A year ago I stopped drinking, I'm not a pastor, no one told me to and I definitely didn't do it as the next "religious" step.
I don't have 50 reasons why I stopped drinking (however he did quite well with all 50, amazing!!!) Many people questioned my lifestyle changes, I guess radical changes for Christ will leave the world in shock, confused or simply convicted and therefore they have to find the perfect excuse to make you look like the radical Jesus freak. I mean I'm not going to deny the fact that I did the same thing, I knew no better about being saved in this depth before, I literally didn't see the reason why I couldn't enjoy a glass of wine socially.
Look, I'm not writing this to condemn anyone, I'm simply sharing my reason for no longer "enjoying that glass of wine socially". I come from a home where alcohol wasn't a big deal, my parent's weren't drinkers and I was never curious to try.
I did however have a drink socially but most of the time it didn't bother me, I forgot I had to drink. Haha So here is what I did, I went to clubs, as "a saved Christian" and took pictures drinking shooters with my friends and the next day I posted it on Facebook along with a word of the day next to it. Until one day, a man of God rebuked me publicly on Facebook, I will never forget this day. I was so embarrassed, so angry but mostly I felt judged, I wrote a message to him, quoting a scripture from the book of Matthew asking him who he was to judge me. He kindly responded by telling me to read the scripture below the one I was quoting... the one saying that we must in fact rebuke those doing wrongly in His name.
I carried on with my ways as I just saw that person as being too radical. Well my dear friends that's until God had enough of my luke warm ways. A year ago when I was walking deeper with God, He was in the process of cleansing me of all unclean things, to enable me to walk more closely with Him and be a true example, a light, He started to prepare me for His ministry in me. God allowed me to get sick every time my body came into contact with alcohol, at first I thought I had to go lighter with what I was drinking but it didn't make a difference, I knew it was only with alcohol that I got sick this way as I didn't drink often and it only happened when I drank, this illness would last for weeks, I would suffer dearly after a sip of any alcohol.
I couldn't understand it until God revealed it to me in prayer one night when I was seeking God for relief. All He said to me was "it is done". I made the decision to rid myself of it right then and there. It never had a hold on me, I was just incredibly aware of how deep God was taking me and it was totally overwhelming. I never got sick like that again, I'm healed completely.
Over time God revealed the reasons for letting me turn from alcohol in many areas of my life even though I didn't abuse it, He also revealed the reason to me in others lives should I have continued drinking. Many people couldn't deal with this new change I made and they would call me out on it in front of everyone, claiming that they'd rather drink themselves into a coma and least at the end of their live say that they've lived, that I was too radical, that I was causing them to feel uncomfortable.
Dear friends, I did not stop drinking to make anyone feel condemned or judged, I simply stopped out of obedience and with a understanding of why God does not want His children to consume alcohol no matter how little whether you're the pastor or simply an ordinary servant sitting between the benches. I cannot tell you to stop or tell you that you are a bad person for drinking, I simply encourage you to lay it before God and let Him give you answer, be willing to hear and accept whatever it may be.
Alcohol has never had a good effect, big or small. Think of your pastor drinking a beer whilst he preaches, think of you drinking in church whilst listening to the word, think of encouraging a lost soul seeking Jesus whilst having shooters, think of sitting on your balcony at home having a glass of wine to relax whilst you have unintentionally been an example of Christ to your alcoholic neighbour that's has a curiosity for the Lord. If drinking alcohol is okay for a saved person then it should be okay in any of the above circumstances.
We are in a day and age where we need to change our errors radically in obedience, we need to rebuke radically where He asks, we are called to set an example, to set ourselves apart from this world, to refuse compromise, to are called to live by the word and word alone, we are called to go deeper with Jesus and prepare for the coming day when He returns.
We are called to be radical brothers and sisters in EVERYTHING. Your life should be radical and become more so every day. A child of the Lord is not suppose to be normal, His children are not suppose to enjoy the filth the world has to offer, we are not called to fit. Jesus was radical, apostles Paul was radical, Peter was radical, John the Baptist as radical, times have changed, things have become more modern but God's will, His commandments, His way and word IS STILL THE SAME.
This year is a year a radical change of seasons... are you prepared to risk it all to follow Jesus?
Be blessed in the name of Jesus.