Today’s post is part of our current series:Taking Care of Your Mind, Body, and Soul. Today we are going to be looking at our eating habits.
Most of you reading this know that it’s important to eat healthy and even how to eat healthy. We know we shouldn’t over eat or under eat. We know balance is key and we weren’t meant to obsess over food. Having the self-control to carry out these healthy eating habits is another story. So, in this post we’re going to look at the heart of some eating issues and why it is so hard to have self-control.
Before we keep going on about food though, let’s look at something deeper – our hearts and its desires…
James 1:12-15 says, Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
What this scripture is saying is that our temptations do not come from God. They are from our own desires. Temptation to do wrong is basically the thought of needing to feel fulfilled, valued, secure, important, and beautiful but finding these things in something or someone other than God. That’s it. Temptations say: find what you need instantly through ___________ (food, affairs, drinking, shopping, gossiping), instead of waiting on God.
What happens when you get hungry? Your stomach rumbles and you can even feel sick if you wait too long to eat. When the hunger pains come you fill up your stomach with food and your stomach is satisfied. Our hearts do the same thing. They hurt and they ache from insecurities, lies, and wounds that have hit us. Broken hearts rumble and cry out and we can feel sick if we ignore a hurting heart too long. When heart pains come it means our heart needs to be filled up, just like an empty stomach needs to be filled with food. What our hearts are meant to be filled up with is Jesus’ love and grace – he is the Bread of life. He is the healthy bread our hearts need to eat. But, so often we fill our hearts with something else – drinking, affairs, over-eating, over-spending, ect.) Why? Because it’s quick and easy and provides instant gratification. We feel fulfilled and even happy…for a moment, until this “fake bread” goes away and our hearts cry out again, just as our stomachs rumble not too many hours after we’ve eaten.
So, what does all this have to do with eating healthy and taking care of our bodies? I’m going to propose a new plan if you’re struggling with unhealthy eating patterns. In fact, it doesn’t even have to do with food. It has to do with Jesus and your heart.
Every time you feel those hunger pains in your heart – those thoughts that tell you you’re not pretty, you’re not a good mother, you’re bored and lonely…pray for God to fulfill your heart with His love and grace and then…wait. Wait on the Lord to fill you up. It’s not the instant fulfillment you want to get from food or anything else. The Lord moves at His own pace and as you wait for Him to fill you full you understand more about what faith and trust is all about. He also promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. We must trust this promise, just as Abraham trusted in God’s promises, even though the physical evidence was not in front of him.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13,14)
Wait on the Lord. Trust Him to fill you with the love and grace your heart is so hungry for. You may realize as you deepen your relationship with Jesus that food isn’t all that important anymore. You may just find that food doesn’t give you the fulfillment and happiness it once did…something replaced it. Something better – Jesus. The Bread of Life.
For additional reading and digging deeper into this issue please read the scriptures below:
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you?What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven.Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:25-59)
Prayer: Father, please fill us with what we need, not with instant gratifications that don’t last. Please make our minds aware of what we are doing and why we do what we do. Make us aware of all the things we are trying to fill our hearts with that aren’t from you. Help us to realize that the more we draw close to you the less longing we will have for the things of this world. Let your Word be exciting to us. Let prayer time with you be peaceful and comforting. Let your presence fill our days so we long to seek you more and more. Please help heal any sister in Christ who is struggling with eating or body issues. Let her know she is loved and your grace covers her. Amen.
*This post is not intended to stop any diet or eating habits that you personally need in your life due to medical reasons. Please consult a doctor before starting or stopping any new eating activity.