(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
There are a lot of ways to get high, and most of them have negative side-effects! American Addiction Centers did a study of drug use by race. Their results are based on “…the percentages of 12-years-old or older…Americans who used these substances in the past year:” It was found across all races:
- Alcohol had by far the highest use! Close to 60% of the U.S. population had imbibed alcohol.
- Illicit drug use (including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, prescription misuse, benzodiazepines, opioids, and others) was about 20%.
There are dangers in seeking to get high with alcohol and drugs:
- Physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial harm.
- Death. CBS News reported the total number of drug overdose deaths for 2021 stands at 107,622! And Fentanyl (a synthetic opioid up to 100 times stronger than morphine) was behind about 66% of those deaths!
Obviously, seeking to get high can cause problems!
Personally, I like getting high…but not on drugs! Here is our featured Scripture, Isaiah 40:28 through 31, and in it, the LORD is showing us a way to get high with no bad effects, just good ones:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28 – Such renewed strength depends on the everlasting God, the LORD!
- He has power and strength to overcome our weakness! And He proved that power when by just His word, He created the ends of the earth and all else! (see Genesis 1:1).
- His power and strength is constant! God never faints nor is weary!
- His understanding is unsearchable! He knows us completely (see John 2:24, 25; Hebrews 4:13), and He knows what we need and when we need it!
Isaiah 40:29 – What God gives matches exactly to what we need!
- “He gives power to the weak….” When the trials of life come one after another, who has not felt weak?
- “…to those who have no might He increases strength.” The word for might in the Hebrew is אוֹן (pronounced “one”), and it means “…ability, power, (successful) effort…(figuratively) wealth.” Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary. Whatever is needed to face the trial and get the job done, God can give it!
Isaiah 40:30 – Humankind has its limitations:
- “Even the youths shall faint and be weary….”I grew up on a 208 acre dairy farm in Connecticut. Haying season was mainly in June, July, and August. We baled the hay in rectangular bales of about forty pounds each. The bailer would drop them in the field and we would have to use the flatbed farm truck to pick them up and take them back to the barn. I was a big kid at 8, 9, and 10 years old. And I could drag two bales over to the truck, one in each hand, and then throw the bales up on the bed of the truck where my father would stack them. Those summer days in the hayfield could get hot and sticky! There were times when I thought I could not lift another bale! That’s when my father would tell me to go sit down in the shade and drink some water. I know what it is to be a youth and be faint and weary!
- “…and the young men shall utterly fall….” I was in the Track Club in high school. No, I didn’t run – from the 100-yard dash to the two-mile run, I did not participate, for I was not a fast runner! My specialty was throwing the shot-put and goofing around (I didn’t take things too seriously back then). But I remember fellow students who were dedicated athletes, especially long-distance runners, who, on a hot day had trouble completing a mile or two-mile run. And I remember a classmate passing out on the track after about a mile and a half of running hard on a hot and humid day!
- Marathon runners are aware of ‘hitting the wall’ on a long run. It’s like you just can’t go any further! But one can ‘hit the wall’ on just about any challenging undertaking, physically, mentally, or emotionally! It is all part of being a limited human being!
Isaiah 40:31 – “…but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” With God’s help, we can do anything! But there are some conditions, which all come under the heading of waiting on the LORD! For to wait on the LORD implies discerning God’s will and then aligning oneself to be in God’s will!
- First and foremost, to discern God’s will, we must be His son or daughter! John, in the first chapter of his gospel, introduces Jesus this way (verses 1, 14, and 12 and 13 in that order):
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us....as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ✞ Born of God? Jesus Himself expounded on this idea in His encounter with Nicodemus in John 3:3-7: Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he en- ter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” ✞ It is by the Holy Spirit! He enters into your heart and life when you realize you are the sinner and Jesus is the Savior! Then you invite Him in to save you! Paul, in Romans 8:9 says, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
- We also must realize God has revealed His will for His children in His Word, the Bible! Here is what it says in I Corinthians 2:9, 10, and 16 (God’s Word to the nations):
...the things that God has prepared for those who love him ....God has revealed those things to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, especially the deep things of God....we have the mind of Christ.
- The LORD then fine-tunes His will for us in different ways:
✞ He will work out the details in our intimate prayer time with Him. Remember, prayer is not just us tel- ling God our needs, but we also must be listening to His voice! ✞ And it can be “...a still small voice....” (I Kings 19:12). ✞ Sometimes He directs us in the details of His will by what we call circumstance. The saying goes, “If He closes one door, He opens a window!” We can push on doors and look for open windows of circumstance to help determine His will! ✞ A third way to help discern God’s will is to seek the counsel of mature believers! When I was consid- ering the pastoral ministry for my calling, I talked with my respected pastor, John Eseppi, and what he said shocked me! “If you can do anything other than being a minister, do it!” What?! But after a moment or two of silence, he said, “Now listen to me. “If you can do anything other than being a minister, do it! But if you can’t do anything else, then the min- istry is for you!” It is counsel from a mature be- liever I will never forget!
What are the results of discerning and then following the will of God as His child? According to Isaiah 40:31:
- “…but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength….” The LORD will give you the strength to complete His will, facing whatever challenges that may entail!
- “…they shall mount up with wings like eagles….” There are some advantages that come with flying high like an eagle:
✞ You get a different perspective on all you are going through! ✞ The problems and trials don’t look so huge from an eagle-eye height! ✞ You can see alternative solutions you could not see from below! ✞ Lastly, have you noticed how eagles fly? You don’t see a lot of wings flapping. They effortlessly soar on wind currents up high. God wants you to effort- lessly soar and not struggle to fly high!
- “…they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
✞ Some things the LORD calls you to do involves ‘run- ning,’ moving quickly to get the job done! ✞ Some things He has you move at a slower pace, ‘walking’!
Whatever He calls you to do,
He will supply the strength and stamina to succeed
………if you wait on the Lord!