When You Want To Quit Drinking, But Can’t
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
It always starts out innocently, doesn’t it? We usually don’t plan on taking it too far, we just want to have a few drinks. For me, it had become a habit, just something I did. Like brushing my teeth, going to gym, or going to work. Drinking was a normal, regular part of my life.
“But don’t call me an alcoholic, because I’m not!” That’s how I thought.
Barbecues, dinners, sitting pool-side in the backyard, ball games, visits to family members’ houses, after work, chillin’ around the bonfire, doing yard work, watching TV…whatever. Having an ice-cold beer in my hand was part of my life. I was beer connoisseur, I could pick out the good from the bad. But honestly, I’d drink anything to get a buzz. Beer, wine, whisky, foo-foo drinks, whatever. Just give it to me!
GOTTTA GET THAT BUZZ! OH, AND KEEP IT!
I’ve heard that 70% of regularly-drinking people are in denial about their drinking as being a problem–like I was–actually, still am, only I’m in recovery instead of denial, and I will be for life. The religious Christians will want you to think you’ll never have a desire for it once you get saved, but that’s total horse crap. Recovery is a life-long process because you have flesh, and your mind needs renewed, so be easy on yourself.
Once you shed this shell, and enter into God’s presence for eternity, then you’ll be transformed into a being who no longer has desires that go against God’s will (see 1 Corinthians 15:52). Until then, relax. You gotta live with yourself. You are not a problem for God, and, you are no surprise to God either.
But so many people who actually do have a drinking problem (and not everyone does, some can take it or leave it), think that if they aren’t waking up in the middle of the night with the shakes, they don’t really have an issue with it.
Fair enough. I thought that too.
I was not just a functioning alcoholic, but a successful one. “I ain’t like those weak people. Those drunks.” I’d defend myself to the death if you wanted to try to say something about my overindulgence of this nectar from hell.
My wife and I were having a conversation the other day, about alcoholics, after a friend of ours’ mom was hit and killed by a drunk driver on the interstate. Jennifer said, “I think they need tougher laws.” As a former boozer I was quick to correct that, because drunk-driving laws are already pretty brutal–some of the toughest laws of the land. What we have here in America, and truth be told, worldwide, is not a drinking issue, or a lack-of-tough-laws issue, but a soul issue. We gotta get to the bottom of people’s souls—their minds, free will, and emotions—to find out why they are drinking, and then address that. Laws won’t change lives, only a soul change will change lives—and Jesus said He came to give us rest for our souls (see Matthew 11:29). Our feelings—our emotions—are a part of our soul. So to make changes, we must ask ourselves why are we feeling like we’re feeling?
In regard to laws, when you are arrested for a drunk driving incident–hopefully without killing anyone–you gotta take classes to be informed on just how bad alcohol abuse is, what it does to your body, and the tragedies it causes for so many families. So it’s not from lack of information, but from a lack of healing for what’s going on inside us.
I should know, I got my first DWI when I was 19, and my second when I was 21. I’m now 35 and I’ve been sober nearly two and a half years, but if I had been pulled over for each time I drank and drove, you would not be reading this. I would be locked away for life.
What we need to do is address the reasons why people are drinking, which is ultimately embedded in their souls. Drinking is not a disease, it’s a rotten fruit that grows in our lives from a poor soul condition. We are looking for a feeling to make us “all better,” when what we need is our minds renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Addiction is a spiritual issue, so it must be addressed, supernaturally. This is the root. Pull up the root, and the fruit won’t grow.
When we drink, we are trying to alter our feelings, period. I like lists, so here is a short list that will help you understand us better–that is, if you don’t. And for those of you who have an issue with the drink, this will be completely relatable about how you feel, and why you take that first sip:
- If we feel sad, we want to feel glad.
- If we feel insecure, we want to feel confident.
- If we are bored, we want to feel excited.
- If we are already excited, we want to feel even more excited.
- If we feel lonely, we want to make that feeling go away (this can be accomplished by drinking with others, or by yourself).
- If we feel uncomfortable around others, we want to fit in and feel comfortable by drinking.
- If we feel uncomfortable around others, we want to not fit in and feel comfortable by drinking.
- If we have a bad day at work, we want to feel better after work.
- If we have a great day at work, we want to celebrate after work.
- If we feel like we are not appreciated by someone, we want to make that feeling go away.
- If we feel like we are appreciated by someone, we want to drink because we’re happy.
- If we feel afraid, we want to feel brave.
- If we feel brave, we want to stay feeling brave.
I know that 13 points is an off-number, but honestly I had to stop myself from going on to the next number! I could go on, and on, and on, probably coming up with nearly 100 reasons why we want to drink–which is all based on our feelings!
WE. WANT. TO. FEEL. DIFFERENT.
We want to be comfortable in our own skin.
SO WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?! WHO CAN POSSIBLY HELP US?!
Jesus can help us with this major problem, this soul issue. How? By teaching you who you really are! Which is an infinitely loved child of the one and only true God, CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE! The religious Christians have done such a bad job of teaching the world their true identity in Christ! All they’ve done is shame the world and bark out scare tactics! THIS KEEPS PEOPLE DRUNK, HIGH, ANGRY, LOST, FRUSTRATED, AND EVENTUALLY SUICIDAL!!!
