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Words of Life

Drunk, But Not On Wine

By James Robison December 13, 2009 Words of Life

We live in a day when people are not only out of control, but under the control of powerful adversarial influences. God spoke clearly through the prophet Isaiah these words:

“Blind yourselves and be blind. They become drunk, but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink.”1

God, through the prophet, asserts that there are powerful, controlling forces in the realm of the spirit which influenced the nation of Israel – His chosen people. Isaiah used the physical analogy of those who stagger and stumble under the debilitating influence of alcohol to illustrate the control that spiritual forces can have over people.

The Old Testament story of Israel is the revelation of people set free from Egyptian bondage, which represents bondage to the world’s mentality, and led toward freedom in the Promised Land. Though they were physically liberated, their minds were hindered by fear and unbelief. Consequently, they wandered in circles for 40 years, then finally the faithful few who believed the truth entered the Promised Land and defeated their enemies through the supernatural power of God. Years later, the same chosen ones of God became prisoners again, even in the Promised Land.2

This is an accurate description of much of the church family. Too many believers live in as much bondage as they experienced prior to their deliverance from the world. There is an enemy in the spiritual realm referred to by Paul as “principalities and powers of darkness.”3 These demonic forces and deceivers take captive the most precious and influential ones in our midst.

Isaiah went on to say that truth cannot be understood because people draw near God with their words and honor him with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. He said that reverence for Him consists of tradition learned by rote, which is mechanical repetition.4


Much of the church and many in our country are trapped by a spirit of mechanical repetition regarding truth. We recite the pledge of allegiance, but not from our heart and with little or no understanding or appreciation. We sing The Star Spangled Banner with no heartfelt brokenness and gratitude for the price paid for our freedom, and with hands resting on hearts that have grown cold and calloused by a spirit of indifference. We repeat prayers, but they are mere words seldom going higher than the ceiling. We sing songs, but we have forgotten their message. We go through the motions of worship, but live in defeat. We hear sermons, but seldom apply them.

This time of year, especially, is fraught with meaningless repetition. We say, “Merry Christmas,” but don’t celebrate the coming of the Christ. We give gifts, but forget the greatest Gift of all. We get busy with the “holidays” when we should be still and know that He is Lord. No wonder so many people actually hate this time of year! We have become hearers and not doers.

Again, God spoke through Isaiah to His people, calling them to repentance and promising them freedom:

“Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine: Thus says your Lord, the Lord, even your God Who contends for His people, ‘Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My anger; You will never drink it again. I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, “Lie down that we may walk over you.” You have even made your back like the ground and like the street for those who walk over it.'”5

God said to His people and those with ears to hear, but who refuse to hear, that they would reach a point of such intoxication by the spirit of deception, distraction and defeat that the enemies of life and freedom would command them to lie down while tormenting forces walked over them as trampled ground.

It is happening to our leaders in the political realm. It happens in ministry. It happened to Tiger Woods. With all the prosperity and material blessings, his natural appetites were obviously controlled and manipulated by adverse, supernatural influences that took one of the strongest and most successful people in America and made him a slave to his own sexual appetite, even though he has a beautiful family. But let no one cast a stone. Let all of us fall on our faces before God on his behalf and on behalf of his wife and precious children.

Tiger’s publicized scandal illustrates the fact that regardless of our ability, we cannot overcome this world in our own strength. If we attempt to live outside of the Lord’s power, we will find ourselves drunk, out of control, and under the control of these deadly spiritual influences. We will be drunk, but not on wine.

Salvation lies in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“Awake, awake! Clothe yourselves with strength. Zion, clothe yourself with beautiful garments. Shake yourself from the dust. Rise up captive Jerusalem and loose the chains from around your neck. You were sold for nothing, but you will be redeemed without money.”6

We have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. That goes not only for us as gentiles, but also for every Jew. The true Zion is the restored, redeemed, blood-bought people of God. And we can deliver the good news. We can announce peace. We can announce salvation. We can say to Zion, “Our God reigns…not only word, but also in deed.”

As watchmen, we can lift up our voices. We can shout joyfully together and then everyone will see with their own eyes when the Lord restores not only the church, but because of the restoration of the church and of believers, in order that the glorious influence of a city set on a hill can also help restore the nation. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to announce His coming!

This is my prayer and commitment. I will not be distracted and, by the grace of God, I will trample underfoot the enemies that have walked on me far too often. Join me in this victorious march for the glory and purpose of our great God! Jesus promised that those who become intoxicated and controlled by His spirit will be overcomers and walk over the enemy like dust under their feet.

This Week
Are you feeling “trampled” under the foot of the enemy? Shake off the dust, loosen the chains and forsake redemption in anything except our Savior, Jesus Christ! Change your thoughts and actions and begin to walk in victory.

“Jesus, you are my salvation and redemption. Help me to walk in Your ways, to live in Your Word and celebrate Your life not only for this sacred season, but every day of my life. Amen.”


1 Isaiah 29:9, NAS
2 Nehemiah 9:36, NAS
3 Ephesians 6:12, NAS
4 Isaiah 29:11-13, paraphrased
5 Isaiah 51:21-23, NAS
6 Isaiah 52:1-3, 7-8, paraphrased

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