Written by: Paul Kingsbury
Issue: August Blogs
II Timothy 2:26, “And that they may RECOVER themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
It is abundantly clear in the Bible that God wants us to abstain from alcoholic beverages and mind-altering drugs. There is not one example of someone who did anything productive while drunk. However, God’s command to be sober is referring to more than just the absence of alcohol, but rather to someone who has come back to their senses. The word “recover” in the above mentioned passage comes from the Greek word “ananepho” which literally means “to return to soberness.” From this definition we may draw the conclusion that recovery is a return to your senses. God is saying, “Get sober again.” Though not directly referring to mind-altering drugs, they are certainly included in this statement. Have you ever made a vow not to drink or use drugs? Perhaps becoming aware of the blessings of sobriety will motivate you to make this decision. If you have already made this vow, knowing these blessings will strengthen your resolve to live a sober, Spirit-filled life.
Sobriety enables us to be an effective witness. We must place a priority on remaining sober so that we will be able to testify of God’s grace to others. Any habitual sin will ruin your ability to think clearly. The main goal of Satan is to dull our minds to the point that we won’t be able to give an intelligent and logical reason of the hope that is within us. When the apostle Paul declared the truth to Festus, he said, “I speak forth the words of truth and soberness.” (Acts 26:25.) In order for us to clearly convey the plan of redemption to a blind world, we must have a sober mind. Do you need to sober up? Are you in need for a return to your senses? Whether we feel a need to make changes in that direction or not, people need us to so we can speak to them the words of life and soberness! The Holy Spirit filled believer will not be ashamed of being a witness for the Lord Jesus. So, “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18.)
Sobriety assists in the development of a transformed mind. The way we live reflects the way we think. The way we think reveals the condition of our mind. We all need a change in behavior that is rooted in a genuine internal change, a change that only comes from a transformed mind. We must be willing to recognize the vast difference between conforming outwardly and developing a transformed mind inwardly. Abstaining from alcohol and mind altering drugs is one way to “be not conformed to this world,” but we must also be, “transformed by the renewing of our mind.” (Romans 12:3.) Renew comes from the word, “metamorphosis,” which means to renovate, or to restore to the first state. Only as we stay sober is God able to restore and reshape the condition of our minds. He is able to rebuild damaged minds. He can sharpen minds that have been dulled by years of drug and alcohol use. Time alone with Him makes us think like Him, act like Him, and become like Him. Have you been with Him today?
Sobriety makes us less vulnerable to the attacks of the devil. People who are under the controlling influence of drugs and alcohol open themselves up to more destructive onslaughts of the devil. They forfeit control of their minds and therefore forfeit control of their actions. Why should we remain sober and vigilant? “Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8.) A roaring lion has a brilliant strategy involving the cooperation of other young lions. Typically a lion will roar loudly to strike horror into the mind of the targeted prey. The frightened animal would run away from the sound of the roar only to be ambushed by younger, blood-thirsty lions. Then the roaring lion would return and devour it with no mercy. So many people are being devoured because they are not aware of our vicious enemy, the devil. Being sober brings the blessing of awareness and protection to our lives!
Sobriety quickens your ability to think clearly and accurately. We live in a fast-paced world that is learning at an incredible rate. We cannot afford to have dull or slow minds if we are going to make a residual impact in our heathen communities. As we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ for His church, we must place urgency on living out the words of I Peter 1:13. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:13.) Is your desire to have a clarion concentration on eternal things so that you might be, “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear?” (I Peter 3:15.) Remaining sober will enhance our reasoning ability and thinking capacity. Do you need to return to soberness?
Understanding the blessings of sobriety is so vital to our commitment to stay sober! When we understand the benefits and promises to those who are free from alcohol and mind-altering drugs, we will not feel as though we are missing out. Contentment will be a reality to us as our lives affirm that truly “the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22) God’s smile of favor upon those who are committed to sobriety far outweighs the world’s counterfeit pleasure!! “Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.” (Proverbs 23:29-30.) The fast track to poverty is found in alcohol and mind-altering drugs. The pathway of sobriety leads to the destination of peace, purity, and prosperity!!