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Alcoholism: Quitting Tomorrow Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2020 1:00 am

Alcoholism: Quitting Tomorrow Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 16, 2020 1:00 am

Alcohol is the tolerated drug, and alcohol abuse is costing our society billions in lost productivity, lost relationships, and lost lives. Too many Christians misuse what they feel is their freedom to drink by drinking one too many. In this message we learn the unvarnished truth about alcoholism.

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Drunk drivers every day they killed more of our kids don't go home it's tolerated drug and alcohol abuse is costing our society billions in lost lost relationships and lost lines. All too many Christians misused what they feel is their freedom to drink by drinking one too many.

Today, the unvarnished truth about alcoholism church in Chicago this morning to win with one loser is clear.

Teaching helps us make it across the finish line elixir is the best advice is to never take first drink day. That's my personal conviction, but I recognize that I'm not necessarily speaking for everyone.

Perhaps we can have a hard and fast rule, but I'll tell you this. Alcoholism is a terrible addiction.

I could list many families many people that I know who have been ensnared by this terrible, terrible addiction and I preach this message today with a great deal of conviction and sadness because I think of the impact of what is happening in our society. You know, these messages actually have been written up in a book I've written a book entitled seven snares of the enemy. The subtitle is breaking free from the devil's grip. So if you want to read these messages with some additional material.

Here is what you do go to RTW or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book 7 snares of the enemy.

It can be yours for a gift of any amount RTW or 1-888-218-9337 now as you listen to this message even if it doesn't directly apply to you. I hope that many who are listening, will benefit from it and see the dangers of alcoholism. There is a story about a man who would enter into the bar and always by four drinks. In fact, he did it ritualistically. The bartender asked him why and he said the reason is because I have three brothers in Europe and we agreed that whenever we go into the bar. We would drink one glass of beer for one another.

So this went on some time and then the man came into the bar one day and ordered only three drink the bartender being very sensitive assumes of course that one of the brothers had died so I went over to ask the man about his family and ask whether one of his brothers had passed away and said no.

He said that I just decided to order three drinks because I've quit drink. Now we smile at the story, but if you know anything about alcoholism. You know that there is nothing really to smile about. Is there everyone who is listening to this message knows people whose lives have been totally destroyed by that curse. The curse of alcoholism. I do not have to detail for you do why the effect that it has had on people. The number of lives that been lost. The crimes that have been committed to traffic accidents that have taken place in the number of families that have been smashed because of alcoholism.

What I'd like to do is to begin by giving you some myths that need to be exploded about alcoholism. First of all first myth that addiction is limited only to some kinds of people on the news there from time to time.

Studies being done to show that alcoholism is genetically communicated. There is a disposition toward alcohol.

If you have parents that have been alcoholics or perhaps because of the genes that been passed on to you. There could be some truth to that.

For example, it's been noticed that twins if they are adopted in families where their biological parents are alcoholics, but perhaps even adopted from birth and put into other families where there is no drinking still have a propensity to alcohol, so that could be part of the story but that's only a part of the story. The other part is that if you were brought up in a home where there was abuse and where there was a lot of shame and where there was a code of silence regarding the chaos that existed in that home, you would have a greater tendency to resort to alcoholism or drugs or some kind of substance in order to cover the pain and in order to cope with life as you sought in all of that chaos. But there's still another part of the story and that is simply that any one of us, even those of us who grew up with the homes, even those of us who do not have the genetic disposition to addiction. We could become addicts to we are social drinkers. It could well be that we might get to love alcohol much more than we should think there are people who for years have lived without any kind of addiction but they have had casual social drinking and in the end, when difficulties come have ended up as alcoholics, because anyone can be an alcoholic. That's why my first myth is simply this, that it happens to other people and could never happen to us. Yes, it could happen to you and it could happen to me. That's why abstinence is usually the best policy and there's no room for self-righteousness here there's no room for condemnation or for looking down on others because when we see their troubles in their addictions.

We can say indeed that could be me could be me give you a second mask. The second myth is that alcoholics those people who are addicts. They end up on skid row. They are the people who stop us on the street and ask for 1/4 or for a cup of coffee, hoping that will give them some money that they can use for drink. Actually, the fact is that maybe only three or 4% of all those who are alcoholics actually end up homeless summer on State Street tour in some of the other parts of the city of Chicago. Fact is that there are doctors who are alcoholics, attorneys, bankers, ministers all walks of life, and many of these people get up in the morning. They do a day's work and no one even knows their secret addiction and they're able to function in society quite well. Many years ago I was preaching somewhere in the children of a rather well-known Christian leader came to me and said you know dad is an alcoholic and here's a man who teaches the word of God and counsels people and helps them, and even leads people to Christ but he would come home. The children said. Then Deb every evening after dinner, he would have to have his drink and he would basically get drunk. Sleep it off, go to work the next day come back and do the very same thing and no one except his family knew, and he was terrified that anyone else would would find out lest his reputation be ruined. I talked to students that are universities and they say that although they may be sober during the week.

