The year was 1986. I was working as an intern in a general hospital after completing my MBBS. In the general wards that I worked for 6 months, we took the opportunity to train ourselves to give injections & dress wounds of the patients, reducing some of the nurses work load. Sterilizing spirit was used as disinfectant to clean wounds and as antiseptic agent on the skin before giving injections. The spirit bottles would usually be empty when we checked them each morning though we would have left enough in the bottle when we left the previous evening. On several such occasions we enquired of the staff what the matter was but instead of getting an adequate reply to our question the spirit bottles would be filled once again. We decided to get to the bottom of the matter and finally discovered that a certain wardboy was using the bitter drink to whet his appetite for liquor. Poverty and low wages seemed to have forced him to the habit of stealing spirit from the different wards rather than buying better drinks outside. The fellow was just 25 years of age but had all the bodily signs of a chronic alcoholic –lean and thin body, unsteady gait, trembling fingers, a bloated abdomen and the rest. No one seemed to bother and he seemed to be enjoying himself when suddenly one day we found him on one of the hospital beds vomiting blood. There was not much that anyone could do those days considering the facilities and his poverty and all that was done proved futile and he died an untimely death very soon.
This story can be written thousands of times with the characters changed but with a similar end in many cases.
Alcohol has been a major cause of morbidity and morality in our country. Premature deaths, unproductive lives, destroyed families are the usual end result.
Most people start out to have a drink casually for pleasure, for enjoying company or for relieving stress. But once the habit catches on, it threatens to destroy a persons’ body, soul & spirit. Some never realize unless it too late and at that stage they are helpless because death would have already grabbed them with its deadly tentacles.
So, have you been drinking lately?
It’s better to stop before its too late. Perhaps you may laugh at my advice telling me to mind my own business. But wait a minute! Let me tell you some interesting stories about people who took to the vice and destroyed themselves and their families.
But for a moment, read this verse from the best selling book on earth – The Bible.
“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”(Proverbs 20:1)
How interesting isn’t it?
This verse from the Bible describes the nature and potential evil of fermented drink. As you gulp it, it’s constantly mocking you of how it can overpower you soon and make you do things it wishes.
If that is the case, then the intoxicating drinks that you drink, have a power of their own. It’s an evil power or a power of darkness or evil spirit actually that mocks you as you have the drink. The evil spirit of Alcoholism has many slaves and perhaps you are one of them. There are 1 peg slaves, 2 peg slaves and bottle slaves.
The “evil spirit of alcoholism”challenges the one drinking the intoxicating drink to do things that person would not even imagine of doing when he is sober. The Bible says “Beer is a brawler”
That proverb is self explanatory and has been acted out millions of times in all ages. Brawls, fights and killings all have resulted after people have temporarily ceased to think and reason properly because of the effect of alcohol on their brain. Once sober, many who drink are remorse and guilt ridden that they have hurt others – perhaps the wife or the children or friends. This guilt and repentant behavior lasts for varying periods in the person’s life and then once again the story runs the same course. The “evil spirit of alcoholism”is cunning and catches its prey by the throat and will not usually let go unless God intervenes.
And God is always wishing to intervene if you go to him in all humility and tell him,
“Dear Jesus, I have a problem with alcohol. Help me and free me from its clutches.”
The Bible says,
“So if the Son (Jesus, son of God) sets you free, you will be free indeed.”(John 8: 36)
Just for fun! People say, just for fun! But finally the fun is over when Cirrhosis (degeneration of liver cells ) or Cancer sets in.
A 35 year old man walked into my clinic one day for minor pain in the abdomen and indigestion. I got his story for the records – he had been drinking for 10 years just to get an appetite ( otherwise I have no appetite for food, he said ). He seemed to be fine as he sat next to me, normal pulse, B. P. and clear chest on examination. Just to get the examination overwith and prescribe some medicine, I asked him to lie down on the examination table. As soon as I placed my hand on his abdomen I was shocked and knew the diagnosis – Cancer of liver. His liver was enlarged and hard as stone. I felt pity for him. I sent him for a scan the same day. Advanced cancer was reported. He lived barely 3 months after that.
Remember the Bible says clearly.
“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”(Proverbs 20:1)
Dear Brother, take a decision today. Say “I will touch that thing no more.”It will save your life and save trouble for your family too.
Some people think that intoxicating drinks are acceptable, good, healthy or safe when taken moderately. But that is a lie because not many know the difference between mild, moderate and severe.
Here’s a warning found in the Bible for those who consume such intoxicating drinks –
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.”(Proverb 23: 29-35)
Have you been mixing drinks just for gaining popularity or is “on the rocks”your favorite?
The Bible says that though it goes down smoothly, in the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.
And the poison gets deposited in every part of the body, right from the hair on the head to the soles of the feet. Are you experiencing the poison of this ‘viper’ called ‘alcohol’ in your body these days? It’s time to take a firm decision. No more of it. You may not be able to subdue this “evil spirit of alcoholism”by your human power but there is a person called JESUS who has all authority in heaven and on earth. He will defeat this devil that is tormenting you. Are you willing to give your problem into Jesus’ mighty hands? He will set you free!
You may experience withdrawal effects on stopping taking alcohol but you can get through that phase too if you cling to Jesus.
One of my patients who was an alcoholic died because of the toxic effects of the drinks on his liver. A few days later a young man came to see me for complaints of dizziness and headache. On enquiring he told me he was so and so’s son ( the alcoholic who had died). On enquiring further he told me that he had been drinking alcohol heavily since his father’s death. What a pity! Like father, like son! He had taken to the habit on seeing his father enjoying drinks with his friends.
The Bible says,
“He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”(1 John 3:8)
The son of God, Jesus appeared to destroy the devil’s work. Through alcohol has the devil been working in your life, destroying your body, your business, your family? If yes, then cry to Jesus. He will set you free. He will destroy the destroyer that is playing havoc with your life.
