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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009
Once I Got Sooooo Drunk....
There is no glory in having been drunk, so don't imagine that this is where the post is going.

Yet having been genuinely, thoroughly drunk on several occasions before the Lord began holding my affections, I have some perspective that perhaps those who grew up in a good home and church may never have. There is nothing neat or cool about having that perspective for it only helps me now to understand the nature of sin better, and really, there are things I would prefer above sin to understand with greater clarity. But I am what I am, and as I lay falling asleep last night, I recalled how on more than one occasion, as I lay down to sleep entirely, and excessively drunk, I couldn't even be bothered to prepare for bedtime properly. I am not talking about merely forgetting to brush my teeth - I am talking about laying down on the stairs, too drunk to walk up them or get entirely undressed, and in drunken indifference deciding to just fall asleep there - letting the chips fall where they may - knowing that this was a dumb thing to do, but consoling myself that I wouldn't really have to deal with the fall out until I woke up.

My mindset at the time is what prompted me this morning to write this post. It seems madness to me now, so many years later, to think that I could be so overcome by drink that even though I was quite aware that my actions would have consequences, I was able, by way of wine, to suppress the part of me that cares about consequences. The well from which I drew this unholy strength was the thought that because I was too drunk to deal with it in the now, it was okay to set that reality aside and respond to my situation as though tomorrow would never arrive. I knew at the time it was ridiculous, but I didn't care because drink can do that to a person. It is a kind of deceit that doesn't mean you don't know what is going on, but that you don't care what is going on because you have convinced yourself that you will make it right later on.

Sort of like buying a thing on credit. You think, yeah, it's night right to fall asleep half undressed in a stairwell, but I can't deal with that now, so I am just going to go ahead and do it, and later, when I am sober, I can deal with it properly...

There have been enough moments like this in my earlier life for me to reflect upon as I was falling into sleep last night. It struck me then that I when I am deceived by sin that deceit is not unlike the deceit of drink.

I wasn't tricked by alcohol into doing something evil, the deception took place in my reasoning - I reasoned that my current indulgence didn't matter, given that I intended to deal with it later - and that is the deceit of the thing, I allowed myself to believe that, and when later came, guess what? I didn't get out of the pickle I was in, I just put up with the consequences.

We are doing that whenever we indulge a sinful desire. What we are doing is telling ourselves that while it definitely not okay to sin, we shall give into it this time and deal with the sin later, and we don't realize that we are actually making peace with sin - we are like Joshua making a treaty with the Gideonites.

I want to drill down on that thought for a second, because it will help to clarify the main point I am making. Joshua made peace with the Gideonites because he was deceived about where they were from. He did not believe them to be inhabitants of the land, and so rather than drive them out, he made peace with them. Listen: every temptation you give into, you do so because deep down you believe you will be able to oust the Gideonites later on, but it doesn't work that way, and you probably have your own litany of failure to prove it.

The deceitfulness of sin is not that I am tricked into believing that I am not *really* sinning, it is that I am tricked into believing that the sin I am committing doesn't have to be overcome right this minute - I can let it slide and deal with it later - that's the picture of a heart that is making peace with sin. It doesn't happen in a day, but over time, and it is a slide you must get off of if you find yourself on it.

Treat every sin as a thing foreign to you. Use the example of the promised land, and the inhabitants who were supposed to be driven out. Don't be like Israel and allow a little leaven to eventually leaven the whole lump, but purge out the leaven.

On a final note, don't try to do this in your own strength or you will fail, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. By that I mean that victory happens when we begin to trust God that it will - we turn to Him in our temptations, trusting that He will lead us out of them. Of course, if we actually do this, we quickly learn that the deeper problem is that we don't want to be led out of our temptation... That is where the real war takes place, we are (for all intents and purposes) as people drunk with sin, so that our temptation is to make peace with a sin, rather than war. Stop falling for this deception. You not only can deal with sin in the "right now" you must. I don't care how big the temptation is, or how many times you have failed under it - the solution is not to make peace with sin, but to war against. We are not like Uriah whom Joab abandons at the wall where all the fighting is. When we take the fight to the enemy, our Lord is with us - that's His name, Emmanual. We call Him the Lord of hosts (armies).

Think on it. It is good to meditate on these things. And also, if you are prayerless lately, return to Him from whom you are fleeing.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:50 AM  
  • At 8:18 PM, April 16, 2009, Anonymous David Kjos said…

    Excellent analogy. I think it fits perfectly. And it is particularly convicting to me; I do that frequently.

  • At 8:04 AM, April 17, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    David, I wanted to leave a pithy, "Get drunk?" as a rejoinder, but I was too concerned that you (or someone else) might not know that I was being pithy.

    Actually, I just like saying pithy.

  • At 10:32 AM, April 17, 2009, Anonymous David Kjos said…

    Daniel, you're pithiful.

    After I left my comment, it occurred to me that someone could take it that way, or that you might be a wise-guy about it. Obviously, I meant the larger issue for which drunkenness is a metaphor: putting off dealing with my sin 'til later.

    Just so you know I didn't miss the point.

  • At 10:53 AM, April 17, 2009, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, this is an excellent post. Your have really laid out the practical means and consequences of sin. If we truly understand this, we will loath giving into the temptations of the flesh.

  • At 11:12 AM, April 17, 2009, Blogger Jason Robertson said…

    Thanks for this transparent and profoundly realistic illustration of the deception of sin.

  • At 11:56 AM, April 17, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    David - I am pithiful whith ith a mouthful.

    Jim - I think the expression, "the sinfulness of sin" really catches that idea too.

    Jason - welcome to the blog, and you're welcome.

  • At 10:57 PM, April 19, 2009, Blogger donsands said…

    Daniel, you are gifted to teach, my brother.
    Thanks for being humbly faithful to your Lord. It helps, a lot.

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