With some foods, it is true!
If I had known when I was overindulging in sweets, fast food, and junk food that these foods would cause me to gain 100 pounds after high school, I don’t believe I would have done it.
However, I did know on some level that these foods weren’t good for me, but I chose to eat them anyway.
I didn’t practice this bit of Biblical wisdom:
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (1 Corinthians 6:12).”
But in dropping from a size 22 to a size 8, I learned this is not a question of natural willpower. It is about realizing that while you can eat anything, you shouldn’t eat everything.
If you struggle with your weight due to your eating habits, then there are probably some foods you are eating that don’t play well with your brain chemistry. Some foods cause cravings and make you want to overeat. For some people, they cause your flesh to rise up.
Even the Apostle Paul struggled with his flesh in some areas. In Romans, he writes about the battle with his flesh:
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:15-25).”
Years ago, the Lord taught me that your flesh is like a spoiled child who can never grow up. Your flesh will never want to do the right thing. She wants what she wants, when she wants it.
I call my flesh nature “Veruca.” Click the play button in the clip from the classic movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” You’ll see why!
If you were taking your flesh child to a store, would you take that child down the candy or the toy aisle?
No you wouldn’t. It you did, then you’d have to put up with the child’s tantrums and noise when you denied her what she wanted. I call this “waking up Veruca.”
To me, it is the same thing as continually giving into your flesh’s desires to do the wrong thing. Even if you gave in, she will only want more. And as you can see, your flesh can be very destructive if you let her do what she wants!
I’ve decided as much as I like food, nothing is good enough for me to wear anymore:
- It is not good enough for the extra strain it puts on your heart.
- It not good enough for the wear and tear it puts on your joints.
- It is not good enough for the increased risk of diabetes and stroke.
Excess food isn’t good enough to wear.
If you’ve had problems controlling your flesh when it comes to food, the first thing to remedy the situation is to avoid or limit trouble foods. An example happened to me just yesterday.
I bought some low-sugar Craisins (dried cranberries), then found myself having to battle my flesh because she wanted more. This surprised me because I was thinking this would be a healthier alternative to the Craisins I used to buy years ago.
While this may have been a better alternative, it still didn’t play well with my unique brain chemistry. So to face reality. I chose to get rid of them and won’t buy them again because I don’t want to hear my flesh complain about being denied.
It is wise for you to learn which foods in your current diet are causing your flesh to rise up. It’s probably those same foods that have caused you to gain weight in the first place.
If you do happen to come into trouble, not of your own making, then you can either say “Wait” to the flesh (a word she hates) or “No” (which she hates even more).
Either way, your Spirit has power to control the flesh like a responsible parent controls a child headed for trouble. However, you must believe God that it exists and by faith, use that power one choice at a time.
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