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Clean and Sober

This phrase usually denotes someone who has had a problem with alcohol or drugs and has quit drinking and has come out of the fog of alcoholism or drug addiction.  To be “clean” means you are no longer allowing the alcohol in your system to give you your perspective on life.  Addiction is a crazy, uncontrollable thing and it is so damaging to our life perspective and makes a person think they will never get any better, so they continue in the downhill way of living.  Most people who are alcoholics have trouble admitting they are alcoholics, which makes it almost impossible to get them to leave that lifestyle.  Mainly because they don’t think they have a problem.

This condition parallels what happens when a person realizes they are a sinner and repents and accepts Jesus and has a new life with Him.  Clean….

The sober part of this is a mind and heart that is not dulled with alcohol or drugs and this condition makes it possible for the person to think realistically about their life and hopefully continue in a sober condition.  Paul in writing to the church at Corinth began his very first letter in the very first verse of the very first chapter with a strong message about what happens when Jesus comes in to your heart.  Here are verses 1 and 2 I, Paul, have been called and sent by Jesus, the Messiah, according to God’s plan, along with my friend Sosthenes. I send this letter to you in God’s church at Corinth, believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life. I include in my greeting all who call out to Jesus, wherever they live. He’s their Master as well as ours!  I particularly noticed the part where it says “Believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life.”  I noticed that part because that is ME!!  I am a believer who has been cleaned up (sins forgiven), and set apart for a God-filled life.  If we want to take the illustrations and parallels further we could say I was addicted to sin and Jesus saved me from that addiction and gave me a new, sober life in Him.  Now, don’t get me wrong here. I have never taken a drink of alcohol or used any mind-altering drugs, but the parallel is real enough to show where we were before accepting Christ and the new life He set into motion once he sobered us up and set us on a God-filled direction in life.  Paul said also that once this process of repenting of sin and giving our life to Jesus is complete, then we begin our journey in walking with God.   God becomes our Master in everything we say and do.  Paul goes on in verse 3 to give us a big boost where he says, 3 May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours.  ALL.  Did you get that word?  ALL??  I can only imagine how many there are can’t you?  You may think it is a figure of speech, but I know that God’s Word is true and I totally believe it all.  In that frame of mind I believe it means ALL!!

This is good news because it means “the sky is the limit” and God has equipped us to do all we need to do to live the victorious life of Christ.  Our gifts and talents are various and all can be used to build up the body and look at Ephesians 4:4-6

4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. 7-13 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is, He climbed the high mountain,He captured the enemy and seized the booty, He handed it all out in gifts to the people.

We are all equipped to do everything we need to do to serve our Lord.  I see no pecking order here.  I also see a new clean and sober approach to life that is filled with the Holy Spirit, not sin.

It is time to quit wasting our time on lifeless pursuits and start investing our time and abilities in serving for worthwhile things.  Paul in Ephesians 5: 11-16 Says it all very well.   11-16 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.  Wake up from your sleep,  Climb out of your coffins;  Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

These are desperate times and God cannot use people who are drunk on their own wants and desires.  He can use people who have allowed themselves to be set apart for a God-filled life and that is who we must be to find true purpose and life direction.  Time to start today.  Get clean and sober and let Jesus fill your life with true purpose and direction.

The Pilgrimage continues…;.

David Warren

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