I Deserve a Drink
Luke 14:27,33 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple… Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
I clearly recall the justifications I made in college for drinking. As I grew up in a home that did not consume alcohol, I believed it to be a vice of questionable morality, so I had to perform a few contortions of conscience to excuse behavior in which I wanted to engage. It’s harmless… I deserve it… I’m just having fun…
I felt that drinking was wrong for me, but my preference won out, so I was in a perpetual state of holding back on God. I wanted God in my life but I had things with which I was unwilling to part. I wanted God but I also wanted other stuff.
Most of us can identify with this. We like the idea of God. We know of some area in life with which we may need a little help but we do not want to get too crazy with this faith thing. We just want a little God.
Jesus warned us of this kind of thinking. He said that before we decide we want God, we must count the cost. He said this is an all-or-nothing kind of deal in which we need to be willing to sacrifice all that we are to follow him. He was a terrible salesman, telling his audience that following God was just not for everyone. He said following him meant abandoning self.
God of course, always forgives failure and does not demand perfection prior to coming to him, but He does ask that I be willing to abandon myself in pursuit of him. If I insist on holding out on some part of my life which He asks me to surrender, that pursuit will cause some destruction as it distracts me from him.
My point with alcohol is not that it is necessarily evil for everyone. Jesus turned water into wine (one of my favorite justifications back in the day). I am just telling my story, which includes significant destruction due to my use of chemicals.
My point is that God wants all of me. When I hold out in some area, insisting that He not touch that area of life, I am choosing me over God. That one area then inevitably leads me to some destruction as it turns me to self and away from God.
I am using the example of chemicals, but for most, it is some other defect of the flesh. It may be pride, security in money, lust, sexuality, anger, appearance or even a career. Whatever we insist that God not touch will distract us from him, causing us some destruction.
Jesus of course, always forgives our failures. Thankfully, there is always grace and mercy. He does however, insist that if we want to follow him, we consider the cost. God wants all of us.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.