You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with  Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the day and week, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the  Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity, lives are being changed by God’s grace, and we’re able to share these stories with you here!

The Monday After Sunday, July 15, 2013: Gluttony {click HERE to listen to the sermon}

By Anita Everly
Are you BFFs with Sara Lee and Edy?  Or maybe you like to go hang out with those Five Guys?  Ben & Jerry?  Garrett and his popcorn?   Yeah, me too.

Maybe it’s time for a breakup.

Since we must to eat to sustain life, and multiple times a day no less, I’m sure Pastor Josh’s message hit close to home for many.  We can’t escape food; however, it’s easy to cross the line from sustenance to overindulgence, isn’t it?  Let’s be honest, food tastes delicious and is even proven to give us good feelings.

As Pastor Josh pointed out, when we have an appetite for food more than God, when we run to food instead of God, we have crossed the line into gluttony.  We have let food control us. We have made food our obsession and an idol.

And I can’t help, in my vast personal experience with this topic, but point out that consuming too little food can also become an idol in our lives, as well as substituting our control of food with frenetic exercise, all under the guise of being healthy.

Ultimately, God needs to be our obsession.

He wants us to have a healthy balance of food and activity in our lives, to have wholeness and holiness in this realm, but that cannot be accomplished apart from Him.

A year ago after much prayer regarding this topic of health, God began His revelation to me.  First, we have to confess our sin and receive His forgiveness {I John 1:9}.  There is something powerful in bringing darkness into light.  It loses its power and we can move ahead.

I’ve found that my mind is often the hotbed for destruction.  I often eat mindlessly or obsessively, neither of which engages my brain in a godly way.  As Romans 12:1-2 says, if I am to offer my body as a living sacrifice to God, I must be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  2 Corinthians 10:5 gets more specific to say, “Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

How do we do this?  Only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:5 says, “… those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

The more we allow the power of the Holy Spirit to fill our minds, the more we are made into His likeness and bear the fruits of His Spirit, which includes self-control. Self-control is our tangible effort, through the power of the Holy Spirit, where we choose to make new habits in relation to food and health, such as savoring the God-given flavors of food, stopping when satisfied, “just saying no” to excessive food and having the discipline of appropriate exercise.

Conversation with God also allows us to fall in step with the Holy Spirit. In Luke 22 Christ says twice:  “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” One of my favorite prayers, albeit painful, is Psalm 139:24, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  My gluttonous ways are always more apparent with this prayer and I plead for God to help me choose Him over food.<

Scripture is the arsenal to combat any temptation in our lives. And food imagery is used to describe Christ and His Word throughout the Bible.  Ultimately, HE is our sustainer, nourishment, joy and satisfaction.  HE is enough.  HE is everything.

John 6:35  “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never go thirsty.’”

And though God wants us to be healthy and disciplined in how we treat the gift of food in our bodies, He loves us with an unconditional, everlasting love and nothing can separate us from that love.  We can work out of our confidence of Christ’s love for us as we battle against gluttony in our everyday life.

May we make peace with our physical imperfections and extend grace to others as we all seek to live in good stewardship of our bodies by fleeing from food and running to the power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and His Word.

In truth, this is all really hard work.  These are not quick fixes or fads…but I don’t want that any more than I want food to fill more than just my stomach.

I want to be consumed by God, not food.

May He consume us all.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.