War of the Tongue
October 7, 2013
Being more round than I am jolly, I have often acknowledged that the reason I have battled with my weight since age 5 was because of my tongue. A few years ago, I explained to my husband that all of our organs would appreciate our eating less or no sugar, more fresh fruits and vegetables and non-processed sources of protein. Our body needs good nutrishes food. Since I consider myself intelligent and educated I am at a loss to explain my craving for creamy desserts, mounds of ice cream, rich casseroles, fresh bakery breads, etc,etc. other than to say it's my tongues fault. My taste buds are short circuiting my brain and telling it what to crave. With that theory in place for many years I was pleased to by fluke be watching Joyce Meyer this morning. Bill's habits are set. In the morning he wakes for his first fresh brewed cup of coffee, grabs the remote(s) in hand and turns on the morning news. This morning, though we cannot completely explain it, Joyce Meyer was on and we watched. Somethings I do not even try to logically explain, I just enjoy the moment.
Joyce's message was all about the war between the needs of the flesh and the desires of the Soul. She was, if you can believe this, speaking to women about weight loss. She had me laughing and recognizing myself within seconds. How many times have we complained about our weight, witnessed a friend who drops weight in a way that seems too easy and the first thing we want to ask is, "How did you do it?" She went on to explain that we need to stay within our own walk with Christ. In our walk we know God is answering our prayers, giving us enlightenment and giving us the gifts of Jesus in our walk and the Holy Spirit to inspire and strengthen us. If I already have the knowledge of what my body needs then I do not need to search for others' secrets. Some of our challenges are solved quickly for us and other times, our challenges ask us to be patient, to walk each day with faith in God and to DO what we know God wants us to DO. We will see miracles in life but they are not instant gifts that fall out of the sky and they may never happen in our own life or may come once in a lifetime. We do not grow, she said, by having a miracle. We grow in faith when we struggle, we walk daily in faith and we DO the work God gives us to reach our goal.
The flesh uses our tongue, she suggested, to do two things. The tongue screams to our brain, "I need" and "I want" and it flourishes on the whispered voice that says, "No one is looking". The flesh is what guides addictions to millions of things that are here to tempt us in life. And the Word tells us, "Everything in moderation." That works for most things including eating, celebrating, etc,etc, but it will not work for addictive drugs. There is no moderation to those because the flesh will lie and say, "I can handle a little of this" and it only takes once to begin addiction.
The spirit says, "walk with me". The spirit gives us gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Notice the last one of those, again. Self-control. The spirit gives us the ability to have integrity which is defined as doing the right thing when no one is looking.
The spirit gives us strength and patience and fills us with goodness and enlightenment.
So now, when I make excuses for not taking care of myself with my choices of food, I understand that it is not my tongue. My tongue responds to my flesh which screams, "I need, I want" or it responds to my spirit which says, "I lean on Christ to guide my heart and mind in good things for me."
The other quick safety net that is available for me is this. If it truly is something "I need" like a glass of water AND it meets my guideline for something good for me, then it passes the test.
If it is a Snickers bar in the checkout lane and I hear that little voice saying, "I need that because I am tired and hungry" that goes into the flesh column making excuses for why I am going to abandon my walk in faith to eat healthy food. Mrs. Meyer lit a firecracker which sparked and quickly fizzled out and she said,
"that's how the flesh works"....It starts with a huge spark and fizzles. Have you ever swore that you just had to have something to eat? For me, those candy bars are sparklers. My mistake is not eating something healthy first and drinking a glass of water before I shop. I go into the battle of shopping in a grocery store without preparing myself. I go into the grocery store without DOING what I need to do to make shopping easy and enjoyable.
Her final thought was the fact that we are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including SELF-CONTROL, but we must walk in the Spirit and we must DO what is required of us. It is up to us to DO the work. It is up to us to give our concerns and needs to God and to understand that while He is with us, it is our challenge to DO the work. She consoled me by saying, you do not grow from a miracle, you grow when you make a commitment like giving up smoking and you drag and you fight and you struggle day by day until you are delivered from it. They call it a "real battle" for a good reason. A few, like my husband, gave up smoking three packs a day when he faced surgery. He threw them away and has not smoked in 11 years. He was delivered. But for most people, it is a long, hard battle with set backs. The good news is that when you walk in the Spirit you are not facing it alone.
What is it you have in your life today which seems like an endless battle? Life is a constant challenge. Are we allowing the flesh who screams, "I need, I want" to dictate our decisions in our marriage, our personal choices, the way we behave with co-workers or with church members or are we walking in faith and listening to God speak to our hearts? There is a silent war of choices going on within us and we are asked to choose. So I forgive my tongue. It is the battle of flesh and spirit within me. Now, here I go, the lady who failed Weight Watchers eleven times, going back into battle to get my eating to a place of good health. I do not want you to wish me luck. Instead, I ask you to pray I will heed the spirit and deny the flesh. Can you see me shaking my head in doubt of myself? It is okay. I know my past. Now, I will approach this with a new attitude and a new plan.
I am grateful for the wisdom, ministry and delightful real humor of Joyce Meyer and pray for her continued health and ministry.
Dear Heavenly Father,
My husband and I are at that crossroad where we must focus on delicious, healthy food and let go of those desires for scrumptious, finger licking solutions to our cravings. We are not easy to work with at all. We have stumbled and we have fallen, but now, it is time to get real with you. Walk with us and lift us when we fall.
And thank you, Lord, for leading us to watch Joyce Meyer this morning. I will not try to explain it. I will only acknowledge the moment and give thanks.
In Jesus' Name,