I had a short but powerful conversation with a Godly man before Church yesterday where we spoke about 'sober' living...
"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." - Romans 12:3-15 ESV
Intoxicated judgment has a strange self-image. Just like a person might be a 'happy' drunk or an 'angry' drunk. Inhibition is lowered and there is a mismanagement of spatial relationships.
Sober living lives with faith as a resource and because of that, there is a role and purpose for each person in every group.
"And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." - Isaiah 11:2 ESV
The sevenfold ministry of God's Holy Spirit has liberty to operate.
"Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle." - Ezekiel 1:9b-10 ESV
The faces of these angels represent four temperaments of ministry. The compassionate man... the royal lion... the faithful oxen... the soaring eagle...
"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit," - Ephesians 5:17-18 ESV
The conclusion we came to is that 'sober' living is a good way to live. That measure of faith is the ingredient that pulls us out of our native personality and shapes us so that we are useful. We get our cues from God.
God may call us to be a bold lion today that is filled with compassion. Perhaps today is a day that calls for a cheerful eagle or maybe a merciful human being. The sober person isn't impaired with a fantasy so they are flexible and attentive to God's leading.
It is a new week and new mercy is waiting for us. There is manna to collect right outside your door and it will fill and satisfy your household. Let's go get it.