Luke 21:34 (New International Version)
34"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
"Dissipation, drunkenness and...the anxieties of life." As I read that verse in yesterday's Daily Light, I realized that although "the anxieties of life" may seem like the odd one out in the list, in fact, all three things distract from God.
Dissipation--according to the on-line dictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ it is:
1. The act of dissipating or the condition of having been dissipated.
2. Wasteful expenditure or consumption.
3. Dissolute indulgence in sensual pleasure; intemperance.
4. An amusement; a diversion.
That one is pretty self expanatory.
Drunkenness can result through blotting out pain, insecurity or discomfort, through the numbing effect of alcohol. By the grace of God I don't struggle with drunkenness, but I misuse other things. Sometimes food or spending serve that purpose in my own life. These are areas I am laying down for God's transforming power in my life.
Someone said to me this week, "I was born an alcoholic and I will always be an alcoholic. The moment I had my first drink I knew it. My choice is not whether I will be an alcoholic or not--my choice is whether or not I will practice it."
Although God can and sometimes does, deliver people from their addictions--sometimes he gives us the strength to live with them for his glory. His life being lived through us is what makes the difference if we move over and let him.
Anxieties are sometimes the result of an inability to trust God. Some of us need to be healed of anxiety and be given a baptism of faith.
Dear Lord, pleasure was invented by you and you gave us senses to enjoy and experience the world around us. Help me though, not to be mastered and consumed by the pursuit of pleasure but to enjoy all things in freedom and moderation.
Deliver me from anything that stands in the place of Lordship that belongs to you alone. I lay down my weaknesses to be filled with your strength.
Free me from anxiety and fill me with faith in you that my heart will not be weighed down, but will rise, free as a bird because I trust in you.