Are you struggling with food addiction? Well, struggling is good!
What? Before you think that I’ve lost my mind, I’ll explain what I mean in this food addiction devotional.
Having suffered from food addiction for over 20 years, I can say that overcoming this issue is not as simple as ”just say no.”
As a disciple of Christ, you need the willingness to shine the light of God’s word into that dark place and walk in the light day-by-day.
Your motivation is to lay aside every weight that hinders you so that you can fulfill the Lord’s purpose for your life.
Addictions of any kind are a stumbling block in life. An addiction means that the substance has power over you, that you’ve come to depend upon that substance to get you through life.
Typically, a lie is at the center of that dependency. The addicted person believes that a desirable emotion is tied to that substance, such as joy, peace, or comfort.
They have blinders on, fixated on that substance as their answer, believing that they can’t experience what they are seeking in any other way.
Conversely, the person fears that they will be without those feelings if the substance is removed.
According to pastor and author Tim Keller’s definition of idolatry, addictions fit this description:
“What is an idol? It is anything that is more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
So if you are running to the addictive substance when you need joy, peace, or comfort rather than to God and it is more important to you than your Godly relationship, then that substance is an idol to you.
Read the wisdom in 1 Corinthians 6:12 aloud:
“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
Do you hear the decisiveness in that last sentence? No wavering, no double-mindedness.
You’ve drawn a line in the sand and are taking your stand.
So, struggling against food addiction is good.
Here is why.
Why Struggle is Good
Let’s consider the definition of struggle. Struggle means to: ”make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.”
So if you are resisting the addiction that keeps you bound and stands in the way of your relationship with God, then that is good.
You are taking steps to change, day-by-day with the Lord’s help.
While you may have setbacks, you are determined to overcome. You understand that dependency upon God and inner strength is built in the struggle:
”And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”– Romans 5:3-5
However, if you are just giving into destructive habits without a fight then that is not good, nor is believing the enemy’s lies that you cannot change.
There is no struggle at all because you are living a lie, not the truth.
Why you Can Change
The truth that you can change is found in God’s word:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.– Romans 12:1-2
As you consider this scripture, answer the following questions:
- What does it mean to present your body as a living sacrifice?
- Why would the apostle Paul say that presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice to God is our reasonable service?
- In what ways is your environment or other worldly influences shaping you?
- How does this scripture say that change is possible?
Now regarding food addiction, you might say, ”But Kim, I can’t do this. After all, I’ve got to eat to live!”
That is true. However, be honest with yourself: Is the specific food to which you are addicted the only food available for your survival?
Of course not. The Lord has made many foods available for health, healing, and vitality.
But you see, the enemy exploits our natural fear of loss to keep us trapped in addictive habits.
Let’s look at 2 examples from the Bible of people who also fell for deceptions about food: Eve and Esau.
Fear of Missing Out: Eve
The enemy persuaded the first woman, Eve, to disobey God concerning food. He exploited her fear of missing out (see Genesis 3:1-13).
The Lord had already given Eve’s husband, Adam an instruction in the Garden of Eden. He told him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which Adam passed on to Eve.
The Lord said that they would die if they ate of it. However, He said they could freely eat of every other tree in the Garden.
But what did the enemy do? He contradicted what God said, in essence calling God a liar.
The enemy told Eve that she and Adam would not die. Instead, they would be like God if they ate of the forbidden tree.
The enemy got Eve to fixate on the one tree that God told them not to eat instead of the hundreds, perhaps thousands that the Lord said they could freely eat!
Well, we all know what happened; Eve disobeyed God’s word. Not only did she disobey, but she persuaded her husband to do the same!
Their disobedience ushered sin and death into the world. We are still experiencing the effects of their choice today.
Worst trade ever!
But how many of us are doing the same thing, focusing on the foods that destroy us rather than the foods that would heal us?
Think about it.
Fear of Death: Esau
Esau’s flesh persuaded him to give up his birthright for a meal. He told himself a lie that exploited the fear of death (see Genesis 25:29-34).
Esau was tired and hungry after a day in the field. The stew his brother Jacob was preparing smelled mighty good.
Esau asked for some. However, Jacob was crafty. Jacob told Esau he could have some if he sold his birthright to him.
What? The value of the birthright far surpassed a bowl of stew!
Selling the birthright meant that Esau would give up his right as the firstborn son to receive a double portion of his father’s goods.
A terrible trade!
But Esau did not hesitate. He thought little of his future birthright, saying with flippancy, ”Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” See Genesis 25:32.
Did you spot the lie?
Wasn’t Esau working in the field moments before? If he was strong enough to do that work, he couldn’t have been about to die!
Even if Esau was in danger of starvation, he had other options including:
- Eat a vegetable or piece of fruit
- Prepare his own stew
In addition, because Jacob and Esau lived with their parents Issac and Rebecca, they certainly would not have let their son starve to death!
How many of us have told ourselves lies to justify making bad decisions about food?
How many of us are trading in our birthright of good health?
Think about it.
The Fear Antidote
The antidote to the fear behind food addiction is love. God’s perfect love casts out fear. When you trust that God loves you, you desire to live in His presence, submit to His purpose, and embrace Him as your source, not food.
When I practiced food addiction, I had a spirit of rebellion against God because I believed lies about Him.
Now, because I know the Lord as loving and believe that His plans for me are good, then I have nothing to rebel against!
I want to walk in agreement with the Lord and experience the blessings bundled in obedience to His word. That’s what you want to walk in agreement with too – in every respect.
Jesus told us the truth about the enemy:
”The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”– John 10:10
When you read that description of the devil, doesn’t it make sense to struggle against him rather than rebel against God in the matter of food addiction?
You can come into agreement with God through asking Him in prayer for wisdom regarding your daily food choices. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Not only does the Lord give you the wisdom needed to follow Him, but the power to do it!
Do what He tells you to do, knowing that love for you is His motivator. His plans for you are good.
When you cooperate with the Holy Spirit daily in overcoming food addiction, your life will change for the better. You will be blessed and experience true freedom with addiction out of your life:
”Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage ”– Galatians 5:1.
As you walk in freedom, you will share in the Lord’s word to set other captives free!
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”
You mention listening to the urging of the Holy Spirit… I know this having been a believer my whole life. What about the times when I hear the nudging, I’m convicted of what to do, and I ignore it and make the poor choice anyway? This is when I feel like I will never be able to defeat this addiction!!!
Hi Becca – It is an issue that many of us struggle with, including the apostle Paul. I recommend reading Romans chapters 6-8 and you will see why you struggle and what to do about it. I also recommend reading this article:
Confronting the Lies of Rebellion
Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world!
I went through an addiction program at our church but I had a problem with believing I could be set free ( through Christ) but that I would ALWAYS be a ( food) addict. The scriptures say whom the Son sets free is free indeed.so, am I a life long addict…..or am I free? Your opinion please.
Hi Sherry – here are my thoughts, based on Biblical truth. I pray you live according to this truth: https://takebackyourtemple.com/problem-overeaters-anonymous/
Thank you for your wise council. I am in total agreement with the biblical principals you presented. I am changing day by day and I intend to be set completely free by God’s grace. It reminds me of a song we use to sing…..” He’s setting free, this Holy Ghost power, He’s setting me free this very hour, He’s setting me free free free this Holy Ghost power”
I thank God for freedom through Jesus. I declare that I am no longer bound by food addiction because Jesus has set me FREE and whom the Son sets free is free indeed!
I am agreeing with you, Sherry! May the Lord continue to bless you as you walk in freedom day-by-day, in the power of the Holy Spirit!