Daily Devotional for Thursday March 23, 2017
It is Spring Break
(1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22; Ephesians 5:18; James 4:7)
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, please watch over me today and keep me from all harm. I look to you for protection from the evil in this world. Father, you know my challenges today. I give them to you. Let me be about your business today, as I know you will be about mine. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!
It is spring break. Young men and women are flocking to places like South Padre Island in Texas, Panama City in the Florida Panhandle, Daytona Beach in Florida, various hot spots in Mexico, as well as places like Jamaica and other beach-front destinations in the U.S. and abroad. While the official reason for these few days away from family and school is "Spring Break," the real reason for going is to let loose and party. Young adults go to Spring Break for three things, SEX, ALCOHOL, AND DRUGS, or what I simply call SAD.
Is it unfair to say that the only reason young adults go to Spring Break is to have sex, drink, and do drugs? Yes, but sadly the statistics over the past decade clearly tell us that is what the vast majority end up doing whether that was their initial goal or not. Even "good kids" who would never think of having sex until they get married, who don't drink, who would never do drugs, find themselves away from home in a far-off place where nobody really knows them, being immersed in a scene that is promoting sex, alcohol, and drugs non-stop, and around other kids who have clearly come to have wild uninhibited sex, drink until they pass out, and take illegal drugs.
It reminds me of that passage of Scripture that says to "flee from temptation." If sex, alcohol, and drugs are not your goal during Spring Break, why would you ever want to put yourself in an environment and around others who clearly have that as their stated desires? Can a young adult go to Spring Break and not have sex, not drink, not do drugs? Of course! However, knowing that is what Spring Break is all about, knowing that is what most young adults go to Spring Break for, if in fact you are not interested in those things why would you go to begin with?
Joseph didn't stand around in the presence of Potiphar's wife who came on to him and wanted to have sex with him. He literally RAN from her. Let's be honest. Joseph was a man of flesh and blood. My guess is Potiphar's wife was probably a gorgeous woman. On top of that, this gorgeous MARRIED woman made it very clear that she wanted to have sex with Joseph. At that point he really only had two choices. Stay and probably fall into sin with this woman, or run from her and honor God. Could Joseph have stayed, tried to reason with her, and not had sex? Of course! However, Joseph knew that he was weak, and rather than try to see how strong he was, got up and ran from temptation.
Listen, every year after Spring Break I get deluged with emails from young men and women who are back home or back in school after Spring Break. Some know the Lord, others don't, but the emails every year are the same. They are riddled with guilt because they ended up having sex with someone. Oh, and this just in, oral sex is sex! Many drank for the first time or did drugs for the first time. Those who have drank and/or done drugs in the past, drank more than ever and did drugs they have never used before while on Spring Break.
It would be bad enough if some guilt and shame were the only aftermath of Spring Break, but those are the ones who got off the easiest from their time of rebellion by indulging in the pleasures of the flesh. Most were dealing with more dire consequences from their sins. Things like unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (some that they will have the rest of their life), girls who had pictures or videos taken of them flashing their bodies, men and some women who got into fights, finances ruined by maxing out credit cards and using funds needed for school, various injuries, auto accidents, are just a few of the real life consequences many young adults had to face after Spring Break.
What clearly drives this sinful, hedonistic behavior during Spring Break is alcohol and illegal drugs. As a matter of fact, let me tell you that well over 90% of the sins I deal with each day in people's lives involve alcohol and/or drugs. Most young adults are not experienced at drinking, and under the influence of alcohol make choices, do things they would never dream of doing while sober. The same goes for the use of illegal drugs. Each drug affects a person in different ways, and young adults on Spring Break using illegal drugs recreationally will have their minds altered to the extent they will make choices, do things that they would never even consider doing if they were not high.
IT IS THE CHOICES YOU MAKE, THE THINGS YOU DO WHILE DRUNK AND/OR HIGH THAT CAN CHANGE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, OR LITERALLY COST YOU YOUR VERY LIFE!!!
