Daily Devotional for Saturday June 14, 2014
Dependence So Many Develop on Mind-Altering Drugs
(Psalms 91:3; 2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 2:9)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, someone mentioned a verse in the Bible about pearls and swine. What does it mean and where in the Bible is it mentioned?
ANSWER: Matthew 7:6. These words of Jesus are allegorical and not literal. The "swine" here stand for the unappreciative and worldly; those who belittle the value of what is being offered to them. The swine have no appreciation for either the beauty nor the value of the pearls under their feet. Your life, time, energy, opportunities and abilities are God's "pearls," and we are to be good stewards of His "pearls."
One of the common bonds we have seen throughout the course of human history is the dependence so many develop on mind-altering substances. The incredible drug problem that we face in this country is not a new phenomenon. The use of alcohol has been common by people through the ages. Food has just recently been exposed as a great escape for many. Man learned how to escape the reality of life using drugs and alcohol early on in his existence and the world we live in, in 2004, is no different than at any other time in human history.
To understand why so many people during their life have turned to mind-altering substances like drugs, alcohol, and food, we must first look at WHY. The basic human experience has not changed at all since the Garden of Eden. As children we are affected by those who raise us and our environment. Our lives are shaped in those early years by where we live, learn, and play as well as by all of the people in each area of our life.
As we become young adults we begin making our own decisions, decisions based largely on that foundation laid in our life as children. We begin to experience life on our own, we are old enough to understand more of what life is all about and we begin exploring all of the new feelings and experiences that come with being a young adult.
As we hit our 20s, 30s, and 40s, we become focused on working, earning a living, getting married, and having a family. From 50 and up we start to look at life from a different perspective since our life is now winding down. We tend to focus on health issues, retirement, and ultimately our own death.
Along this journey everyone deals with the death of loved ones and friends, financial problems, where to live, health issues, school and work problems, and relationship conflicts. These are common problems we all face during the course of our life. How we handle these problems becomes the challenge we all have to deal with.
The use of drugs, alcohol, and food is not complicated. Most start out using them as an experiment to see what they are like. This is very common. The fact is, the result of drugs, alcohol, and overeating is that ?high? feeling. That period of time when you seem to escape reality. In reality, you have escaped nothing. You have simply used a substance to alter your mind and in the process, the problems you were facing seem to be gone.
That too, of course, is not true since your problems didn't go away, you simply used a substance to block them out. What has actually happened is you have added to them since any time you are putting alcohol or drugs or excessive amounts of food into your body it has a harmful effect. After using drugs, alcohol, and/or food and getting used to the "escape" or "high" feeling you get, it then becomes an option or choice you can make during times in your life when things are not going well.Unfortunately, many become addicted and it becomes part of their daily life.
The problems with drugs, alcohol, and food are found at every stage of life. The experimentation usually starts out when you are younger. You are with your friends, you take a hit off a joint, or try some alcohol, or take ecstasy, snort some coke, or simply sit down and eat quarts of ice cream. All to see what it is like.
What you are doing is opening the front door of your life and asking the enemy to come inside. You are asking the enemy if he is thirsty or hungry. You are telling him to take his shoes off and relax. You have done to your life the same as if you went and had keys made to your home and passed them out on the street to total strangers.
Addiction mostly occurs in adults. When we think of addiction, we get the mental image of the junkie in the alley or wino. The fact is, most people are functioning addicts. They go to school, they work, they have families, they go to church, yet drugs. alcohol, and/or food are a part of their life. They cannot live without them. When you welcomed the enemy into your life by experimenting with drugs and alcohol and food, you didn't know how difficult it would be to make him leave.
I love you and care about you so much. I want this word today to accomplish two things. First, for young adults, even older adults, DON'T OPEN YOUR LIFE TO THE ENEMY BY EXPERIMENTING WITH DRUGS, ALCOHOL, OR FOOD. The consequences can literally cost you your life!!! Secondly, for those who have used drugs and alcohol or food, STOP. I realize that it is not easy.
Many of you have found out how to use drugs and alcohol or food to ease the pain of life's trials and tribulations. The fact is, you are just compounding them. The only answer to the day to day issues we all have to deal with in life is a personal relationship with Christ. Only though Christ does it all make sense. Only through Christ do we have the hope and strength to carry on through those difficult times in life.
Whatever temporary relief you may get from drugs or alcohol or food is just that . . . temporary. You have not solved the problem, just compounded it. For those who are addicted, get help. Only the power of God can kick the enemy out of your life. But there are many fine Christian-based programs to help you overcome your addiction. God is still in the deliverance business but you first have to want to be delivered.
I will be praying for those who are battling with drugs, alcohol, and/or food in their life. Maybe this is not an issue in your life but is in the life of someone you know. Know that the Bible proclaims, ?No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper!!!!!!? I am praying and believing for deliverance and victory in the lives of those who are bound by drugs, alcohol, and food.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,