So, I have been going back and forth on what my diet should look like. I don’t want to be under bondage to “don’t touch” and “don’t taste,” with regard to food and drink. And, I want to be able to walk in freedom and not feel as though I have a hand smacking my hand any time I might eat a piece of pizza or drink a coke, which, by the way, is not a regular event for me, which is a good thing.
I have been cutting back on portions, and I have been avoiding and/or severely limiting fatty foods and chocolate, but sometimes I am just too tired to try to fix something really healthy, and it is just easier to grab whatever is convenient. Now, I can feel an allegory coming on here.
But, I know what God’s word teaches regarding food and drink. We are not to be gluttonous and we are not to get drunk. I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, and no one that I know of would accuse me of being a glutton. And, we are not to be under bondage to “don’t taste” and “don’t touch,” with regard to food and drink, for Jesus set us free from such bondage.
When we eat out, I either get a kid’s meal, my husband Rick and I share a meal, or I eat half my meal and take the other half home and eat it another time. Sometimes I can get 3 or 4 meals out of a restaurant serving. And, I don’t eat large meals at home, nor do I snack much at all between meals.
Sometimes my blood sugar will drop and then I get the shakes really bad, and so I will eat something, and then I am ok again within a few minutes.
But, I have put on a few pounds more than I need, so I do want to make some cuts, and I do want the Lord’s guidance in this, but he doesn’t usually hand me a detailed diet to follow. So, I have to just ask for his wisdom and trust him to lead me and for me to know when it is him speaking to me.
For, Satan loves to attempt to get into these conversations and to try to put me on a guilt trip, and to try to bring me back under bondage to where I feel there is a hammer just waiting to strike if I have a hamburger instead of a salad for lunch, which is what I did today, because I was lacking the energy to make me a salad, and my husband was willing to fix me a hamburger. Again, I feel a parable coming on here.
So, let’s be clear first of all on what the Bible teaches regarding food and drink. We who believe in Jesus Christ are not under the dietary restrictions of the Old Covenant Relationship God had with those who were then his people. We are not to live under bondage in this area, either, to where we don’t enjoy eating, for God gave us food to enjoy, and he gave us smell and taste and touch so we could enjoy the food that we eat.
That is a good pleasure, but it can be abused. So, we need to not abuse it. We need to not be consumed by food and drink to where they become our god, or to where we become gluttonous or drunk.
And, they can become our god if we look to food and to drink to comfort us in our trials instead of looking to God to be our comfort. And, we should exercise reasonable discernment with regard to food and drink if they are causing us to have health issues, too. We shouldn’t abuse our bodies, but that can be subjective. So, we need to listen to our bodies’ warnings.
Cut it Off!
Mark 9:44-48 ESV
“And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’”
Ok, so this is kind of the opposite of what we just talked about. With regard to food and drink, which goes inside the body and then out of the body, we are not to live under bondage to where we can’t even enjoy what God has provided for us to enjoy. But, we are certainly to exercise wisdom and use good common sense with regard to portions and types of food which may be harmful to our health. But, again, this can be somewhat subjective.
So, whereas with food and drink, we are free from the law which says “don’t taste” and “don’t touch,” we cannot carry over that same freedom with regard to God’s moral laws, which is what a lot of people do.
We can’t get spiritually lazy and just go for what is “convenient” because it is just too hard to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to throw off those weights and those sins which so easily entangle us. But, that is what is happening in today’s modern church. They are going after the cheap grace gospel which gives them liberty to indulge in as much sin as they want without guilt and without remorse, because it is easier.
But, just as I have to look at what God’s word teaches regarding food and drink so that I make certain I am walking in obedience to God’s Word, we must do the same with regard to all of our conduct. But, I also looked at what God’s Word teaches regarding food and drink so that I don’t come back under bondage to Satan, too, and we must do the same regarding all our conduct.
The Easy Way Out
We can’t just take the easy way out just because it is convenient or it feels good, or because we don’t want that feeling that we are getting the smack down when we do what we know is wrong.
But, they confuse the purpose and the source of the smack down they get when they are morally sinning against God with what I experienced when Satan was trying to put me under a guilt trip about what food I eat. For, they are the opposite of each other. God is the one with the smack down when we willfully choose to walk in disobedience to him, and Satan is the author of the smack down when we resist bondage to true legalism.
And, they also confuse God’s moral laws, which are for our good, with legalism, and the freedom we have in Christ with the free license for lasciviousness. For, following God’s moral laws is not legalism, and true freedom in Christ is freedom from bondage to sin, not freedom to continue in sinful practices without guilt because you don’t want to feel guilt.
And, so many people go for the easy (cheap) grace, because it eases the guilt, and they feel the liberty, too, to indulge in what God definitely calls sin, because it is just too hard to resist Satan and to flee temptation. And, because there are so many people out there willing to offer them a cheap substitute, i.e. a chopped up version of God’s true grace, in order to ease their consciences, and to render them guilt free, they grab and go so that they can continue on in what they know is wrong.
So, we need to study the scriptures and learn what they teach us with regard to God’s moral laws and his requirements of us, his followers. And, then we need to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and we need to heed the warnings in scripture with regard to what will happen to us if we continue on a course of sinful rebellion against God while claiming God’s grace covers it all (Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6).
And, we need to pray for wisdom, and make the necessary cuts that God’s word says we must make. For, many people continue in sinful addiction because they will not cut out of their lives what they know is leading them into sin, and then they act surprised when they keep failing in the same sinful areas over and over again (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 12:1-17).
So, the bottom line here is that if you are habitually sinning against God, and if you are making sin your practice because you want to hold on to your sin, or because you are just too lazy to do what it takes to cut these sinful practices out of your life, and so you adopt the cheap grace gospel, it will come back to bite you in the end, for we are all going to reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8). So, obey the truth which will set you free!
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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