God and nutrition pt II: Gluttony

The next thing I want to touch on is gluttony and what our culture has made of food. Lets start out by looking at Proverbs 23:19-21:

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
    and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
    or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
    and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

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1. The Reality

Even in America 20 years ago, compared to now, we were following this Bible verse. But now, meat has become a big scam that our government uses our tax dollars to make meat cheaper. They give money towards planting Genetically Modified Organisms, plants, to feed the meat; which is not the food God intended animals to eat; from the beginning, He intended cows to eat grass. We music folk even know this “ACEG” (All Cows Eat Grass). The notes on the bass clef staff. Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is no longer true. All Cows Eats Genetically(modified food). It’s now become All Cows Should Eat Grass.

So why do we eat so much food? One, it is how America tells us to eat. But we are not of this world (Romans 12:2).

Additionally, in the old days, animals were eating what they were made to eat, not being pumped full of antibiotics, chemicals, and food they aren’t created to be able to digest. Just as God didn’t create us to have an enzyme to digest red meat! That’s right, red meat isn’t digestable by humans! Wouldn’t that be a clear sign not to eat it?

Philippians 3:19-21 speaks against the American view of eating saying don’t make your god your belly. Don’t get me wrong, I am a 90% vegan, for good reason. I enjoy trying new foods and flavors. But you can find out how a delectable dessert or piece of meat tastes in just one bite! Anything past that seems to me like something King Solomon would say in Ecclesiastes: ‘grasping for wind’. When we take a bite of something delicious, the first thing we think is “More!” so we go for it. It has been pumped in our mind from our culture: Bigger/more is better.

That’s a horrible thing to think! Unless your eating straight up vegetables. So why are we as a nation destroying God’s temple? (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) Ultimately, we need to be clothing ourselves with Christ, not gratifying the desires of our flesh. (Romans 13:14)

1 Corinthians 10:31: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

2. The Solution

I offer up a solution:

In our state of sin and desire, we don’t eat anything that doesn’t taste good, even if it is good for us. There is a constant battle between eating what we want and what we need. Most of the time, it’s what we want. But what if there was a way to eat what we need with the help of something we want? Almost as a catalyst for what we need. Let’s be honest, no one likes eating straight up lettuce, I only do it sometimes because I make myself. But put even a little bit of melted cheese on top of a huge raw salad and I’m all over it. In our sinful culture, sometimes a wee bit of “sin” in our food ends up causing more benefits than harm to our bodies.

Be adventurous and know that the things that aren’t possible with man are possible with God(Mark 10:27). He can help us curb our culturally driven gluttony as we deny our selfish desires and give more up to him. (John 3:30)

God and nutrition pt I: Denying one’s self for the Spirit’s sake of working through us

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There is nothing to be lost by eating healthy unless it becomes idolized and placed above God. Increasing our health should be a natural inclination upon reading scripture (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), but if we have put our health and well being before Him, we may as well eat bacon, cupcakes, and grease.

  1. Walking with the Spirit’s best interest

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 

What do we have to lose for eating healthily? Many friends of mine have become defensive to me upon this; in a way, they are defending their upbringing, tastebud satisfaction, and default way of eating. Galatians 5:16-17 speaks against this. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” We don’t want to give up everything to God, and a lot of us make eating one of those things. Then we are reminded of Luke 14:33 “…whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.” We need to recognize ourselves clinging onto certain things in our lives that we can ‘get away’ with keeping around.

Obviously, our default reaction is to give up less to God while still giving up more; to see how close we can get from sinning without actually sinning so that it doesn’t count. We need to first realize that God wants our mindset to change to a further pursuing of Him(Matthew 6:33). Instead of seeing how close we can get to the line, seeing how close we can get in our relationship with Jesus, through prayer, The Bible, fellowship, etc., and we will find that we’ll naturally want to stay away from that line(John 3:30). We need to recognize ourselves clinging onto certain things in our lives that we can ‘get away with’. Ultimately, all of us want to think that we have given God every part of our lives; but when God breaks us down from our pride, we realize our sin and the many things that we have yet to give to Him.

