A Man Given To Appetite
Most teachers of God’s Word will usually avoid such topics as I recently decided to address such as drug use, alcoholism, gambling, and the ever popular subject of overeating which can lead to a spiritual opportunity referred to by the medical profession as obesity. People who have these problems NEED to hear teachings such as these in order to receive the help they desperately desire. Avoiding or keeping quiet in regards to these subjects can only worsen matters for those who are searching for help. MY SOLE PURPOSE IS TO HELP YOU WITH GOD’S WORD and not to criticize anyone who may have any one of these problems in their life.
First, I must go to God’s Word and let God speak on this subject of assuming one’s proper weight. Remember, God is never trying to be hurtful – that is the job of the other god. The god of this world will make fun of you and ridicule you. I can assure you that this is not my intention. It is the farthest thing from the truth. Try to accept the following teaching objectively and not personally. If it helps, I enjoy eating as much as anyone and seem to be losing and gaining weight for many years. I am fed up with this and that is one of the reasons I decided to teach on this bad habit and the reasons it exists. The key word is in the last sentence – "habit".
Philippians 3: 19 – Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Having mercy on someone with a problem always helps to a certain extent, but pity makes a situation worse. God tells it like it is and even though an overweight person may act as happy as can be, God says their glory is in their shame. Who do you believe? Almost every overweight person is unhappy with themselves. I know from experience that it is a sickening, discouraging feeling. Especially after you have once lost all the weight you wanted to and then gained it back. It is pathetic, isn’t it? It can almost break your will unless you know what the Word of God says. God will never give up on us – WE ARE THE ONES THAT MUST NOT GIVE UP. I am going to show you structured patterns and steps of spiritual growth which will help you to understand why this area of life seems to be so destructive to so many believers. First, let us see what God’s Word says about our capabilities.
Philippians 4: 13 – I can do all things through Christ which [who] strengtheneth me.
Literal: "I am ready for everything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me."
God never gives up on us – we sometimes give up on Him. Don’t give up. You have free will all the time. It may sound terrible to put it this way, but at times, if you get fed up enough with something, YOU WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND NOTHING WILL STOP YOU. And remember, you do not have to be in a hurry. Being anxious usually defeats your efforts. Even the medical profession will tell you that losing weight slowly is the best and most effective way to maintain your health and not gain the weight back.
Now if God makes you mad at times, that is good. However, in the gospels, there is a reference that if your arm offends you, cut it off. Or if your eye offends you, pluck it out. Surely and OBVIOUSLY, these are figures of speech and not to be taken literally. God uses figures of speech throughout the Bible to grab or arrest our attention. He marks important points in His Word with these figures of speech. They make us stop and think. He uses one of these figures of speech to jolt us in reference to a person who loves to eat and habitually overeats. Of course, it is not meant to be taken literally.
Proverbs 23: 2 – And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
I did not write the Bible. God is trying to tell us the dangers of overeating which can give place to a spirit of obesity and He is using a striking figure to make His point. Overeating can literally destroy a person’s life in many aspects such as social acceptance, confidence, a feeling of self-worth, and it can lead to asocial behavior, depression and mental illness. Before addressing ‘WHY’ we overeat, let us define two (2) types or stages of overeating.
The first is the person who simply overeats out of some type of frustration or problem. Many people fall into this category. They may be 30 or 40 pounds overweight. This is still a dangerous habit and can result in a variety of health problems along with emotional problems.
The second type of overweight person can be 50 to 100 to 200 pounds overweight or more. There is a point where overeating and being overweight TURNS INTO A SPIRITUAL PROBLEM known as OBESITY. This is where serious problems begin to occur. The overeating now becomes out of control and to break or change this habit is almost as difficult as a person on drugs who is trying to quit. The enemy, who had a toehold at 30 to 50 pounds overweight now has a FOOTHOLD and he does not want to let go. This person suffers greatly and may eat habitually because it ‘appears’ they have no control. Let me tell you what God’s Word says:
I John 4: 4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them [negatives; devil spirits]: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
With believing and positive action on the Word, there is nothing you cannot overcome. No, at times, it is not easy. Last year, I worked very hard to lose about 21 pounds. I walked about 40 miles a week and went to bed hungry most of the time. Because steps and patterns of my spiritual growth were not in proper alignment with God, I gained that weight back. It is about as frustrating as it can get. I am human, you know, and I had thoughts that were very discouraging. I felt like I wanted to give up, but I started back towards losing that weight AGAIN!!
The MAIN POINT I am trying to teach here is WHY this happened. That is the most important point of this teaching. It comes down to this one simple fact that I have tested over many years.
If losing weight is step 5 of your overall goals, and you have recently succeeded in reaching step 3 of your goals, YOU CANNOT, I REPEAT, CANNOT, JUMP OR SKIP TO STEP 5 BEFORE YOU ACCOMPLISH STEP FOUR (4)!!!!!
After I lost all the weight I wanted to last year, it hit me that I had other more important goals to reach that were more important than losing weight. I began to accomplish all of these goals and in the meantime, lost sight of maintaining my weight, and gained it back. I know it sounds like an excuse, but your goals should be set by God and many times we are not listening to God, but to our own desires. Here is what God says about how our own spiritual growth should progress.
I Corinthians 14: 40 – Let all things be done decently and in order.
When you really get into researching God’s Word, you will find out that God has AN EXACT TIME AS TO WHEN SOMETHING SHOULD TAKE PLACE. Surely, this applies to your renewed mind efforts and spiritual growth with God. Get your priorities lined up with what God wants to accomplish first, then things in your life will flow smoothly. Our ‘old man’ (old ways) will hinder us as much as possible. That is why it is necessary to study God’s Word as much as possible. The RENEWED MIND IS YOUR KEY TO POWER.