They not only get drunk on weekends but maybe on weekends. In addition to that they may actually take drugs and so they might be on this high on the weekend and oh how long it seems before the weekend, but there managing there even passing they're getting through. Somehow maybe muddling through. But they're doing it so so don't ever think that the alcoholics are some people who are out there. They are here. They are among us. They are a part of our homes a part of our society a part of our churches. So let's open our eyes and be realistic about this.

Some of you know that this happens to be a series of messages titled the seven secret snares sent today. We do talk about alcoholism next week.

It's pornography.

We discussed gambling. The last time. What are those snares that we can fall into where we can really become hooked snares that can so cripple our lives and not only ruin our lives, but will not ruin the lives of those who have to live with us well today were talking about alcoholism addiction. According to John Bradshaw is a pathological relationship to any mood altering experience that has a life damaging consequences. I gave you a different definition last time. But here's another. As I mentioned a pathological relationship to a mood altering experience and you needed to get through. I'm going to spend a few moments this morning before we do get to the word of God and we shall because we shall end up with hope I can assure you, but before we do that I want to point out that addiction is something that is that possible for all of us, simply because it is a way that people have found to number one receive some pleasure in life and to avoid pain but also I'd like to take a few moments to give you what we could call the path of addiction. I labeled it five steps but actually these are not steps in the sense that they take place sequentially, they could happen that in random order or they could happen.

Basically all the same time, but here they are, because the better we understand addiction the better you understand your father or your relative or your friends you may have a problem with alcoholism the better it will be to be able to see the cure really is.

So that's our agenda. First of all, there is what we could call the experimentation of substance that experimentation that brings that mood change that we talked about last week.

That sense of euphoria.

The belief that a whole new world is been created because of drug and alcohol and end here in this world, which is kind of detached from reality, but it is a world with pleasurable sensations of the world in which you feel much better. And when you create that world. Your goal is to go between the world and the real world in such a way that nobody even knows that you're going from one to the other, and often times those who create these worlds. They remember exact way the first time they had that drink that sent them into that high torque or had that first crack cocaine which gave them that in that zest than that feeling of for you, and almost a trance.

They remember it exactly because it had such a great impression upon their lives so matter-of-fact those who find these addiction so attractive discover that the hours that you have to live until you enter into that world again sometimes go along. So slowly, if you do it on the weekends.

Monday seems like an eternity away from Friday and then Monday go so slow and Tuesday go so slow when Wednesday goes so slow that you can hardly stand it. But thank God that we can will come but your being is fixed upon that time when you will be able to change your mood again and enter into that private give you a second way to describe it.

A second step there is transference, then of faith to the substance. I let's just get into the mind of an addict here for a moment.

People are disappointed him.

His family is disappointed in Ms. employer is disappointed in and and God has disappointed him, where is God in the midst of all this, I cried to him. I asked him for help, but nothing happened but I found something that I can depend upon something that is that precious bottle. It will be there when I needed the drugs will be there when I need them. In fact, I want to make sure that they're going to be there and that's why you begin to figure out how to get the money because now you have finally something that you can on, you'll be able to escape. Get out of your your reality with all of its difficulties, you'll be able to go into that private world when ever you like your family doesn't want to do but since when have they helped you anyway. Now I remember on television. The young woman was interviewed and said that she got drunk every weekend and had a sexual relationship with a man a different man every weekend and sometimes even not knowing his name but then she said this she said because I am so wasted when I wake up I say to myself. It really doesn't matter because I can't be responsible for it because I was drunk.

She said no where else can you find is something that will do that for you a way to be immoral without even feeling guilty.

God can't do that for you.never would do that for you. So what happens is, there is that transfer now that incredible transfer of trust substance that's going to be there for you to do for you what no person or God is ever done. Now keep in mind you're breaking the first commandment thou shalt have no other gods before you, and now suddenly this substance becomes your God, and is it therefore not surprising that along with that kind of trance and euphoria also come evil spirits were going to want to take the and and make the very very best of the situation and try to exploit your weakness because you are putting this substance in the place of God, and they will come there to make sure that they are a part of the process. But here's the problem. You already know what the problem is you put all of the faith that you have into these substances, but the substances break their promises. They can only give you that euphoria for a little time and then afterwards, there's depression, then there is despair and there is guilt in their shame and that Shane begins to build and to build and to build and all of the promises are illusionary and you know that that world is a world of blue and it is not a world of reality. And now the question is what is it that you are going to do. There's only one thing to do and that is to turn to your substance again to the paying of the shame and the loneliness and the emptiness. So what do people do they drink in order to solve the problems that drink has created and on and on it goes.

