Thursday, April 16, 2009

Food & Jesus

I really love food. You probably know that. Unfortunately, I love it so much that it really is a struggle to me. God has revealed that to me several times in my life so far. I also struggle with keeping myself at a healthy weight (as in, I gain weight easily, but I have not been overweight for almost 6 years) so oftentimes, when I am failing in the food area, I notice because I am gaining weight (even tho I work out at least 4 times a week).

A lot of people don't understand having a spiritual struggle with food so I'll try to explain. My flesh often desires unhealthy food, or more food than I need, or food just because it tastes good even though I'm not hungry & don't need it, & I sin when I indulge my flesh by allowing myself to have those things when I know I shouldn't. I'm not saying all unhealthy things are bad (at least not in moderation) but when something has control over you, besides Jesus, it is sin. It is really hard for me to say no to a cookie when I want it.

I mentioned God has revealed this to me before, yet it's still a problem. In the past I would realize food had control over me, so I'd make a plan, or RULES - only one sweet a week, count calories, etc. I'd do okay for a while then I'd fail, & stop altogether.

This time, a few weeks ago, I can't say what happened differently, but I realized that I couldn't make rules, or bind myself to calorie limits, in order to have self-control over food. God showed me that I needed to pray before I ate. Not "thank You Lord for this food" prayers but, "God, I'm hungry, what do you want me to eat?" prayers. & that I needed to hear the Holy Spirit tell me when to stop eating (instead of waiting until I'm stuffed), & stop. & for the past 2 1/2 weeks, my eating habits have changed. I don't plan ahead for my meals or snacks (except dinner), but in the moment, I ask God what to eat (& it's amazing how He does NOT say, "chips" or "tater tots").

He gave me a desire for oatmeal. I have NEVER liked oatmeal. I tried liking it for a week in college & it did not work. But I have eaten it almost every day for the past couple of weeks! I now eat what will benefit my body, not necessarily what I "feel like" eating. Yes, I have had freedom to eat a cookie now & then (about one, once a week) or maybe dessert at Life Group, BUT I have also had the discipline to say no when I did not feel that freedom.

My body has felt better. I haven't had stomachaches (which I get fairly often), except when I have failed to ask God before I ate & I indulged (then repented). AND, I have even lost a couple of pounds! I don't say this to suggest some kind of "God diet," but to say, God knows what our bodies need. If we ask Him & obey, He will show us how to take care of ourselves as His temple. That's what He desires! & He desires for us to be so in accordance with His Spirit that we obey in every little thing, even what we eat.

I have so been encouraged in this. Please pray for me! This is a lifetime deal where I will always need to seek the Spirit & obey regarding food. & it carries over to every other part of life! If we followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every area of our life, we'd be in good shape (figuratively speaking, altho I guess literally as well :-) ).


Laura Pearce said...

Thank you for sharing Courtney! I struggle in the same way...I'm going to try your approach!

Whitney said...

That's awesome! So, maybe you should decide where to go on Tuesday! :)

Molly Kate said...

I'm so glad you shared this! wow...I've never really thought about this in this way! you are such a blessing!