I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. 6My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. 7O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption.”
The word “hope” in vs. 7, is the Hebrew Verb YACHAL that means, “to wait for, patiently wait, waiting with endurance, hope (confidence expectation), and trust.” This is a key understanding of stage two; Doctrinal Rationales being turned into Doctrinal Conclusions to be applied. The Word YACHAL was originally used for making rope. In the process of making rope, you first start with just a little strand, which is easy to break, but as this little strand is woven in with other strands, it becomes a rope which cannot be broken. Hence, this word meant to be a strand twisted into a great rope, and therefore made strong, and it came to mean, “trust.” Those who wait on the Lord are “those who keep on trusting the Lord.” When you combine the promises of God with the greater truths of His Word in Doctrinal Rationale, you will arrive at YACHAL with Doctrinal Conclusions and have great trust in the Lord and His Word that becomes a gigantic, powerful rope which nothing can break.
Micah 7:7, “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait, (YACHAL), for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
Psa 119:43, “And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I wait for Your ordinances.”
Psa 119:74, “May those who fear You see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in Your word.”
Psa 119:81, “My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word.”
Psa 119:114, “You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.”
Psa 119:147, “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” Cf. Psa 33:18; 130:5; Lam 3:21, 24; Isa 51:5.
- The second sphere of the Faith-Rest Life is Faith Function. There are two categories of Faith Function.
a.) The first category of Faith Function is the Plaintiff Function before the Supreme Court of heaven as a victim of injustice, real or imagined. This is when you take your problems to God and ask for Him to deal with them or resolve them in some way.
Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your cares, (anxieties, stresses), upon Him, because He cares for you.”
You put your problems with people and circumstances into the Lord’s hands and trust in Him to resolve them. This means appealing to the Supreme Court of heaven and avoiding any reactionary sin on your part by: complaining, vilification, denial, projection, self-justification, blaspheming, gossip, slander, maligning, judging of others, malice.
We should never react to unfairness or injustice in our life and try to solve our problems in vengeance without God. If we do, we become spiritual losers. Instead, we are to turn our problems over to God, seek His Word for solutions, and wait on God and His timing to receive the right action to take, if any at all.
When you take something to the supreme court of heaven through the function of the Faith-Rest Life, you must leave it there, and not take it back for your own revenge. Unfortunately, many people want to protect their self-image and perceived honor. Their self-image is more precious to them than the reality or facts of the case. Believers will do anything to protect their self-image. Therefore, instead of turning things over to the Supreme Court of heaven and trusting in God, they take matters into their own hands, which typically leads to sin. This is one of the great manifestations of scar tissue in the soul.
The great mistake is taking your case to the Supreme Court of heaven and simultaneously to take the case out of the hands of God by trying to do something about it yourself. When you do, you become liable for triple compound Divine discipline.
- You are judged by the Supreme Court of heaven for your own sin; some verbal or overt sin.
- You are judged for the mental attitude sin.
- Judging belongs to the Supreme Court of heaven, not to you. If you judge others, every sin mentioned, whether true or not, is put on you, and your judgement of them will fall upon you.
Mat 7:1-2, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
Therefore, it is imperative that we turn it over to God and then faith-rest in God, that He will deal with the issue one way or another, whether we see the results or not.
b.) The second category of Faith Function is Faith Correlation with other Problem Solving Device. This is the key to why the Faith-Rest Drill should be applied within your soul. It is defined as the harmonious combination, coordination, and interaction of the functions of the PSD’s on the defense line of the soul to achieve inner contentment, peace, and happiness regardless of the situation you are facing. For example, if you have sinned, that is a problem, and you are out of fellowship with God. Therefore, you are to apply PSD #1, confession of sin, which leads to PSD # 2, regaining fellowship with God through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Now you engage in the spiritual life once again, and can be rightly oriented towards God’s Word and claim promises, as well as come to doctrinal rationales regarding your situation. Then you can be grace oriented towards others, PSD #5, and know that you have a destiny in God’s plan for your life, PSD #7. In addition, you can apply any of the other PSDs to your situation, so that you have stability of soul and a Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA) as you trust in God and have strength to refute temptations to sin, Psa 16:11; 146:5; Prov 3:13; John 15:11; Phil 4:6-7, 11; 1 Tim 6:6-8; Heb 13:5-6; 1 Peter 1:3-9.