It's number two, number three, there is the development of the protective shell. The protective shell. Now let's just enter that world for a moment here you are with your own private little experience of the euphoria and and day it it is the one that allows you to escape and the people around you don't like what is happened they don't like it. It also what you do, you begin to cut out other people to become antisocial for one reason number one. You do not want the shame revealed because that is very painful. That is more painful than physical disability to have all of the that perch come out and so that has to be confidently stuffed into your soul and protected. That's a part of it but there's another part of it as well, and that is that you do not want people to come inside so that you can you can go and retreat into your own little world and be there and you say to yourself.

People say what you don't look look at this alcoholic doesn't he care about his kids. The answer is no, he doesn't care about his kids, because all that he can think about is that escape into that euphoric experience and there is nothing else to think about. And after all, when, where his kids ever good anyway.

Let me give you 1/4 that is the development of the addictive personality. Some of you live with addicts. You know what this is about, because remember now, your whole world is going revolve around this question of how do you be able to sustain. How can you sustain the trance. So what happens is you become very manipulative, incredibly manipulative, cunning, you begin to be able to get money, you begin to tell lies. The lies do not bother you because soon they are going to be drowned out in the experience. Anyway, you begin to use people you lie and you expect your family to line you hope that your friends will live when they don't all that they are his people who need to be blamed because they are standing in the way of the only thing that is going to get you away from your pain. You think and give you just a little bit of pleasure that you deserve and so on and on it goes. And if you're rich enough to sustain the habits of that you don't have to resort to theft what you will do is begin to lie, even when you don't have to like it simply erodes your character to such an extent that no matter what you do it's it's okay now because everything has to be poured through the band land of the way in which you see the world and it may permanently alter the way in which you see reality.

What a tragedy. The addictive personality, the narcissism is unbelievable work.

Every remark, every event is filtered through this experience as to how it relates to youth there can be no genuine caring for other people because your whole life revolves around yourself. Finally, there is what we could call a cycle develops because in the midst of this, the protective shell sometimes is broken.

Those were on drugs or alcohol. They wake up some morning and they are so sick and tired of what they've done and losing their families and losing their jobs that they say it is he is last time I'm never going to touch another drop and sometimes they don't. For several months and they begin to say to themselves, see I am not an addict I just proved it. I did without a drink for 12 weeks.

That proves I am master, I can quit when ever I want. So what are they. Do you know what they do, they take another drink and the fire the fire of desire is twice as hot as it once was, and the whole cycle begins again how accurate descriptors are when they say in Proverbs chapter 5 the evil deeds of the wicked man in snare him. That's why we called it the seven snares that were talking about the cords of his sin.

Hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline led astray by his own great folly. What a tragedy. Will the answer of course is what does the Bible say about this. Now you know what the Bible says that I'm going to read some passages to you but I need to underline something first of all, the Bible gives incredible warning incredible warnings about alcoholism and drunkenness as a matter of fact, these warnings are very clearly given and sometimes they are even spoken of as judgment, but I need to say to those of you who are struggling with substance abuse, whether alcoholism or drugs. Listen to me carefully. I'm not reading these passages to condemn you because you already feel that deep sense of shame and condemnation. I'm reading these passages for the many people who have not begun these pathways to warning them to plead with them. Stay away from that which debilitate and runs.

That's why I'm reading for you who are struggling in a few moments. I'm going to give you some scriptural encouragement and show you the path out for now. The warnings listen to this town for example in Isaiah chapter 5 woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and liars at their banquets.

Tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord no respect for the work of his hands. Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding their minute rank will die of hunger in their masses will be parched with thirst well about the book of Jeremiah. Listen to this judgment that God pronounces. This is what the Lord says I am going to fill with drunkenness, all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David's throne. The priests and the prophets and those living in Jerusalem. I will smash them one against the other fathers and sons alike declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them. God says I want you to understand that when I feel people with drunkenness. It is a sign of my judgment, this is Pastor Luther. I certainly wish that this message would continue to be widely listen to, you know, it is because of alcoholism that so many families have been destroyed. There's abuse. I hope that you get on the phone and tell your friends about this series of messages because I think it is very relevant. You know, just this past week I read that during this coded crisis. More people are listening to radio than ever. And so we thank God that radio is not confined to one special area. It goes into homes and offices and cars. Would you stand with us as we continue to share the word of God through radio, would you consider becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 if you been blessed as a result of running to win.

It is because of the investment of many friends. Just like you. 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago. I 60614 quicksand alcohol draws in its victims until they can no longer free themselves. Alcohol is not condemned in the Bible. But alcohol abuse is the temptation to drink is best handled by never taking that first sip. Next time I'm running to win why it's almost impossible to say I'm quitting tomorrow and why drunkenness can be a sign of God's judgment. Thanks for listening, or Dr. Erwin looser, this is Dave McAllister running to win his answer by the Moody Church

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