When someone testifies they have been delivered from sin, those still struggling wonder why not me?
His Truth: God can do anything.
My truth: It was not easy for me to leave alcohol behind. Alcohol was in my life since before I was born. I am not saying my mother drank when I was in her belly. Though there is a story of how she changed everyone’s licenses so they could buy alcohol before legal age. She was eighteen when I was born.
Satan loves it when sin carries through generations. Patterns and more people to twist and deceive.
He can never win. Jesus ensures the eternal victory.
For us to share in His eternal victory, we must believe by faith not by sight Jesus is all powerful and loves us deeply (2 Corinthians 5:7).
I believe I would not ever have stopped drinking on my own. The sin so steeped in my soul was familiar, comforting, and met a psychological need.
Because God spoke to me, and I mean audibly I heard His voice that one time, NO MORE ALCOHOL. That is the only reason I stopped.
There are no words to describe His power.
Physically, I heard Him. My insides shook like dishes on the table during a mild earthquake. Fear rose, the type of fear the Bible talks about. Reverence, bowing to the ALL MIGHTY GOD OUR CREATOR.
Spiritually, it was THE day I began to surrender my will to Him.
I can remember my thought: I will follow God.
For the next six months, sleep was difficult. Some nights I wondered if my eyes would ever close. I replayed past justifications for drinking wine before bed: relax, forget about the day, sleeeeeep. Oh, I was tired.
I needed to change my bedtime routine. I resolved to drink a glass of fizzy ginger ale before I brushed my teeth. Once in bed, I would pray. Pray for others. Pray for myself to stay away from the wine store, to focus on the ginger ale. Pray for wisdom to understand why He told me stop drinking. Was it really a problem?
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
My husband also stopped drinking. Now Jason does not have the same relationship with alcohol that I did. He could have one beer without wanting two or three more.
I remember a couple times asking him if he wanted me to get him beer. Was I strong enough then to go buy alcohol and NOT drink it? Probably not. Our Sovereign God blocked that temptation through my husband. Jason knew my will was to follow God.
He said, “No, I don’t need alcohol.”
Support does not get better than that when walking away from sin when the place you drank was your home.
I made it through those first six months.
Then one day in the grocery store, I didn’t buy ginger ale. Went about my daily business and entered bedtime with a grateful heart. Perhaps you can say then I was delivered. From that day on, I have no taste for alcohol in my mouth. Those of you who drink or used to know what I mean.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).
So how did I stop drinking?
1) Because Our Sovereign God knew alcohol needed removed from my life
2) By the power of The Holy Spirit who indwells me.
3) By surrendering my will, proclaiming out loud I will follow God.
4) With the wise and consistent support from my husband
5) Prayer, drawing ever so close to Jesus. Asking Him hard questions, telling him how hard it was to stop, trusting He was there with me always.
6) After those first six months, Jesus did reveal all kinds of things that hid beneath alcohol through my writing, prayer, and eventually counseling. Depression returned with a vengeance. When you stop numbing old hurts, they will rise to the surface. For me, I needed to learn to honor my own pain, the pain I pretended wasn’t there for so long.
7) Celebrate victories. This September will be four years without any alcohol. Praise Our Ever Loving Powerful Lord! The smaller victories are important, too. I write about honoring others, peeling back layers, all things He teaches. I consider… when I noticed Jackson’s freckles, when I realized how loyal my husband has been … when I recognized a slow but steady return to childhood wonder in my own heart … all small but impactful victories.
I am here because He saved me. I am here because He wants me here. I speak and write because He told me to. I trust He has plans for the messages He gives me to share.
I pray to Our Lord and Savior Jesus to use this post as a key to unlock others’ sin prisons. I pray Jesus, You will use Your power and Your will to break chains of depression, suicidality, addiction, domestic violence, sex trafficking. Break chains and give Your people protection, Lord. We pray boldly You use those of us willing as vessels to be Your hands and feet. We pray this in Your Holy Name, Amen.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. We all need others along the way. How may I pray for you tonight? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not comfortable leaving comments.
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Have a blessed rest of your Saturday.