Friday, January 30, 2015

Conditioning Our Appetite

whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. (Philippians 3:19 NAS)

Conditioning Our Appetite
“I am 47 years old and have struggled with overeating and obesity since puberty,” Rena Barker wrote, sharing her testimony at SettingCaptivesFree.com. “I can remember gorging until I hurt and crying out to God to help me as I unwrapped my next candy bar. Several years ago, He did convict me that my overeating was sin but that knowledge really only compounded my rebellion and closet eating. The more I ate and gave into my flesh, the less I wanted to pray or fellowship with other Christians or read my Bible.”

Thankfully for Rena, God led her to an online Christian weight loss program that helped her kick start living a healthier lifestyle.

“There are many ways people may let their appetites get out of control,” wrote the author of an article at BiblicalCounselingInsights.com. “People have a type of hunger, real or perceived, and then try to feed it in a way that is inappropriate. Maybe they are greedy for sensation. Or maybe they have an emotional hurt and are trying to mask it with a high or the yumminess of a dessert or a ‘fun fix.’ Either way, they need to understand their real problem and address it in a healthy way. Overindulgence will only make matters worse.”

In a sense, gluttony is not just about overeating or about how we eat. It is also about overindulgence—the pursuit of something we desire so much that we give it far greater importance than everything else. Of those who relentlessly pursue after earthly gains, the Bible says of them that their god is their appetite, whose glory is in their shame. Their minds think only about this life here on earth. But we are not those who are yet unsaved, for our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:19-20).

Why should we, therefore, spend money on what cannot nourish us or labor for what does not satisfy? Shouldn’t we listen to God and eat what is good, and delight in the abundance He has blessed us with? If we have been given great wealth and honor, and everything we could ever want, but lack health because of overeating or overindulgence, how would it benefit us? Do we not know that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are not our own? For we have been bought with a price, so honor God in our body (Isaiah 55:2; Ecclesiastes 6:2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Are we struggling from the bondage of bad eating habits? If like Rena, we need help to get started on the road to freedom from obesity or gluttony, the first step we need to take is to come to God and acknowledge our condition and addiction. Seek help from Christian care and counseling therapists who understand addiction or begin by taking up a course like The Lord’s Table by SettingCaptivesFree.com. Follow the cue given in the Bible that when given a box of candy, do not gulp it all down; eating too much chocolate will make ourselves sick (Proverbs 25:16 MSG).

Dear Lord, forgive us for the times we choose to follow our own pursuits in seeking to feed our own appetites instead of doing Your will. See us through and set us free from our addiction as we take the steps to walk closer with You and distance ourselves from obsession, obesity, and overindulgence. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.

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