Remember, a day will come when you will have to stand in front of your Creator and give an account of your life to Him.
The Bible says,
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”(1 Corinthians 6:9, 10)
You may say, “I don’t care.”“ Hell is fine for me”
No; dear friend. Never say that! Imagine getting 95% of your body getting burned , being conscious & not dying. That‘s hell in more simplified terms.
Mel Trotter who established 66 rescue missions in leading cities of America had a life transforming experience and is an example of how Jesus can change a person’s heart and life by the regenerating power of His Holy Spirit.
In his youth Mel considered education unnecessary for success. His parents did their best to get him to go to school but he was more interested in his father’s saloon and the gambling den. Mel followed in his father’s footsteps. Early in life he experienced the taste of liquor and like his father became a drunkard by the time he was 20 years old. He was desperate to drink every day. Sometimes he was broke and that was a terrible time. Once he sold his shoes to buy whisky. For 10 years the devil made him live this life of drunken hopelessness. Mel despised himself for his weakness and again and again begged for his wife’s forgiveness and promised never to touch liquor again. But each promise was followed by another drunken spree.
One wintry, snowy night, he left his wife and 2 year old son at home and went away to satisfy his awful craving for drink. He came after drinking heavily for 10 days only to find his wife in their cold bare home and saw her clutching on to their dead son. He looked at his heartbroken wife and the dead child and then he could think of only one thing-that he was a murderer. He decided to commit suicide. He turned away in despair and headed to Lake Michigan to drown himself. On the way to the lake his walk was made difficult as a blizzard raged on the town. It was snowing heavily and his progress to the lake was hampered. The snow bit into his foot through his torn shoes. He found a small shelter and walked into it, helped by a man who stood at the door. The man who helped him was a preacher. Once inside the shelter, he squatted in a corner, a hopeless and defeated soul, but as the meeting started and progressed, God worked a great change in Mel Trotter’s heart. God’s Word when spoken by the preacher not only brought comfort to his soul but at the same time made him acknowledge in his heart that he was a bad sinner. At the close of the service the preacher said, “Put up your hand for prayer, let God know you want to make room for Him in your heart.”Mel Trotter raised his hand and the preacher putting his arm around him told him the story of God’s redeeming love for mankind by sending His only son Jesus to die on the cross for everyone’s sins. Mel cried out for mercy and forgiveness from God and God saved his spirit and soul from eternal destruction that night. Not only did God redeem his spirit and soul that night but He also broke the fetters which the evil spirit of alcoholism had bound him with. He never touched another drop of liquor from that time.
Instead he started to witness about the lifesaving power of Jesus to every one around, especially to alcoholics like he was, He went on to become one of the great evangelists of America in his time.
Dear friend, are you in despair this day? Have you been trying to quit drinking, yet failing repeatedly? Look to Jesus this day. For you, Jesus gave his life on the cross. He carried your sins, your pains, your worries and weaknesses on the cross.
He will surely set you free if you ask Him to free you.
Call out to Him today. You will not be disappointed.
There are some who accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and then fall into this sin of drinking intoxicating drinks and other sins like sexual immorality.
The Bible says they will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.“ (Galathians 5: 19-21)
A man had a close relationship with Jesus Christ and was faithful to Him regarding everything for several years. On his way to work he had to go past a hotel with a bar serving alcoholic drinks. Every time he passed by that place, satan (the devil) would whisper in his mind, “Come in here and enjoy life’s pleasures.”He would rebuke that thought and walk ahead enjoying his joyful life with the Lord. He was faithful in prayer, fasting, meditating on God’s Word and worshipped God with a whole heart. A few years went by. This man’s spiritual life started dulling as he spent less time reading God’s Word, worshipping and praying. Every day now as he passed by the bar, the temptation in his heart grew; satan tormented his thoughts –- come and enjoy, come and enjoy, he used to say. Finally he gave into the thought. He went in and drank to his heart’s content one day. Suddenly all the heavenly joy in his heart disappeared; he felt as if the Lord had left him. His mind was overcome with guilt. He cried and cried but to no avail. The peace that passes all understanding seemed to have left time. He cried, “ Jesus forgive me, Jesus forgive me “ but there was no answer for a while. No peace, no joy. It took 8 years of fervent crying to the Lord ; finally the Lord gave him back the joy of salvation because he truly repented. You may ask why Jesus forgave only after 8 years.
My friend, Jesus forgives immediately as we cry for forgiveness but the evil effect that sin leaves takes time to go away and only true repentance can remove that.
So once you are delivered from this evil of alcoholism, be faithful to Jesus. Read and Mediate on God’s Word-The Bible regularly. Pray and fast regularly and be involved in a Holy Spirit led worship. Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with which comes power to resist all the wiles of wicked one.
Now are you ready to call out to Jesus for deliverance? If so, then pray this prayer with a contrite heart after meditating on these verses.
Come now, let us reason together,”says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9)
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”(Romans 10:9, 10)
Dear Father in Heaven,
I have sinned against you by polluting my body which is your temple by consuming alcohol. I have hurt others by my drunken behavior. Kindly forgive me my sins. Wash me with the blood of Jesus. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried and was resurrected. You have given him all authority on earth and in heaven. Dear Lord, your Word says that if Jesus sets me free I will be free. Through Jesus, deliver me from this evil spirit of alcoholism this day dear Lord according to your promise. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to live a life, holy and faithful to you.
Lord, let your Holy Spirit strengthen me in body, mind, soul and spirit so that I can resist all temptations for consuming alcohol in the coming days.
Keep me from falling dear Lord and let your name be glorified.
In Jesus name, Amen.
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”(Jude 24, 25)