Worshiping the golden pizza…

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“You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.” Nehemiah 9:29

I always think of Israel as some obstinate defiant people of the past. People I have nothing in common with other than serving the same God. It’s been my assumption that the Israelites didn’t really care about or want to do the right thing. That they were deliberately defiant towards God’s direction and will, and because of this, they struggled.

But what if they didn’t do it on purpose? What if they were like me and wanted to do good…yet they found themselves falling down and failing over and over again. I think this could be the case.

The Israelites saw The Lord part the Red Sea. The Lord led them out of captivity and provided for their every need while they wandered in the desert…and yet they wanted more.

They became frustrated with God. They grew tired of waiting and began to lack confidence in Him. They could not see Him, and out of emotional desperation and prideful arrogance, they built a golden calf.

It sounds so silly. That a people who had seen such miracles could doubt The Lord. Or does it?

I’ve seen some pretty substantial miracles in my lifetime. Most personal to me, when The Lord lifted me out of depression.

None the less, at times, I still doubt Him. I still wander in the desert wondering if He will provide.

The most pronounced struggle in my life right now has to do with food! I’m starting to empathize with the Israelites as every time a slice of pizza or a sugary treat enters my line of vision, I can’t resist! I might as well erect an idol to these unhealthy inappropriate foods and worship them!

And it’s not that there is anything wrong with these foods. They aren’t the problem. It’s my attitude towards them that is the problem.

It’s the fact that I have 28 pounds to lose, not to be skinny, but to be healthy, and I can’t resist the things that are leading to my deterioration.

It’s the fact that I would hide if I could and shove these foods in my mouth until Jesus comes back, maybe even longer!

It’s the fact that I can’t seem to turn myself from these foods and take care of my body like The Lord desires for me to do.

I am worshiping them and the way they make me feel with no long term thoughts or cares about the consequences. I am worshiping the golden pizza. And that my friends, is a problem.

So what do I do then? What did the Israelites do? The way I see it, I have two options. I can continue to bow at the feet of my cravings. Or I can choose to bow only at the foot of the cross.

It may seem silly to spiritualize this battle with food, but when we take it to the core, the battle is very spiritual. It’s about so much more than food. It’s about, as Lysa Terkeurst wrote in Made To Crave, craving God-not food. It’s about satisfying my desires with Him rather than a donut. It’s about celebrating my victories in new ways other than with food. It’s about choosing to swallow my pride and get real with God about the sins that are depriving me of much desired intimacy. For me, my food addiction is about so much more than food. And maybe it is for you too.

So rather than being stiff necked and backing myself out of the blessings The Lord has for me, I will choose to turn from my idol and run to Him. Every time I’m tempted I am going to visualize myself bowing down to the gigantic golden unhealthy food, and rather than bow to my cravings, I will turn and bow to Jesus.

Will I make mistakes? Most likely yes. But each time I choose to glorify God with my body and healthy choices, the food idol falls away a bit more, and God chisels my mind-body-and spirit to be the woman He has called me to be.

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Comments

  1. says

    Timely post for me this morning. Years of yo-yo dieting has gotten so old, always ending in the same result…weight gain via stress eating. Plain and simple…not trusting God that he will take care of the situation, not looking towards him for comfort but to food. At some point we have to come to the realization that there is only ONE that can help us change the negative pattern and it sure ain’t food.

  2. criderwila says

    Stephanie, thank you for sharing your blogpost today. This is where I am right now and it has been an ongoing struggle! I love how you related your struggle with the Israelites bowing down to the golden calf. I thought about my own struggle as though I keep going around this ‘mountain’ for too long and complaining and bickering about the whole ordeal as well. You stated something very profound that really spoke to me. This is not about food, but our attitude! I have read Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave and also the devotional and it has been life changing. It had not occurred to me that my crave for food, had been an idol for so long. Day by day I am getting to where I need to be and that is a more healthier woman of God as oppose to just wanting a slimmer body. I do want to be both healthy and trimmed in every way. Thank you once again on touching the very area where I struggle daily. Blessings!

  3. Laurie Fletes says

    I am right there with you!!!! I have been in chronic pain for 6 years and had a hysterectomy last year at 31 years old, and I have gained 30 pounds because every day when I feel depressed or stressed, I run to Starbucks cake pops and mocha frappacinos instead of Jesus. Thank you for re-opening my eyes. I read Lysa’s book and have the DVD. Looks like I am ready to commit to it now! Thank you!!!!

  4. says

    Ah Stephanie! A problem that so many face today in the USA especially. Food is so readily available to us and we turn to it for more than just energy to live. Love your passion to change this. I am on the same spiritual transformation journey re: that Golden Pizza! Love your use of the visual. For me it’s visualizing that my body IS God’s temple and right now its in disarray – it’s not in a state fit for our King – and only I can change that. Thanks for sharing your heart and an awesome reminder.

  5. says

    Love it! I just started an online bible study for our church based on Lysa’s Made To Crave book for the same reasons as you. I’ve been battling food addiction for too long and thought since I wasn’t addicted to something “bad” like drugs or alcohol or pornography or something that, it wasn’t an idol. I was wrong. Love your honesty, this was a blessing to me!

  6. Dorothy says

    Amen! Thank you Stephanie….def hitting home on this one. I’ve lost 79 lbs this past year. I have quite a bit still to go. Everyday does seem a little easier to turn away from my golden pizza. I stumble but God helps me back up (not easy to pick up a big girl LOL). I know with hard work & Gods help I will make it through. Dodie

  7. says

    AMEN!!! I have an ongoing (almost daily!) battle with the office candy basket (which unfortunately sits close to my desk). And a morning addiction to Starbucks. Like you, I have weight to lose & have a hard time telling myself “no.” Instead of saying “I deserve this” as an excuse for the junk, I need to look to God for His love & grace. That’s what I really need most!

  8. says

    WOW I feel like I was the one writing this Stephanie. I have struggled with weight issues my whole life. I did the “Made to Crave” study on my own and also read the book “Reshaping it All” by Candace Cameron Bure. Both awesome tools in helping to change my attitude towards food. Such insight those materials gave me. I still am struggling some days, but feel like I am finally craving God more than food!! It can be such a hopeless feeling not wanting to eat the junk food, but doing it anyway. Like Lysa says, NOTHING tastes as good as PEACE feels!! Love this post ♥

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