Psa 16:11, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
- The third sphere of the Faith-Rest Life is Faith Execution. This means that you know and understand the first and second spheres of the Faith-Rest Life, and now apply them. But in order to apply them, you must have:
True humility and the avoidance of self-absorption. Humility is authority orientation, grace orientation, objectivity, and teachability. It is the antithesis of arrogance, which transfers reality from self-centeredness and self-absorption to grace orientation and doctrinal orientation, James 4:6, 10; 1 Peter 5:5; Num 12:3. Humility is the quality or status of being humble; a modest sense of one’s importance in life, Rom 12:2-3; Prov 29:23; Luke 14:11; .
Prov 11:2, “When arrogance comes, then comes dishonor; but with the humble is wisdom.
A heart of yieldedness to God the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, (see above doctrine on Yieldedness).
Christian professionalism; accurate comprehension and use of God’s Word and the Problem Solving Devices. It is the academic understanding and mechanics of the Plan of God. It is cognition of the spiritual skills and how they combine to provide spiritual power and production of Divine good. Professionalism means learning and accepting the whole realm of doctrine.
Integrity, the spiritual strength to apply God’s Word and the PSDs to make the right choices; good decisions from a position of strength in the application of the Faith-Rest Life. Integrity is the use of spiritual power from metabolized Bible doctrine to execute God’s will for your life. While professionalism develops the ability to conceptualize Bible doctrine, integrity or spiritual strength from doctrine executes these things in glorifying God. Professionalism without integrity is arrogance. Integrity without professionalism is emotionalism. The application of metabolized Bible doctrine to stress conditions demands the coordination of professionalism and integrity on the foundation of humility.
“God gives the birds their food, but he does not throw it into their nests.” We are to use the mind and body He has given us, but we are to do it in co-operation with Him. Our trust in is Him, not in self-effort and certainly not in government.
Distractions to the Execution of the Faith-Rest Life.
There are several humanistic distractions to the believer from living the Faith-Rest Life, which include:
- Self-absorption from the function of the arrogance complex of sins.
- The heart being overrun and put out of action from lack of use of the Eleven Problem Solving Device, to act as an instant reaction force to prevent the outside pressures of adversity becoming the inside pressures of stress in your soul.
- The dominance of the soul by the emotional complex of sins.
- The activation of the demand syndrome, in which we expect our wishes, (often our lust pattern of the sin nature), to be met and gratified.
- Failure to take the responsibility for your own decisions. Therefore, you assign the blame for your bad decisions from a position of weakness to other people or other circumstances.
- Loss of reality through denial and taking your own flaws and projecting them on other people and then blaming them for your problems.
- Rejection of authority and constant lust for change. The lust for change through human ability rejects both the grace provision and the grace policy of God, and ignores the two power options of the Plan of God, (the filling of the Spirit and cognition of Bible doctrine).
Compare: 1 Peter 5:5-9.
Fear sees the problem; faith sees the solution. You do not solve problems with a problem, (i.e., drunkenness, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc.). Believers occupied with the problem inevitably end up trying to solve a problem with a problem. Believers who go to the Problem Solving Devices end up solving the problem.
You solve problems with a Divine solution. Divine solutions are the only solution; human solutions are no solutions. The decisions we make today determine our future tomorrow. Making decisions in arrogance is reaction.
No victory won in arrogance is a victory won. We do not need to be right; we need to be right with the Supreme Court of heaven.
God makes war against the arrogant believer. Humble believers are blessed by God.
God is infinitely greater than His creatures. Therefore, God’s knowledge is infinitely greater than human knowledge. This fact escapes those who are preoccupied with self.
Therefore, you are to trust in God and His Word, utilizing the faith-rest drill of the Faith-Rest Life, for all of your problems, thereby avoiding the self-arrogance of self-problem solving, which leads to all kinds of sins, including drunkenness and drug abuse. Instead, you need to learn the Faith-Rest Life God has designed for you, so that you can recover from drunkenness, alcoholism, or drug abuse, and avoid falling back into their trap, thereby walking in God’s righteousness for your life for true healing and recovery, for true inner peace, happiness, and contentment.
God is perfect. Perfect God can only create a perfect plan. This perfect plan is designed for imperfect believers. The Faith-Rest Drill is a perfect Problem Solving Device, but you must use the whole drill, James 2:21-26.