They’ve made God out to be someone who He’s not! And in the wake of that destruction, hordes of people have turned away from Him to address the very real heart issues they have, all because they think He’s here to punish them! HE ISN’T!
Once you simply place your faith in Jesus, YOU AREN’T GOING TO BE PUNISHED! We’ve been taught to work to stay saved, or to stop doing certain things to keep our salvation, but all along IT’S BEEN FREE! You can’t work to keep something that you didn’t work to get in the first place! The religious Christians haven’t earned ANYTHING! Neither can you! Neither can I! Their self-righteousness is nastier than any drunkard who begs God daily, “PLEASE TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME!”
SO PLEASE, wrap your mind around THIS TRUTH: Even if you never stop drinking, God still loves you the same! THIS IS AMAZING NEWS! And it is this GOOD NEWS which gives you the POWER to–not just quit drinking–BUT BEGIN A BRAND NEW LIFE IN CHRIST!
My friend, Jesus wants to help you understand your value–which is priceless! PLEASE, BELIEVE THIS! You don’t stop doing something, or start doing something, to achieve your value from God! It’s already been established at the Cross!
JUST STEP INTO IT, AND RECEIVE IT!
This will heal your soul. In turn, this will adjust your feelings. In turn, this will give you the power to never drink another drop.
Once you finally do understand your value in His free gift at the Cross, then you’ll soon realize you’re allowed to bring all of your feelings to Him, no matter what, at all times. That is, your good, bad, or indifferent feelings. This is called a relationship! And God longs to have one with you through Christ!
THIS RELATIONSHIP WILL OBLITERATE YOUR DRINKING PROBLEM.
What gives Jesus this ability? Simple. He is your Creator in the flesh; He wrote the instruction manual on humans. The Bible says that “all things were created through Him and for Him,” and that, “in Him all things hold together” (see Colossians 1:16,17). That’s not just referring to the sun, the moon, the stars, or this planet–but YOU!
You are Jesus’ prized possession! He gave you your ability to have feelings for a reason! Ultimately, that reason is to enjoy an eternal relationship with Him in heaven, forever! This is why He wants you to begin bringing every feeling to Him, so that He can help you address it, and then use it for good, for others, and for your purpose!
He doesn’t want you to change your feelings, oh no…that’s what drinking does. Feelings are not good or bad, they are just that…feelings. It is you who decides what to do with them, and it is your soul which directs your hands, feet, and mouth–about your feelings.
When Jesus lives in your heart, He begins to give your soul, rest. Then, through His grace, He gives you the strength to make the right choices in regard to your feelings–rather than drink to change them.
And I know that not everyone reading this has a drinking problem, but if you have to ponder for one second, “Do I have an issue with drinking?” simply ask God. He will guide your heart into the truth, through the Holy Spirit. And Jesus said that it’s the truth that will set you free (see John 8:32).
We need truth. Truth is good for us.
For me, I didn’t want to hear the truth about who I was, or about my life denying the fact I had no business drinking alcohol. I was arrogant. I was in denial–part of the 70%. “I don’t have a problem, you do! Look at yourself!” “I can control this!” “I’m not addicted!” “I’M FREE TO DRINK, SO BACK OFF!”
Sure, I was free to drink. But I wasn’t free not to drink.
I was a complete slave to my feelings. They led me, I didn’t lead them. When all along Jesus simply wanted me to start bringing absolutely every part of my life to Him, including my feelings, so we could begin doing wonderful, eternal things, together. He wants the same for you! He created you, He loves you, He’s not mad at you or disappointed in you…He just wants to begin a relationship with you, through your heart, which will change your should and life. He wants to begin this today…right now. C’mon…let’s go. Jesus is ready and you are too. YES, you really are! -Matt
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, today I’m so grateful! I’m grateful for your protection over me and others, when I did so many dumb things while drinking. When I heard about my friend’s mom being killed by a drunk driver, my heart sank. Not just for him and his family, but also for the person who killed her. That could have easily been me who did that, and I know it! Thank you for your hand of protection over my life during that difficult stage of growth! Thank you for placing angels around my vehicle each time I started the ignition while buzzed! I don’t deserve to be here, but you were good to me, and you kept me safe. I’m SO humbled today. Thank you. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who feel like drinking is just a part of who they are, and that they CAN’T change, DELETE THIS FROM THEIR MINDS! I rebuke any spirit of addiction from their bodies, right now, in Jesus’ name! Help them to begin to understand and recognize the lies from the hottest places of hell, which are meant to keep them in bondage! SET THEM FREE THIS VERY MOMENT! And for the family members and friends of problem drinkers, help them too. Begin to supernaturally teach them how to understand that the drinker in their lives is not trying to cause problems, but just wants to feel different. Begin to help them establish healthy boundaries, and strengthen them so they can enforce those boundaries with love, respect, and confidence! Help them to NOT enable the drinker any longer! I bind the spirit of codependency in the name of Jesus! LEAVE THEM ALONE! Teach them what healthy relationships REALLY look like, based on THEIR relationship with Christ! Teach them their VALUE! In His name I pray, amen.
For more info on my teachings, check out my books.