I have been wanting to tell this story for some time, but I have been so ashamed to even type it out. I cry right now, just thinking about what took place and all the shame I have for what happened. I know that my Father has forgiven me for this, but He has been tugging at my heart to tell you about it. I know there is a lesson that I learned from it that He wants me to pass along to you all.
Many of you all have known me for several years. I used to like to party and go to bars and such. I don’t think I would characterize myself as an alcoholic, but I was most definitely unable to say no to a drink. I would promise myself that I wouldn’t drink before I left the house to hang out with my friends, and then before you knew it, I was the drunkest one there, doing all kinds of unmentionable stuff. More often than not, I passed out, and didn’t recall the night anyway. This cycle continued over and over from the time I took my first drink at the age of 14 all the way through my 20’s. It all caught up to me, and in 2008 I got a DUI. I was so ashamed. It was a just few months before Chad and I were to get married. When I told him about it, he gave me an ultimatum. He said that if I wanted to keep going out and getting drunk like some kind of teenager, we should call the wedding off because he wants no part in that. I am so thankful he told me this, and I that made the right decision. I know he probably saved my life and most definitely our future. Chad and I started attending his childhood church every week. I got baptized a few years later in that same church and sincerely gave my heart back to God.
Fast forward to early 2018. Everything is just wonderful! By this time, Chad and I are both teaching a Sunday school class. Chad is rotating teaching the men and I am teaching the elementary age kids. At the first of the year, I got invited to a family reunion type thing back in a town near where I grew up in Illinois. My dad, sister, and I drove up from Oklahoma to go. There were so many people there that I hadn’t seen in a while as well as some that I had never met. There was all sorts of alcohol there too. It had been 10 years since I had drank anything besides the occasional small glass of wine at the house. I decide that it won’t hurt if I drink a little. I cracked open a bottle and started to mingle with everyone there. I visited with cousins, aunts, and uncles. There was a couple there that was a little younger than my sister. One of them was a relative to my cousin on his father’s side of the family. They were both such lovely kids. My sister and I took up quick with them. We all began to drink a little more. They told us all about them and we told them all about us. I told them that I taught Sunday school too. I felt like I was in control of the drinking for a while, but then, just like every other time I drank, it got out of hand. We were taking shots of all sorts of alcohol. I was drinking like I couldn’t get enough. We started talking about all sorts of stuff. I was telling them about God and who knows what else while I was staggering around drunk. The night kept escalating and I continued to profane His name. I ended up passing out just like I had time and time again before.
The next morning I woke up and I felt horrible. Not only from the hangover from who knows what all I drank, but the guilt and shame I had from defiling God’s holy name. I am His and I am supposed to be set apart unto good works for His kingdom (Eph 2:10), and instead I spent the whole night blaspheming Him. Not only was the guilt of this so unbearable, I started thinking about those two young people. What a horrible example I showed them of what His people should behave like. Still to this day, I think about them both and pray that the Father will put someone in their life to undo the wrong that I showed them.
When I got home, I slipped into a dark depression. I fell to my knees and prayed for forgiveness for my awful behavior. The Father freely gave me that pardon, but it took a good year before I was able to forgive myself. I learned a valuable lesson in all of this though. I had been mixing sinfulness and holiness that night, the profane with the holy. God has a lot to say about not doing this, and I know that is why my heart was hurting so much.
One of the most memorable examples of mixing the holy and profane is in Exodus 32. At this time, Moses is up on Mt. Sinai getting the two tablets of testimony from God. Moses is up there for a while and in chapter 32, the mixed multitude of people start to get a little antsy. They tell Aaron (Moses’ brother) to make them a god so they can worship since Moses has not come back down. So Aaron has the people bring him all of their gold jewelry. With it, he creates the golden calf. (Here’s where the mixing of holy and profane that I was talking about comes in.) Exodus 32: 4-6 reads,
“4 He (Aaron) took this (the golden jewelry) from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 5 Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord (YWHW).” 6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”
Did you guys see that? It says that this is the god who brought you out of Egypt and they were going to have a feast to the Lord the next day. They didn’t build just a god to worship, they intended to worship the God who delivered them from Egypt. If you look up the word god in Hebrew it may shine a little better light on this. The word is ‘elohiym. Not only does it mean god, it also is defined as divine ones, godlike one, or works or special possessions of God. This word is also interchanged with the words exceeding and mighty throughout the Old Testament. If you study the history of different cultures and their gods, they would use little “mighty ones” like small statues, to be a mediator between them and their gods. A mediator just like Moses had been between them and God, and just like Jesus is the mediator between us and the Father, He goes before us. They didn’t worship the statues they created, they were a physical representation or “outlet” I guess you would say. If showing you that the calf was a mediator doesn’t convince you that they were worshiping the One true God, take a look at the word “Lord” in verse 5. In Hebrew that word is Yĕhovah and it’s only meaning is “the existing One”, the proper name of the one true God. That word never interchanges with a little g god.
Right after this, God tells Moses that he had better go down from the mountain and stop the people from their blasphemous behavior because He is so angry that He could kill them. (Please take time to read this whole account for yourself). The people were mixing the Holy God with the profane worship that they had undoubtably learned during their years of bondage in Egypt. Later in Deuteronomy 12, God reminds His people not to mix the way the pagans worship their gods with the way they are supposed to be worshiping Him. There are several other examples in the Bible that talk about mixing the holy and the profane, and I will list just a few of them at the end.
My point with all of this is that my mixing being drunk and professing to be a Child of God and trying to witness to someone, is no different than the mixed multitude mixing their pagan worship with the same God that released them from their bondage. Mixing is mixing and it is all the same in God’s eyes. I am still sifting through the things that the Father points out in me that are profane to Him. It is an ongoing process, but the reward far out ways the sorrow and conviction that these things bring out.
I pray that my mistakes might help you all, and encourage you to take a look at your own lives. I pray also that you are open to self-evaluation and correction bought on by the wonderful things you read in the Word of God. It is such a beautiful thing to be changed and molded into something useful for His kingdom and to glorify His Holy name. God bless you all.
(Here are just a few verses that I thought would help in understanding that the Father doesn’t want us to mix the holy and profane like I had done. Again, please search these truths out for yourselves.)
Deuteronomy 12:31 (which I mentioned above), “31 You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
Ezekiel 22:26, “Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.”
Ezekiel 44:23, “Moreover, they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Jeremiah 10: 2-4, “2 Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; 3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 “They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter.”
John 2: 13-16, “13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”
Revelation 3:16 says, “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” (You get lukewarm water from mixing hot and cold.)