Happy New Year folks! 2015 is here and the holidays are over. I think one of my first subjects this year will be my long-overdue blogs on the subject of food. God has been teaching me so much about how food is very spiritual. I wrote about some of it in my first book, First Wash The Inside, in Chapters 4 and 7. There’s so much to learn about food with regard to spiritual life and so much we can gain by understanding how our relationship with food should be. Even though food is a tangible thing, many spiritual issues in people are food-related. Since eating food cannot be quit, like a bad habit, we must all decide what role food will play in our lives. How important is food? Is it high or low on your priority list?
Many sins are food-related too. There is gluttony of course, food and drink disorders such as bolemia, alcoholism, anorexia and even allergies. These disorders and malfunctions are spiritual in nature, therefore food is spiritual.
Few things in life have a stronger pull on our fleshly desires than food. With most addictions people can abstain altogether. Drugs, alcohol, credit cards, cigarettes and pornography, for instance, all have addictive qualities because our flesh can become obsessed with anything. However, we must have discipline over ourselves with regard to food, for, we cannot quit eating. The sooner in life we realize this, the better off we are. We will be more successful in life, more confident, more accepted amongst peers, more respected and more highly-esteemed if we have a healthy “relationship” with food. Food is not evil in itself, of course. It is created for our benefit, to nourish the body and is often thought of as part of fellowship and celebration. But like anything, it is our emotional attachment to food that determines whether we are in control over our bodies or our bodies are in control over us, resulting in addiction.
The spiritual aspect of food is surprisingly large. We often think of food as a carnal or natural-realm agent of sorts. If given a choice of two categories, “spiritual” or “physical,” bets are on that anyone would call food a natural item. However natural it may be, food certainly draws a lot of spiritual attention. It is used to entice, bait or trap any animal; food is used as a sacrifice, a reward, a manipulation device and a temptation. Dictators control masses of people by using food supply. We fast or abstain from food for short periods as a means of heightening spiritual awareness or gaining victory over our natural urges. It is used to please or comfort people; it also has healing and life-sustaining qualities. The first most control-seeking thing we ever do as children is to either gorge ourselves on food or refuse to eat. These decisions are all very spiritual.
Overeating is gluttony, under-eating is anorexia, purging is a disorder called bulimia; eating unbalanced or super-selectively is a disorder which has many names. Liquid food is as just as powerful. Drinking alcohol in excess is called drunkenness; obviously addictive and addictions are spiritual decisions with physical results.
Food is generally ranked in our hearts as an extremely high priority. I would say the lower the importance of food in our hearts, the higher rank God can have. Who is on the throne of your heart? The scale in your bathroom may be the best gauge. The amount of effort you spend every day thinking and speaking about food, planning meals and shopping for food will give you an idea of its importance. How much you eat matters not, the focus on food might be enormous even if you don’t eat much.
To help us put food in its place in 2015, look at what God has to say about eating and drinking:
*Do not let anyone judge you in what you eat or drink. Col 2:16-23; 1 Tim 4:3-5
*Use food in celebration to bond family and friends together, yet the focus in gathering should be about people, not food. 1 Cor 11:20, Lk 14:12-14
*Be thankful for every meal. 1 Cor 10:30-31
*Share and give food to those in need it. “Feed the poor” Isaiah 58:10; Rom 12:20; Prov 22:9
*Bless your food, not curse. Speak health over your food that it will bless your body; do not say “this is so bad for me,” for it will be as you say. 1 Tim 4:5 Mk 11:22-23
*Remember to feed on things other than food for your health. God’s word is health unto all your flesh, really. Prov 4:20
Try to invite God into your eating decisions. Our reasons for each food-related decision can be led by God or evil. How much we eat, how little, what kind of food, with whom we dine are all spiritual decisions. Food is meant to be useful and enjoyable, just as sex can be used for good or evil. It’s not what you eat that matters, it’s why. All food is permissible and should be used with discipline.
Watch for more of my blogs on food. BON APPETIT!