*I can guarantee you that almost 100% of the people who email me for prayer each year after Spring Break would not be in the situation they were in if they had not been drinking and/or using illegal drugs.
For those of you who are laughing right now, thinking that I am making a big deal out of nothing, that Spring Break is just harmless fun, let me share with you a recent example from the news to drive home the point that we are talking about something that could literally cost you your very life. A couple weeks ago, a 24-year-old grad student in New York went out on a Saturday night drinking. A few days later they found her dead body in a garbage dump. She had been sexually assaulted, tortured, butchered, killed, and her dead, mutilated, bound body discarded in an empty lot like an old sofa.
As this tragic story has been unfolding, what is known is that this young woman began the last night of her life out drinking with friends. As one bar closed, she went by herself to another bar and was there drinking until it closed at 4 a.m. At some point after leaving the bar in a highly intoxicated state, she was abducted by a sick and demented predator, sexually violated, tortured, and killed. Does a woman who uses poor judgment by getting drunk and being alone at 4 a.m. deserve to be killed? Am I blaming this woman who was killed? Absolutely not! However, they become the easy prey these sick and demented predators are looking for.
It is dangerous enough for a woman to be out alone at 4 a.m. When you add being intoxicated or high on drugs, you now have a very dangerous situation where someone could easily lose their life. Young women and men in a strange city or even strange country for Spring Break that are out in the bars in the early morning hours become easy targets for rapists, robbers, and predators of all kinds who are looking for people in a vulnerable state to take advantage of. Being out in the early morning hours, especially drunk and/or high, is very dangerous and can even cost you your life.
I love you and care about you so much. What I am sharing with you today is not meant to keep people from having fun in their life, it is to insure people have fun in their life. Don't ever forget, satan is a liar and his goal is to kill, steal, and destroy...YOU! Satan says having sex outside of marriage is fun. Tell me how much fun it is to be young, not married and having the responsibility of caring for and raising a baby, or how much fun it is to have a STD for the rest of your life, or how much fun it is to deal with all the emotions of being involved with a person sexually you are not committed to for life in marriage, or how much fun it is to carry the guilt of knowing you are living in rebellion to God by having sex outside of God's plan for marriage.
Satan says getting drunk and high are fun Tell me how much fun it is to drink or get high and start saying and doing things you would never do with a clear mind, or how much fun it is to have a hangover or the hard "down" from being high, or how much fun it is to get a DUI, or how much fun it is to get sick and throw up all over the place, or how much fun it is to wake up and not remember what you did the night before, or how much fun it is when you get into bondage to alcohol and/or drugs and need it every day.
Satan uses illicit sex, drinking, and illegal drugs to destroy lives at every age, especially young adults who get caught up in these activities before they really understand life or how dangerous they are. Spring Break has become that time of the year when satan tempts many good kids who are away from home and in an environment where they can easily have sex, drink, do drugs without anyone knowing. Another lie, since God knows! Spring Break has become a trap to lure young adults into the world of illicit sex, alcohol, and drugs under the guise of just having fun when engaging in these activities can bring you great harm, destroy, and even cost you your life.
I will be praying for you today, especially those young adults preparing to go to Spring Break in a few weeks who are reading these words. God loves you so much. He only wants the best for your life. He has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. That plan and purpose will only unfold as you yield your life to Him. God gave you life and life abundantly The lie of this world is that to have fun you have to engage in acts of rebellion to God. In reality, those acts of rebellion aren't fun at all, they are harmful.
There are tons of things young adults can do to have true fun that don't include acts of rebellion against God. In these last days when the lie has been told so long and so loud, and most young adults have fallen for the lies of the satan that enjoyment is found in sex, alcohol, and drugs, I am praying that those young men and women who know the Lord will take a stand for Christ this Spring Break. You can show your peers that you can still have fun without having sex, you can still have fun without alcohol, and you can still have fun without doing drugs. This Spring Break, I pray there will be plenty of girls (and guys) gone wild for Jesus!!!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,