Have you ever watched the show “Intervention”? I watched it while I was up visiting Gege and Grandpop. On this show, family and friends get together with trained professionals to confront substance addicts to convince them to go to rehab. They do this to get them to help themselves, and save themselves from further destruction. Unfortunately the addicts are not always willing. They all too often, choose to continue in their downward spiral of actions and choices further destroying themselves and those around them. It is very, very sad, and preventable.
How do you think an addict, prior to addiction, would answer the question; “Will drugs help you in life or hurt you?” Surely any heroin addict would say it would destroy them. They know it before hand, but still choose heroin. What they are doing is consciously disregarding what they know to be true.
As I read through Exodus, and particularly today through God’s instruction to his people for the passover, I see a connection between the drug addict and the Israelites. Both willingly opt for what they know to be destructive and wrong. In the Israelites case, God gave His people preventative measures against this. We see in Exodus today how God laid out a specific ritual, passover, to be repeated over and over again. It was to remind them and all future generations what God had done for them, who God was, and to obey and keep their lives focused on God. This would prevent them from turning away from God through disobedience, turning to idols or their own sinful desires because that would lead to their destruction. If you asked those first Israelites “Will disobedience to God help you or hurt you?” they would all know the right answer. Sadly, history shows that they, just like the drug addicts, deliberately chose disobedience, and the spiral downward began.
We know the right answer too. Unfortunately, we too, like the Israelites need rituals or habits as reminders. Without them, we will be tempted to ignore what we know to be true and disobey God. The difference is, we now have the Holy Spirit to help us stay the course. He is the ultimate “Intervention”. God gave us His word and the Holy Spirit to keep us on track and away from disobedience. In fact, this week’s verse (James 4:7) sums up perfectly what we ought to do, so we don’t start down that road of destruction. We should continually submit to God and obey Him. and flee the devil’s temptations to disobey, convincing us that God is too “restrictive” in our lives. I was reminded in a sermon last week that Satan is always trying to convince us God is “restrictive”. Just consider this: Adam and Eve were granted freedom to eat from EVERY SINGLE TREE in the garden except one. What did Satan do? He focused their attention on the one tree they could not have, instead of focusing on the wealth of gifts and the incredible freedoms God had given them. It destroyed them. He will do the same to you and I. He will try to get us to disobey by convincing us we are “missing out”, which leads to destruction. Just consider this question honestly: Which must you choose to experience blessing or life? Obedience or disobedience? We all know the clear, true answer. It is as clear and simple as the fact that drugs lead to a destroyed life.
God told the Israelites to put practices. like the Passover celebration, in place so they would remember what God had done for them and who He was. It would keep them on track and obedient. It would keep them on the path to life. What practices are we putting in our lives, so that we foster the “intervention” of the Holy Spirit daily to keep us on track and off of the road of destruction? If we have very little or none, guess which road we will end up on?