II Timothy 2: 15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Romans 12: 1, 2 -- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, unto God which is your reasonable [rational or logical] service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
You can always use God’s strength to help increase your willpower and please do not fall for all the lose weight gimmicks that are out there. YOU MUST BURN OFF MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME TO LOSE WEIGHT. You must cut back on the amount of foods you eat and exercise is almost a necessity. Walking one or two miles a day will be a major factor in your success. I am presently walking almost 40 miles per week and losing weight at a good pace. [I am walking for about 30+ years now.] Without some form of exercise, you may have a difficult time losing weight. Whatever works for you, do it. The gimmicks will make you appear foolish and will greatly discourage you. Those marketers should be put in jail and I am not joking. They are inspired by the god of this world to rip you off and they are good at it.
God’s Word does not address this subject of overeating or gluttony in very many records. God does make some assumptions that we should know enough to take care of ourselves. After all, if we are born again of God’s spirit, we have the spirit of God in Christ in us.
The body of Christ is referred to as the temple of God, while in the singular form, our individual bodies are referred to as the tabernacle of God. Obviously, we should take the best of care of our human bodies.
I Corinthians 3: 16, 17 – Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Remember, the purpose of this teaching is to help you, and not to criticize. If you do not keep your own body in the best physical condition possible, there are consequences in the senses realm and in the spiritual realm. People should not discriminate because someone has a weakness, but they do. You may have experienced problems getting a good job simply because you are overweight. This may affect your confidence and self-esteem in a negative way. God is not a respecter of persons, but many people are. In Proverbs, God warns us what could happen to a person who drinks or eats in excess.
Proverbs 23: 21 – For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
My experience has proven to me that if you slowly cut out high calorie junk-type foods, you will begin to acquire a greater craving for healthy foods. Your own body will actually begin to desire healthy foods such as fruit and even vegetables. Did you ever ask yourself why Jesus Christ ate so much fish?! This is a great dinner food and very healthy. As time progresses in your weight loss, you will be amazed at what you will learn. Overeating is mainly one simple thing – a HABIT. Many of us overeat habitually.
Let me give you a scientific explanation of a ‘habit’. In your mind, you build patterns or certain designated ways of thinking. Let us say that you form a link of neurons and electrons – sort of like a metal chain. When you come to a certain point in your thinking, you almost automatically think in a certain designated manner. This manner of thinking is referred to as a HABIT. Some habits or ‘links’ in your mind are beneficial and some are not beneficial. When you renew your mind to God’s Word, as previously discussed in Romans 12: 1, 2, you will slowly, but surely, BREAK all your bad habits or thinking patterns. You will eventually learn that doing things or thinking the RIGHT thoughts is just as easy and even easier than thinking and doing things the wrong way. This takes time and effort on your part. God will help you. You need to replace the half-thoughts (unsound) of the world with the whole thoughts (sound or sane) thoughts of God’s Word.
Lose weight FIRST for God, then for yourself. Remember, it takes a constant and consistent effort to be successful at it. But do not become obsessed with your goal. Find a sensible balance for yourself – everyone is different. I used to sell weight control products for about five years – it was a decent product that had to work if used correctly because the person was to skip 2 of 3 meals per day and use this type of nutritional supplement instead. I dealt closely with overweight people for at least five (5) years. I must tell you that many of these people (especially the ones that failed) had two (2) personality traits in common and I do not mean to be rude to anyone by bringing this up. They rationalized and they lied. They would blame almost anyone or anything for their problem. The first step to overcoming a problem is to admit that you have one.
James 4: 10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
If the world can, it will lift you up with PRIDE and confuse the true goals of your heart. It will tell you it is ok to be overweight and that it is not your fault. There are only three (3) things that are in the world – only three (3).
I John 2: 16 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
‘Lust’ is OVER-DESIRE – above our need. The habit of overeating is the ‘lust of the flesh’ and results from ‘the lust of the eyes’ and if you do not do something about it, the enemy will surely afflict you with ‘the PRIDE of life’. None of these things are of the true God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but of the devil, who presently controls this world in which you and I live. (See II Corinthians 4: 4) You choose, by your own free will, to listen to the true God or the counterfeit god.
I have a personal fight with this problem even though I never let it get out of control. So I am with you – you are not alone. Nearing a conclusion, I MUST mention to you to be VERY CAREFUL about what foods you eat. Many foods have very little nutritional value such as processed food and all junk-type foods. That is why we are often hungry shortly after we eat certain meals. You know what are nutritionally high foods and what are not. Be careful WHAT you eat. Remember to start off slow and take it easy. Do not get anxious or discouraged. What’s the hurry? Anxiety is one of the worst emotions we can experience when trying to accomplish a goal. Take your time and tell anxiety, in the name of Jesus Christ, to go back to hell where it came from.
Finally, do you know why God made man and woman? Because God wanted someone to talk to and to love. He gave us free will so that we can love and obey Him by choice. God wants us to be at our very best and you know in the innermost part of your being, your heart, that you desire the same thing. Many people will always discourage you while God will only encourage you. And I am doing the same as God would do and is doing. Set moderate goals for yourself, do not be in a hurry, and follow your heart – not what your neighbor or friend may say. God made you so that a part of Him could live INSIDE YOU. Let’s give Him a good home.
Ephesians 2: 22 – In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through [in] the Spirit.