So recently I started a new diet. Actually, it’s more of a permanent change in my eating habits…otherwise known as a “lifestyle change”. For years I have had symptoms and reactions when I ate certain types of food. I never wanted to address this issue, because I knew that it meant giving up foods that I LOVED. My body has never reacted well to things like dairy products, fried foods, breads and sugary foods. All the good stuff – I know! While I love food (all types) I was tired of being tired (literally).
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to just do it. To just stop consuming the things that were hurting me and preventing me from living AT MY BEST. So after much research, I began a strict NO sugar, NO gluten, NO dairy diet. Many of you are probably thinking that’s NO FUN. Well, I thought so too for the first two days. However I quickly began to enjoy my new eating habits. I find myself looking forward to getting creative with the foods that I am able to eat now. I took a trip to the local health food store and found an abundance of options. Not only are these options healthier for me, but they actually taste good too. I will admit some of the foods take a little getting used to. After all, I was eating things that were processed and full of sugar for so long, and my taste buds had to adjust. Now I am truly enjoying the taste and benefits of eating healthier. I feel a lot better. I sleep better. I’ve even been told that I look better. Most importantly I have peace of mind in knowing that I am filling my body (which houses God’s Spirit) with wonderful things instead of junk.
Not long after I began this new way of eating, I read an article about “the die off effect.” It basically talked about the parasites and unhealthy bacteria that live in our bodies. Over time, as we continually ingest unhealthy foods, these bacteria begin to take over and attack our organs, which can eventually lead to many diseases. The diet that I started actually causes these bacteria to die off; because they are no longer being fed the things that make them grow. You see, they can only feed on the unhealthy items. So, if they don’t receive them, they eventually die. Over time the body can be free of these bacteria and restored to a much healthier state.
This article as well, as my dieting experience over the past couple of weeks reminded of so many spiritual principles. Today, I’d like to share some of those with you.
1. What you feed on determines your level of health.
Just like our physical bodies, our spiritual bodies need good food. Our success as Christians is determined by what we take in (eyes, ears, etc). Are we filling our spirit man junk or are we meditating on God’s word? Are we spending time with ‘toxic’ people or with spiritually healthy people? We can’t feed on the same stuff that the world does and expect to be spiritually healthy. God tells us how to have an abundant life and what we should be feeding on.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
2. It won’t grow if you don’t feed it.
The bacteria in my body can’t survive if I don’t eat the things that cause it to grow. I do have cravings and am tempted at times to eat the things that I shouldn’t. I must however, resist those temptations in order to be healthy and successful. In the same way, we have to resist the temptation(s) to sin. The Bible says that if we resist Satan – HE WILL FLEE. Sin grows in our lives as we give in to it (or feed on it). We can defeat our enemy and the desire to sin by just saying NO. Eventually the urges to sin will be less and less, until one day the things that once tempted us are no longer an issue. Just like the die off effect I described earlier.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
3. Think on good things.
Instead of dwelling on the things that I was unable to eat, I decided to get excited about what I could eat. I soon learned that there were SO many healthy (and delicious) options out there for me. In the same way, we should focus on the wonderful blessings of God and not on the things we can’t have.
God gave Adam and Eve the entire Earth and everything in it. They lacked NOTHING, yet one small creature planted a seed of doubt in the mind of Eve, causing her to look at a tiny little tree that she couldn’t eat from. Her focus was wrong. She should have been looking at the abundance around her instead of the one little thing that was unhealthy for her to partake of.
Many times when we are newly saved (and sometimes after we’ve been saved for years), we tend to focus on ALL of the things we can’t do anymore instead of what we can do. We think of what we don’t have instead of what we do have. There is actually more freedom to live in Christ then there ever was when we were slaves to sin (unsaved). God’s supply of good things is unlimited! Focus on those things!
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
4. God gives us SELF CONTROL.
When I first started my diet, I was a little doubtful. Not about the diet itself, but about my lack of control when it comes to food. I’ve always just ate what I wanted when I wanted. This experience has truly exercised this gift that God has placed inside of me. As believers, God has given us His Spirit. He indwells us. One of the benefits of this is the ability to control what we do. We don’t have to be led by our senses and feelings. I don’t think some of us realize just what this means. It means that All Powerful God lives on the inside of you! You can do ALL things! We have access to the Creator of the world and don’t have to operate in our own strength. We don’t have to give in (in any area of life). God gives us the power to say NO to sin and temptations, as well as the power to do the things that we couldn’t do otherwise on our own.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I hope these principles were a good reminder to you, as I know they were for me. God’s word is so full of help for us in life. Not only did He save us, but He continually guides us and gives us the answers we need in order to be successful. Whether you are starting a new diet or just want to be better at this thing called life, I believe these principles, when applied, are beneficial for us all! Be encouraged.