2. Taking up our cross with food, daily

Luke 9:23-24 says to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. What better way to deny our flesh than to make a conscious decision (at least) 3 times a day to do so? Of course we all eat. Otherwise we wouldn’t be alive. As Jesus longs to be a part of our entire day, rather than only be in an hour of it set apart for Him, so He longs for us to make everything that we do glorify Him, make us decrease, and Him increase. Biblical nutrition is a way for us to deny ourselves in a sort of ‘fast’ on a consistent basis in every day of our lives. I participated in a 30 hour famine with Family in Christ youth group this past weekend and told the students that their fast doesn’t have to only be once a year, it can be every day! It has helped me personally grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus as I now am more aware of things my flesh desires that I can put before God and admit I am selfish with.

Obviously, in accordance with Galatians 5:16-17, this applies to more than eating. Eating healthy can be a stepping stone in this process of finding out ways to deny ourselves and make God increase and our fleshly, selfish desires decrease.

3. The Biblical Aspect

So what does the Bible say about nutrition? There are many accounts of discovery in nutrition of the Bible.

Daniel 1: Daniel and his friends went against the norm of eating meat and delicacies in jail and were then blessed by God for doing so. Additionally, scripture says they appeared more healthy than the other inmates.

-Wouldn’t God want our body to be at its best so that His Spirit could better work through us?

Exodus 15:26 says “If you will listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what He considers right, if you pay attention to His commands and obey all His laws, I will never make you suffer any of the diseases I made the Egyptians suffer, because I am the Lord who heals you.” 

-Obviously, we must make a conscious effort to do so. You’ll soon find, however, that once you realize the energy you have, you will have to make a conscious effort to eat unhealthily.

You’ll notice I didn’t capitalize nutrition in the title of this post-for good reason. A lot of good fellowship can be shared over a piece of pepperoni pizza and we can’t sacrifice opportunities of evangelism and fellowship by offending people with our dietary habits or not relating to them because of it. (Romans 14:15-21)&(1 Corinthians 9:22: To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.)(Luke 10:8: Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you)

The time in my life in which my blood pressure was lowest was in spending time in fellowship with my cousin in Oklahoma, and I ate terribly! But there is an aspect of social health the God blesses us in. (Matthew 22:36-40) Truly, if we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must have an aspect of love for ourselves, not a selfish one, but one that is glorifying in helping feed God’s vessel for His Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) so that it has more energy and is more able to serve Him. Obviously, we won’t be able to become perfect vessels, but we can at least take small steps to do so such as this one.

4.               What we can we do?

So what are some foods we can eat? Well here’s a couple easy ones that are in accordance with The Holy Bible:

Genesis 1:29 (a bread)

Ezekial 4:9 (a bread and a cereal)

So there are two easy options right away-based on scripture!(The brand is called Food for Life) The link posted at the bottom has extensive ways to do so. I would also recommend the book “The Maker’s Diet”

Easy switches: (Better for Worse) format

Almond milk for cow’s milk

Wheat for White (ie Brown rice, wheat bread, wheat pasta)

Almond butter for peanut butter

Fish for red meat

Nuts/Legumes for meat

Foods that look like the body part they are good for:

Carrots: eyes (Vitamin A)

Avocado: Good for pregnant women (Huge seed in it)

Tomato: Heart (Red, 4 chambers)

Sweet Potato: Pancreas

Walnuts: brain (omega 3s)

Kidney beans: Kidneys (Imagine that!)

Ginger: Motion sickness (root looks like a stomach)

Grapes: Lungs (looks like lung sacs)

Lettuce and leafy greens: Circulation (Looks like veins eh?)

Celery: Bones (Calcium-celery is hard to break-like a bone)

As we go through this series, we’ll touch on more specific areas of nutrition and food.

If you want to find more ways to take up your cross in regards to nutrition, here is Dave Fruehauf’s post about it: http://www.tccsa.tc/articles/nutrition0001.htm