“·Be careful [Watch yourselves] not to ·spend your time [or become dulled by; let your hearts be weighed down by] ·feasting [carousing; debauchery], ·drinking [drunkenness], or worrying about worldly things. If you do, that day might come on you suddenly, ·like a trap. For it will come upon all people who live on the earth. Luke 21:34-35
I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with self-discipline.. especially as regards food. In our culture, over-eating or indulgence in a myriad of ways is the norm. In the church, over-eating has been the 'unspoken' sin that no one wants to acknowledge, yet everyone knows in their heart, is an indicator of a person living to please the flesh rather than having their hearts set on the the things of the spirit.
When I read the passage above, I knew what it was all about. In fact, I was feeling convicted about not eating healthy foods and over-eating before I ever picked up my bible this morning. The Lord knew exactly where we were headed. I am decidedly NOT enjoying writing this post today. Sigh.. But I am glad He is addressing this yet again. It needs to be dealt with.
The Lord has done such a work in my life up till now and it is no surprise to me that the area of food has become for me the final 'stronghold'. If He can give me the grace to obey, by removing laziness, procrastination, and self-indulgence in so many areas.. helping me to work and work hard with a happy heart.. then He can give me the grace to say no to my flesh in the area of food.
"Discipline, for the Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.” ~E.Elliott
Day by day, the Lord has been moving from room to room.. from closet to cabinet in my 'soul' and heart and pointing out the things that must go. So many of those things seem 'innocent' yet how can they be when they master us? They cannot be.
Oswald Chambers often reminds us that the Holy Spirit will 'hone in' on the one thing you consider 'small' in God's eyes. What is small in our eyes is often quite big to Him. He wants all of us.. and it is often in the little things that we fight the hardest.
Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you.You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. ~Oswald Chambers
When I looked up the word surfeiting.. it described being so 'over full' of both food and drink, that you felt heavy.. with headaches and other after effects. One word that came up in my research was "Epicurians'. We have considered them today to be just people who are food lovers.. or picky about the taste and quality of their food.. but the original followers of Epicurus.. the 'loose' ones sound more like today's culture. They literally took the enjoyment of food and drink to a new level.. that of worship. Ouch. Sounds way too much like we Americans today.
These were so called from Epicurus, the son of Neocles, who was born 342 years before Christ, and taught philosophy at Athens, in his garden; .....His followers were called "Epicureans"; of which there have been two sorts; the one were called the strict or rigid "Epicureans", who placed all happiness in the pleasure of the mind, arising from the practice of moral virtue, and which is thought by some to be the true principle of "Epicureans"; the other were called the loose, or the remiss Epicureans, who understood their master in the gross sense, and placed all their happiness in the pleasure of the body, in brutal and sensual pleasure, in living a voluptuous life, in eating and drinking, &c. and this is the common notion imbibed of an Epicurean.
So today, yet again, the Lord, after pointing out so many areas of my life this last 7 months that need to be brought under the Holy Spirit's control, is now 'honing in' on what I eat and drink. It's fine.. no it's wonderful as I certainly don't want to be found focused on this world and it's pleasures and cares, when the Lord returns. I want my heart and body, soul and mind to be in such a state that when he returns, He will be pleased. The Lord wants us to hold nothing back from him.
We mustn't say No to God, regardless of how 'innocent' or small the indulgence. I know there is so much good on the other side of obedience, however difficult the discipline may feel right now.
Praying I will say yes.. to Him and be responsive over every bite.. doing all to His glory.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God I Cor. 10:31
Dear Lord, You know this is hard for me.. and I bet for some of my readers too. But you do not ask us to do what you cannot make us able to do by your grace. Just as I have given up so many other things in response to your conviction, enable me to give up the love of food too. Without your help, we can do nothing, but with your help we can do anything. Thank you for your grace. Help us to love only You, and simply 'use' food and drink and enjoy it in a proper manner. Amen.