Superbowls, Marijuana & the Holy Spirit – 1/28/14

“I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong? Willie Nelson

I understand some are referring to this Sunday’s Super bowl as the “Marijuana Bowl” for two reasons: First, both Colorado (Denver Broncos) and Washington State (Seattle Seahawks) have legalized marijuana (the only two states thus far). Second, Pot enthusiasts are hoping to make their case that smoking marijuana is actually less dangerous than drinking, and thus that SuperBowl commercials should not promote alcohol drinking to the extent that they typically do.

Sadly many people watching these commercials and engaging in this debate are totally oblivious to a an option that is far greater than either alcohol or marijuana, and that option is getting hooked on, or better – being filled by the Holy Spirit.

This post is not an anti marijuana smoking or an anti alcohol drinking post as much as it is a very pro pursuing the fullness of the Holy Spirit post. I doubt there will be commercials on this – this Sunday, so I thought I would make my pitch via blogging.

I was introduced to both marijuana and alcohol in my early high school days – probably like many of you. By my senior year – some of my fellow students were coming to school stoned – pretty much on a daily basis. Even though we lived in the Bible belt, I’m not sure any of us knew much if anything about the Holy Spirit. Certainly we wouldn’t have thought of Him as a better option for the things we were trying to experience by messing around with Budweiser and Pot.

All of us have a very legitimate need for: peace of mind, calmness of spirit, stability of our emotions, pleasure, satisfaction, joy, fulfillment and power. The question is: how are we going to try to obtain those things? Well obviously one way that many are choosing to obtain them is by drinking various forms of alcohol and/or smoking marijuana as much and as often as possible – at least partially motivated or encouraged by commercials like we will be witnessing this coming Sunday.

I would like to suggest while we could protest this barrage of commercials aimed at our sons and daughters – clearly without any real concern for their safety or wellbeing – – a much greater need and perhaps better approach would be first pursuing the fullness of the Holy Spirit yourself, and then helping others do the same.

Have you ever noticed how few prohibitions Jesus gave to His 12 disciples as He was preparing them to carry on His mission without Him; and yet how many times He spoke to them about the coming person and ministry of the Holy Spirit? (For starters see: Luke 11:13, John 14:16,17,26; 16:7, etc.). He knew better than any – how many temptations they would have to bury their sorrows with wine or pursue temporary sexual pleasure with loose women. (What in the world was He thinking when in front of His disciples He turned that water into wine?!! )..….. I think He knew once they began to experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who is a Person and not a force by the way, they would not go back to lesser things.

Did you know that the fruit of the Holy Spirit – – that is – the things the Holy Spirit constantly produces in and through our lives when we learn to relate to and depend upon Him as a way of life are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control”?? (Galatians 5:22,23) Now the beer commercials are going to try to convince you that they can produce that, but we all know real life often turns out far different. Maybe drinking with a bunch of friends can produce a few laughs,….. but patience, goodness, gentleness, self control?? I don’t think so.

So how can we come to the point in our relationship with God the Holy Spirit that we no longer look to these other substances or experiences for what only He can produce in us and provide for us? Well many books have been written on that subject. And I can’t spend any more time on this blog….But I would leave you with this simple promise as a place to start, and for some of us – – many years later – – we find ourselves still coming back to this principle, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

In the kingdom of God – we get what we ask for – if we learn to ask with the persistence and childlike faith Jesus spoke of in the few verses prior to this one. Gotta run. Happy Holy Spirit Bowl!

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