New Wine of the Spirit – Post 2

Day one of sobriety.  Sleeping last night was a little tough.  I fell asleep easily but woke up around 3:30am and found myself with racing thoughts and restlessness.  I opened my bible and was led to two scriptures:

So it was, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-Brith their god.  Thus the children of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies… -Judges 9:33-34

The Israelites returned to idolatry.  They returned once they forgot what the LORD had done for them.

Alcohol is my enemy and my idol.  It is out to destroy me.  A few years back one of the first dreams the Lord gave me as an adult believer was of the Apostle Paul coming to me and saying, Lest you forget!”  God soon after delivered me from my enemy alcohol and I remained sober for a good 9 months or so.  I believe in the dream I was being warned to remember the deliverance the Lord would give me, and in that to remember the goodness and providence He would provide me.

Towards the end of my 9 month sobriety streak I started struggling with extreme doubt and unbelief which ultimately led to depression.  I do believe now this was spiritual warfare and I was under attack badly.  I told myself lies, that I had gotten sober by my own strength.  Pride and anger crept in and I felt I had been deceived.  In an intellectual sense I almost lost my faith entirely.  But my heart did not give up.  Though intellectually I was denying the existence of God my heart held strong to the truth.

In our hearts I believe we all know the truth.  It is our limited understanding that conflicts and drives us to ignore our heart.  Today I humbly push aside my own understanding and listen to my heart.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. -Proverbs 3:5

Yes, it’s easier said than done.  We are intellectual beings and have a hunger for knowledge and understanding.  But if we are honest with ourselves there is a whole lot in this life that we will never fully understand.  I’m being honest with myself and accepting that I don’t have all the answers.  I never did and never will.  But I have no doubt that my heart knows the Truth.

The next verse the Lord showed me was John 15:5.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

In the past couple months I’ve told myself a few times that I would go sober.  These attempts never lasted more than a day or two.  They didn’t last because I was trying to do it on my own, through my own strength.  But my own strength does not have the power to overcome my addiction.  By my own strength I fail again and again.  The only lasting sobriety I have ever found was when I was abiding in Christ.  It is then that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  I cannot do this without Him, and so to Him I ask: “Lord help me!”

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. -John 14:26

Holy Spirit help me, fill me and remind me of the goodness and deliverance of the Lord my God!

**This is a journal entry previously written during my stay in an alcohol abuse treatment center.  I’ll be posting many more in the coming days.  All entries will be linked here.**

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3 thoughts on “New Wine of the Spirit – Post 2

  1. Susan Irene Fox

    Justin, read the intro and #1 along with this entry. Simply wonderful how you use Scripture to buoy yourself in times of doubt. His word and the Holy Spirit uphold us in our time of need. If we let them, they will lift us up when we surrender our stubborn attachment to independence.

    Bless you for your courage, and for the light you shine on others.

    Reply
  2. nopew

    The teaching you give here applies to human life! Though you found it in one form, we all think we can do it on our own, that we are smart or strong or… And we crash when we walk by our sight and not by faith in the One Who loves us and gave Self for us.
    Peace

    Reply

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