Works of the Flesh (part two)

As believers, we must be willing to let the Spirit work through us. Not allowing His power to change us could be evidence of our having an appearance of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5). In light of that, many things must be put to death within us immediately.

Idolatry, Orgies, Sorcery, Drunkenness

This is not the order in which they appear in Scripture, but I feel that these four fit together quite nicely in today’s society. One would argue that (with the exception of drunkenness) these are all taboo in America. I would argue differently.

Idolatry

Our idols are no longer made of stone or wood, but we sacrifice for them none the less. I have heard it said that if you wish to discover what you truly worship, look at what you make the most sacrifices for. If you stay up late every night playing video games; if you squander all of your family’s money away for season tickets to the Sox; if you consistently leave the Church service early (or get there late) because you want to miss the part that you don’t like, if family comes first only if it conveniences you; if your dog, the lawn, your ministry, your business, or the NFL draft are more important than your son’s soccer game; if your boyfriend convinces you to leave all to follow him- you have a worship problem, and there are idols in your life. By this definition, I can’t think of anyone I know that does not have idols in their life. Myself included.

Orgies

I have rarely heard this term. It is very taboo. But very real. I put it under idolatry because in ancient times, the idols and high places of the fertility gods and goddesses would actually work for their intended purposes… but only because there was consistent sexual immorality there. Now, we have people that are (as we say yesterday) inflamed with lust for one another. It happens more often when people are celebrating things then when wanting things to happen (think of the movie Fever Pitch and what happened after the Sox won a game… see what I mean about idolatry?). And, most recently, regardless of what you think of the current president, it is interesting to see a new term arise in light of his being elected: (only referring to the first definition, the others are slightly profane).

Sorcery and Drunkenness

Both of these still happen in light of our idolatry. They were huge parts of religious ceremonies in the ancient world, and bigger parts now. Do I need to take you to the Super Bowl games (or even just show you the commercials) to convince you of the effect of alcoholism in our American idols? (pun fully indended). And sorcery (which Peter Barnes says was a misuse of drugs for any purpose) is hugely evident in our world today. Just think of how some people deal with stress. They idolize their business, can’t handle the work load, come home and get smashed, or high, or both. Or they are simply prescribed drugs to relieve their emotional pain. Such is the suffering of the world today. I am reminded of this everyday when I go to work at the Pharmacy (interesting how Pharmacy comes from the Greek pharmakeia meaning sorcery). There are so many suffering because they have exchanged the glory of God for a lie. And it breaks my heart.

Jesus loves me this I know…

There is one answer to all of this (and it starts with a question): Where is your worship? If it is in Christ, then trust Him as well. Taking drugs (prescription or otherwise) will never cause you to be happy again. If anything, they worsen the situation, and feed the demons. Drinking to drunkenness ruins your relationships with those around you, and works to steal your joy even more. But we are to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4). Nothing should be able to steal that joy. The Holy Spirit worked for Paul in prison, don’t replace that same Spirit with your prescription or beer.

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