I’m addicted to strong drink.
It started when I was not yet five, a wisp of a girl with long hair and stick legs.
They took me to places I shouldn’t have been. They made me do things I shouldn’t have done. They told me things I had no business believing. And it all felt so horribly good in a dark, evil way, that when the cup was passed, I drank it too.
I didn’t even think.
I just drank and the numbness set in and the darkness wasn’t so frightening and I was hooked.
I never saw the lies for the poison they were, smoothing over lips and tongue and entering the belly. I only saw the relief they gave.
The lies, the strong drink can become a way of life.
And then something comes along that shakes a stick at you, calls intoxication for what it is and tells you that you aren’t the victim you thought you were, you’re a drunkard.
You’ve done gone and made yourself inebriated on the stuff and you can’t stop. You’re addicted and there are no excuses.
Oh, it gets ugly alright.
It’s happened to me. And as I read Judges 6 again fresh, I see the cocktail.
Right there on the pages of scripture, there’s the deadly brew that has ensnared many and it was my drink of choice and it flows free still to anyone willing to try it. It’s the liar’s deadly mix that he’s specialized in serving up to God’s chosen people, people like Gideon. People like me.
I’ve drunk it. Not only that, but I’ve been addicted to it. Maybe you have too? Maybe you still are? Perhaps this post is for us, you and me.
Before God could use Gideon to fulfill His miraculous purposes…before God can use you to fulfill yours… He had to expose the strong drink Gideon had been feasting on his whole life. Isn’t this the way it always has to be? God shows up in our lives and it is interesting to note that what we start saying at that point reflects the stuff we’ve been drinking.
“Then Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles? But the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13
Let me stop and ask you, has God shown up in your life and given you a vision for something great, something that you are a part of?
And what has been your response?
You see, Gideon’s response exposed the lies he’d been drinking. His answer to an incredible vision from God wasn’t faith but doubt.
This is the first part of the deadly cocktail: Doubt in God’s goodness.
This lie has many faucets. It doubts God’s intentions towards me. It doubts His Presence. It doubts His provision. It doubts His power. Gideon’s response reflects all these things. The conclusion of this lie is that “God has abandoned” me.
And if God has abandoned me, I’m on my own.
Herein is the set up for the second part of the deadly cocktail, by which our enemy seals our fate and reduces us to blubbering fools, unable to live and lead the victory that God has granted.
“He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house…” (Vs 15)
The first part of the cocktail says, “God won’t.” The second part says, “I can’t.”
Yes, that’s the strong drink I’ve been addicted to. The “God won’t” and “Surely, I can’t” mix.
The mix that rolls over and says, “This is out of my league, leave me alone so I can wallow in numbness some more.”
I for one have had a belly F.U.L.L of this stuff. There’s good news for bellies and hearts made sick with this!
God’s response to Gideon is pretty astonishing if you really think about it:
“Surely I will be with you and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” (vs 16)
The antidote for the deadly cocktail we’ve drunk is “God will and I can.”
Now perhaps it needs to be said that we can only through Christ who strengthens us and that we can do only what God gives, not what we desire for ourselves. This isn’t a blanket statement to pursue either self effort or self interest.
Even so, God tells us He will and we can, for whatever purposes He has for our lives.
Have you drunk the elixir? Have you caved in to thinking you will never…. (fill in the blank)? That you can’t…..? That God has given up on you or that His power isn’t enough for your situation?
Set that strong drink aside, my friend. Take the bottle and smash it.
Pick up this one instead: “GOD WILL and I CAN” and drink deep.