Confession time, friends! Last night after our Young Families Group left, we got things cleaned up and the kiddies settled into beds, and then decided to watch a movie. (This is not unusual for us because after a long Sunday of ministry, my husband and I are equally worn out but wanting to have some time to relax together.)
I had enjoyed some lovely snacks provided for the growth group that evening, and yet there I was digging into one of (many of) my favorite treats. WHY? Was I hungry? um....NO. I just wanted it. Are deep-fried chips and creamcheese based dip something my body needs or benefits from? again - NO.
This morning as I rolled (ROLLED!) out of bed, heavy-laden from salty water-retention and over-fullness, the scripture that came to mind was from our friend Paul in Romans 7:
"I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate, I do....
I have the desire to do what is good,
but I can't carry it out."
vv 15 & 18b
Maybe this seems a little extreme to you, after all it's just chips, right?
The problem is, I have been through the waters with the Lord in the area of food, and He has shown me how to have peace in my heart in this area: Eat when my stomach is hungry. Stop when I'm satisfied/politely full. So when I give into the cravings of my heart (or mouth), I'm outside of my Father's best for me. Of course like most people, I'm generally aware and conscious of making good, heathly choices for my body to operate at it's optimum, but I don't feel called to have a restrictive diet.
And so - the chips. What made me dive in without even giving it a second thought? My sinful nature longs for instant gratification, but my inner being delights in God's ways for me (Rom 7:21-23). How do I move past this?
"Those who live according to the sinful nature
have their minds set on what that nature desires;
but those who live in
accordance with the Spirit
have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."
"Because through Christ Jesus the law of
the Spirit of life
set me free
from the law of sin and death."
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners..."
Jesus Christ came to set me free from the power of sin - choosing to go my own way. He desires for me to live according to the calling He has given me, and you to your calling also.
There is a passage that I love in Isaiah that refers to the Sabbath, but can refer (I think) to other areas of life too:
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Isn't this what we want - to find our joy in the Lord, to ride with Him on the heights and sit down to the feast He has for us? Praise God, He gives us everything we need (2 Pet 1:3)!