TONIGHT JESUS HEALED MY HEART.
When I was 18 I began drinking with a couple of friends. During this time I drank to get drunk. Over a period of a year or so, I was drunk several times (once I was double drunk because I just didn't care). I realize I had some pain buried inside that I was trying to medicate myself for. This was before I accepted the Lord.
When I accepted the Lord in the fall of 1973 I felt I should not get drunk anymore, but I still had some problems inside. I was able to stop drinking until about 1975 when I found myself alone in a summer semester at college. I decided that I wanted to drink, but not get drunk. I figured that I would buy a bottle of wine, drink a glass of it and store the rest in the fridge until the next day. Well, that didn't work. I couldn't stop with one drink. Next thing I knew I had consumed the entire bottle and was drunk. Of course I felt guilty about this.
Ephesians 5:18 tells us "do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit." That night, the Holy Spirit came upon me strongly and I spent a couple of hours on my knees in serious prayer. He was indicating to me His displeasure in my drunkenness. In shame and regret I prayed unto the Lord to forgive me. I was conscious of the fact that it was a conflict of being drunken with wine and being filled with the Spirit in equal measure. Of course it was a few hours before I was sober, but the Lord had done something more that night that I didn't realize until years later in retrospect.
About ten years later (during which I didn't drink at all) I met a Christian friend who liked to drink a beer or two (or three) but I never saw him drunk, and it never caused any problems for him. He seemed to manage his drinking well. Knowing that it was not taking a drink that was sinful, but rather getting drunk, I began drinking socially. I decided that since I never wanted to be drunk again or even get a buzz, that MY LIMIT would be ONE DRINK. And that's what I was able to do. At the time I just thought (like every alcoholic) that I could control my drinking and that by setting a limit and sticking to it, I would be all right. Amazingly I was able to stop with just one drink, and I never got a buzz, neither did I want any more to drink. I even influenced people around me by sticking to my limit of one drink. I was shocked once that two other guys seated at a bar stopped at one drink after hearing me say that was my limit! But what really had happened didn't dawn on me for a number of more years.
A couple of years ago I was looking back at all that the Lord had led me through, including remembering the two periods of my drinking. As I thought about the second period (characterized by controlled limits), I realized that what had happened that troubled night in Nacogdoches in 1975 was more than just conviction and forgiveness. God had actually HEALED me from alcoholism! The more I thought about it, the more real it seemed. Someone may disagree with me on this, saying I wasn't drinking long enough that first time, but they don't know what happened to me. I know because I was there. And God knows.
I realized that the Lord HAD really healed me of alcoholism, because in the first period I had all the symptoms. I couldn't stop with just one drink. I HAD to get drunk. This is the disease or condition known as alcoholism.
The second period (of controlled drinking) needed to happen, because if I never drank alcohol again, I would never know what God had done. I rejoiced as I realized that it was not just my decision to limit myself to one drink that was significant. It was that I had in fact, been healed of alcoholism. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that He healed me that wonderful but shameful night of the curse of alcoholism. If He hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to stop with one drink.
Believing that all healing comes from God, and that the Holy Spirit is the Healer, I proudly brag on Jesus, because He healed my heart of alcoholism! Praise the Lord!