Friday, April 20, 2012

Be Filled with the Spirit

God and I had a lunch date on Wednesday to talk about my drinking questions.  He sent me to Ephesians 5, verses 1 through 21.  I read and reread the passage several times, finally asking him what I was supposed to look at.  He said clearly, don't look at what the passage tells you NOT to do, but look at what it tells you TO DO.  So, I made a list:

In case you can't see it, my list contained all the wonderful things from the passage, like "Live a life of love. Be thankful. Expose darkness.  Make the most of every opportunity.  Be imitators of God.  Live as children of light.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.  Always giving thanks!"

Verses 8-11 instructs us to live as children of light and to expose darkness.  The underlying darkness in the situation from Wednesday's post, is wildly and hugely a boundary issue.  This is something I hadn't even noticed until God pointed it out at lunch time.

As I have explained in previous posts regarding "boundaries,"  I am chronically a people-pleaser, and more often than not, it seems to get the best of me.  The reason my 21st birthday has stressed me out so much and caused me much frustration, is because I honestly don't know what I, myself wants to do.  I am drastically being torn in between two extremes, and I can't make both sides happy.  As hard as that is for me to accept, I must accept it anyway and figure out what I think is best for me.

One half of the people I want to please are telling me that I should stay as far away from alcohol as possible, treating it like the plague and running in the opposite direction.  They see no need to celebrate this "coming of age" as the rest of our culture does.

The other half say it's perfectly fine to drink a little on your birthday.  It is a celebration, it is a big deal, and why not celebrate this marker of coming to a mature age in life.

The good news is that I have been a slave to peer pressure, trickery and manipulation all my life.  Before I gave my life to God I was not a slave to alcohol, but people who expect me to drink alcohol.  I praise God that he came and broke these chains.  He gave me a way out when he showed me the relationship Jesus was asking me for.  I have been set free!!

And although I have indeed been set free, I am still healing from all my boundary issues.
SO, I would like to let everyone know-- I DON'T HAVE TO DRINK FOR ANYONE.

I say that more for myself than anything, but I don't.  I ALSO DON'T HAVE TO HATE ALCOHOL FOR ANYONE EITHER.  I am free to be me and choose for myself what honors the Lord with my body.

As a disciple of Christ, I read verse 17 and I am asked to "understand what the Lord's will is."
I know that his will is for me to bring the souls of the lost to Him and his fountain of life.  I am called to make disciples.  (Matthew 28:20, 1 Timothy 2:4)  He has called me to it and shaped my life around this calling.


Saving Souls    >>>>>>>>   My decision to drink or not to drink.

So God knows my heart, and it's with him.  It's ALL his, and I love him for that.  "Making the most of every opportunity" --you only turn 21 once, and i want to celebrate, rejoice, and be glad fro my gift of life. Not only that, but the gift of eternal life that comes long after this silly celebration of 21 earthly years.  Either way, this day of celebration is a chance to give thanks to God and rejoice over all he has done throughout my years.

BUT if on that day, there is someone in my path who needs Christ, I will stop all celebrating in order to love them and lead them to Christ, because obviously this is a much bigger thing than me and my celebration.

Be filled with the Spirit always.  Who says my birthday can't be a holy celebration.  Like I said, the real celebration of life is not when I was first born into the world, but when I was RE-born into the Kingdom of God.  What better way to celebrate 21 years on earth than to worship God in spirit and in truth!

Live a life of love.  Be imitators of God.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:33-34

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Philippians 4:6

"Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.  Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.  
So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast of the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless."
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalms 37:4 

Check this out: Lil' Dre- "Fill Me Up"