The Key to Overcoming Food Idolatry

I wish I craved apple slices as much as I crave chocolate, but I don’t. It’s probably that I’ve consumed more chocolate than apples and that’s why I crave it. Changing my diet would probably change my cravings (and I’ve been working on that). But changing my diet wouldn’t take care of my heart issue. The real problem is my heart.

The only hope for victory in this battle is recognizing the hold that food has on me and desiring God’s glory in my life, more than that next food fix.

It helps me to hear Paul put things into perspective:

[box]Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? . . . God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)[/box]

All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

[box]Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

(1 Corinthians 6:12, 19–20)[/box]

When I consider that my body is God’s temple, it’s easy for me to say . . . “There’s no way I would smoke carcinogens, do drugs, become a prostitute, or down a bottle of whiskey . . .” but why is it so easy for me to abuse God’s temple when it comes to food?

I think because food is a necessity.

Smoking, illegal drugs, and alcohol may (or may not) be pleasurable activities, but they aren’t necessary for life. Food is necessary for life. So it isn’t like I can abstain from food. And if I’m married, I can’t abstain from sex, so food and sex have that in common. They are both necessary (to the married individual) but they can both be abused. They can both become addictions or idols.

Where things get out of whack is when I receive a good gift from God and begin to crave the gift more than the Giver. When the gift begins to allure me more than the Creator. When the gift begins to take hold of my heart—that’s when I’ve moved beyond receiving a good gift, intended for my enjoyment and as a reason for praising God, and become enslaved to the gift.

And therein lies the key . . . determining what holds your heart.

A continual prayer that I lift up is the request for God to “keep” my heart, to not allow it to wander from Him—because that is what it is prone to do. The promise and description from Psalm 121 of God as my “keeper” is a tender and sweet assurance that I shouldn’t take for granted:

[box]The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand . . . The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:6–8)[/box]

It is easy to wander from our keeper—hard to comprehend, but we do wander from this perfect keeper. We wander off and drink from broken cisterns rather than taking deep gulps from His living water. We wander into consuming lusts and addictions. We wander from the protective confines of our keeper. But even when we’ve wandered, He calls us back to Himself and God has promised victory to those who cling to Him in love.

If I want to have victory over my addiction to unhealthy food, the key is found here:

[box]Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.

When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. (Psalm 91:14–16)[/box]

Do you need victory today?

Are you holding fast to Him in love?

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  • Gail

    Kim, this is so true for many area’s, and food is like you said, a part of many of our lives as we are just there fixing for others. So a real trial. I for my part so want to bring glory to the LORD, and this is an area that needs help every second of my life. Thank you for this strong help from Jesus! I so appreciate your words!I know our battle is with our enemy, Satan, and when we know who we are up against, we also know that Jesus is stronger. Thank you for your kind help today!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Gail ~

    Yep, I agree, I need help with this EVERY second of my life! Battling the enemy, my flesh, and the temptations the world throws at me constantly. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and joining me in the battle to glorify God through our eating!

    Blessings, friend ~