Friday, May 21, 2010

Sober Minded

It is a phrase that one seasoned believer would think that he has a handle on, only unless the term is well defined and understanding takes place then we would all know that there are some things we all have to clean up in our closets. So lets see this term for what it really is and not continually be fooled with a bunch of assumptions which leaves room for error.

Sober by itself we know as not being intoxicated. In fact the Word tells us to stay from strong drink (Proverbs 20:1 and Proverbs 31:6). In putting the two scriptures together, we then conclude as long as we are not drinkers (casual or otherwise), we have this sober thing down pat. However, when we see how the sober is truely define, then we have to scrutinize our actions of the past to see if we developed undesireable habits unaware.

Excluding strong drink and the next obvious, drugs, there is still a means by which one can lose sobriety. Take for instance a zealot in Christ. Zealots are usually placed in children's ministry to redirect all of the excitement to do something productive in Christ. Zealots are at the ready to win lost souls at all costs. Pastors love zealots because they are the first to volunteer whenever there is a need in the church or with anyone. The problem is with a zealot, there is a small window to keep his attention. When he comes to church, the best time for him is during worship and praise. To actually sit and hear the Word for more than 20 minutes is far too much for him. So Wisodm places him with other rambunctious children no matter the age. He sees that he is a role model and through this redirection, he becomes sober so not to lead the children astray. In the world, zealots are medicated, called bi-polar, having ADD or ADHD,and usually avoided completely. But we are not of the world.

Having stability is also being sober. When procrastinating knowing that there are things that have to be done, one might call lazy or even evil but the truth is the sobriety is in question. Financial, residential, emotional, recreational, psychological, physiological, and spiritual stabilization shows one as being sober. Hills and valleys in any of these areas are reason to be stressed. The Word tells us what is it that we have to be anxious about (Matthew 6:25-34 AMP). To decide to be anxious anyway when you know that there is a God over all, is opposition to the Word. The world does that, yet we are not of the world.

Insecurity is not a term we like in describing ourselves. When we hear such a term we immediately make note and certain changes knowing that God did not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV) - so where else could that have come from? Although, some of us do accept and count it almost as a compliment to be called shy. Shy is just a euphemism for fear. So why be pleased. When called shy see that word as if someone called you the friend of the world. For we know to be friends with the world is as of being an enemy to God (James 4:4 NIV). To embrace such a term as shy or timid having no identity crisis in God would be someone who was not thinking soberly. I will refer to the reinforcing scripture with the amplified version who gives a full definition of the Word fear. Timid and shy is not cute. Watch what you hold dear to you.

There is also a behavior that when asked the offending person calls himself confident. This person who claims to be confident, I will not nullify what you believe to be true. However, ask yourself, with all that you have and all that you claim to be in the future, how often do you give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP). We are to give thanks in all things. Though it would seem once we become comfortable with who we are, it is as if we had this knowledge all along. This would not be so. Because the Word is alive and we chose life, that which is dead (the evil nature)is gone and behold all things become anew. Even when you didn't think that you were changing because of that life altering decision to be a Christian, some changes were more subtle than others. Be as it may, it still could not have been done without Christ. Did you thank Him today? Yesterday? Three days ago? For you are nothing without Him. The Word says we are but a vapor (James 4:14 AMP). How could you see yourself so much greater than anyone else. Jesus didn't do it. Would you call yourself better, greater, holier? To pause and wonder how often do you give thanks could question the sobriety you claim to have. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. In righteousness, we can be confident and assured (Isaiah 32:17 AMP). With arrogance, it will leave before the fall(Proverbs 16:18). Meaning, it can cause one to stumble. That sounds pretty inebriated to me.

And finally, being loaded down with baggage. Why would anyone do such a thing? I know of a person that would carry a book bag where ever he went. There would be nothing in the bookbag, he just felt like he had to carry it. Though he didn't say it, but it became a means of security to him. Another felt like no matter where he went he needed to wear a winter coat and galloshes. It didn't make sense to no one but him, and he continued to do so, even when the weather didn't call for such outer garments. Others do this same sort of thing but no one can see the baggage because it is internal. When someone has been mistreated for so long, that person can become jaded with relationships, yet takes a chance without cleaning the skeletal closet. That person continues to wait for the shoe to drop and be cheated on, rejected, lied to, neglected, abused, or all of it. This person misses out on the blessing a marriage can be because he/she thinks it not worthy of them to have. And because of the thought, the blessing doesn't manifest (Proverbs 23:7 KJV).

The Word tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2 AMP) daily because just as children grow physically that we can see daily, being God's spiritual children, we are also growing daily. In these last days where there is so much more to tempt a renewed child-like mind then there ever was, we must adhere to the promises of God and make every attempt to heed to the warnings. This can only be done by faith which comes from God's Word; so study and sober up.

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