Over the weekend I went grocery shopping. While at the store, I had to walk through the wine section in order to get to the other aisles. “On sale.” the sign read. I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a great deal. Maybe I should take advantage of that.”
I have mentioned in a previous post that I gave up drinking any and all alcohol because I felt like it was one thing that was causing me to veer off course from my mission. I’ve never considered myself an alcoholic. I could take it or leave it. I never felt like I needed alcohol to have a good time, and I wasn’t one to get sloppy drunk.
When I started this blog, I decided to use my creativity and desire to write and smoosh them together. That is when I decided to use something that I found was an issue and turn it around for something good. I started repurposing wine bottles. The idea of taking something that can be a stumbling block and turning it into something that glorifies the Lord and reminds us of the love our Lord and Savior has for us seemed like a perfect fit. Each wine bottle has a story to it. Each bottle is a reminder of the things I’ve written about. Being repurposed and made new. I was once of the world and now I have a glorifying purpose. To bring people to the Lord not separate them from Him.
Lately, I’ve been in a season of discouragement. I’ve been feeling as if I’m spinning my wheels in the mud. I’m busy with work and taking care of the house all by myself right now since my husband has been working outside the house while we wait on this job application process. He has been in the process for months now.
We have been in a waiting season. There has been nothing quick about any of it. I have a teenage son needing to be driven everywhere and appointments to squeeze in, a house to clean, animals to take care of, bills to pay. It seems hard these days to put forth as much effort as needed into my businesses. I’ve wondered if I heard God right on my calling.
So here I am standing in the aisle at the grocery store staring at the wine. For some reason, in the last few weeks, I have had a strong desire to drink. I thought, why am I denying myself even one? People drank in the Bible, and Jesus didn’t seem that concerned about it other than we shouldn’t get drunk. Then, I heard a voice inside my mind say, “Wow that’s a great price on that wine. You need clear wine bottles. You should just buy a whole crate and drink the wine to calm your stress and anxiety. Then, you will have the bottles to use for your ministry.”
I would be lying if I said I didn’t entertain the idea for about a second. I found myself staring into space. Suddenly, everything around me went to a blur and I no longer heard anything. It was just me in that moment. I finally snapped out of it, and my feet took the lead down the aisle without me telling them to.
If I had stood there any longer, I might have given in. I would have reasoned in my mind how this was a good thing. I would have made excuses. Only the enemy would tempt me to go against my convictions and possibly lead me off the path which leads to me feeling guilty and ashamed and feeling separated from the Lord in order to create something to glorify the Lord and bring people to a reminder of how much He loves them.
It’s when we realize something is off and is wrong yet do it any way that it turns into sin. We have a choice at that moment to either move on or stand there and entertain it and give in. I am in no way, as I’ve stated before, saying that drinking is a sin. This one thing is my conviction. This one thing caused me to stumble in my walk.
I can’t tell you why it’s a stumbling block for me and not for other Christians, but it is what it is. I choose to pay careful attention to not allow it to cause any rift between the Holy Spirit and me. I want to be of a sound mind so that I can clearly hear what the Lord wants me to hear and follow where He wants me to go. The reason it is wrong for me is that it’s the one thing which causes me to take steps that pull me away from my walk with Jesus.
I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who is always there to offer me guidance. “Do you really want to compromise your position right now on this straight path?” I believe listening to the Holy Spirit that day is what kept me winning. I was able to walk away with my head held high, knowing that it was just another temptation I was able to overcome with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Praise God! I believe all of heaven was cheering in that one moment. The desire to drink left me immediately.
1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV
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.
James 1:13-18, NIV
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
It is so important that we understand the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit and who He is. The Bible says we always have a way out. This is why we need to cultivate that relationship with the Holy Spirit so that, when the time of temptation comes, we will be able to hear the wisdom and the caution. We will have the strength to walk away from it.
If this had been 2 years ago, I would have probably bought the wine and regretted my decision later. We are running out of time daily to get things right. There is no time for regrets or shame. I believe we are on the fast track for Jesus to return and we are never promised tomorrow. We should let that really sink in with every decision we make. It is like when you are trying to lose weight. You think to yourself, one bowl of ice cream isn’t going to put 10 pounds on, but then that one bowl leads you to another bowl and another. Before you know it, you either haven’t lost a pound at all or you’ve, worse, gained. Each decision we make matters.
I am getting stronger with each right decision I make with the Holy Spirit there to support me and guide me. Staying the course. Running the race with my arms held high. That day was a good day, today is a good day, and tomorrow will be a good day. Focusing on the prize ahead. Thanking God for sending His Son Jesus to pay the ultimate price for our sins and sending the Holy Spirit in His place so that we are never alone in our journey.
Featured Image By Eric Ward