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I do believe, but am I being punished by needing to drink beer at any opportunity? I don't want to be doing this, but I do all the time.
Thank you for asking this question. An addiction of any kind is a real struggle. It's good that you admitted that you have a problem with drinking alcohol.
James explains where our problems come from. He says, "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone." (James 1:13) You may think your new temptation has come from God, because you didn't want to drink so much before; but God doesn't do that. He wants us to do what is right. So in answer to your question, no: God isn't making you need to drink beer.
So why do you have this new desire? The bible tells us: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." (James 1:14). It is our own desires that do this. It's hard to admit sometimes, but actually we are all responsible for ourselves. So often we want to blame others, blame our situation, or even blame God. But actually it's us.
However, you said "I don't want to be doing this". How can you both want to do it and not want to do it at the same time? In Christians there is an internal battle, between good and evil. The evil part is called the "flesh". It is the sinful part of us that wants to do what is wrong. Then there is the spirit which wants to do right. What you are seeing in yourself is what the Bible tells us: "the flesh lusts [or desires] against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." (Galatians 5:17).
Every Christian faces these kind of trials. We may each have different temptations, but each of us will struggle with something.
You may feel as though you are backsliding. Different people mean different things by backsliding. For some it means they feel more distant from God, for others it means that they feel they are drifting away from church and God altogether.
It may well be that there is a link between your excessive drinking and backsliding. It isn't a punishment for your backsliding. Rather as you drift away from God, drinking is becoming your replacement for him. We are made to worship, and if we fail to worship God, then something else will take the throne.
I would encourage you to fight against your backsliding. The best way to do this is to be part of a community of God's people. The writer to the Hebrews encourages us "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25) We need the support and encouragement of other Christians to help us win our internal battle and establish God as our King.
The struggle you are facing is particularly difficult. You will probably need specialist support to overcome this temptation. Connecting to a local church is an essential part to your journey.
There is a battle in your soul over who will be you master - God or beer. Only when you put God back on the throne in your life will you ever be able to kick out beer.
In summary, remember what James said "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”". Our sin is not God's fault, he gives us all we need. However, as we drift away from him our life starts going off the rails. Commit today to worshipping him not your beer.
In closing, we mentioned above the importance of getting involved with a local church. Indeed, I am sure it would be very beneficial for you to speak further to a Christian leader there or maybe another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to try and further answer you as well as pray with you and give you further support as you continue in your struggle. If you haven't got a local church at the moment, perhaps use our church finder to help you.
Finally, I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Meanwhile, we invite you to engage some more with our Interactive Answer Matrix and maybe even pose another query. Our helpful staff are daily waiting and prayerfully ready to try and bring a Biblical response to your sincere questions, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Col 3:1-17
- Gal 5:16-25
- James 1:1-13
*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at http://www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline - Thank you.
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