Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Eph. 5:18, NIV.
It was 1981 in one of the Midwest's major metropolitan areas. A five- week evangelistic seminar had led more than 50 converts into the Adventist lifestyle. One of these individuals was Larry, a young college-age man who had not known of the Seventh-day Adventist faith. One of the most profound impacts on Larry's life was the health message. Its influence would later save his life.
During the 10 years following his baptism he took many turns that led him in and out of the church. However, some of his Adventist lifestyle habits never faded.
By the early 1990s Larry had settled into a steady job managing an apartment building in the heart of the city.
One of the tenants in Larry's building was a very intelligent, soft-spoken man who owned a computer. Larry was invited to use the computer from time to time and frequently visited the tenant's apartment. On each occasion the tenant would offer Larry a beverage that the Adventist lifestyle frowned on. Larry's convictions about health caused him to decline the drinks.
One day Larry observed the man on the street near the apartment complex. He had a scowl and seemed despondent. Larry passed it off as a youthful mood swing. Later, when he watched the evening news, it became clear why he was depressed. The police were closing in on him.
The city was Milwaukee and the tenant was Jeffrey Dahmer, the notorious serial killer who had gained control over his victims by drugging their drinks. Larry shuddered when he thought that he had escaped the fate of others because he, like Daniel of old, refused to drink the forbidden.
How many people, young and old, have lost their lives because they left the avenues of appetite unguarded? How many victims partook of the king's drink and the elixir of death?
Today Larry gives God the glory for allowing him to be exposed to the Adventist lifestyle. Unlike addictive substances, being filled with the Spirit has no negative side effects, and the Spirit satisfies.Keep the health principles you have been taught. You never know when they might save or prolong your life.
Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.