This is a follow-up from last week’s ‘Divinely Different, Uniquely You’ post. If you missed that article, I will sum it up in three words, “WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!” We are beautiful because we were created by the hand of a perfect God. When we find our identity in Jesus, we strive to look like him. Not like the model on the cover of a magazine. When our focus is on Jesus and not ourselves, we become secure in who we are and our gaze turns upward and outward rather than downward and inward. Ultimately, we cannot fulfill the second commandment, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” if we don’t first love ourselves. So we are exchanging body shaming for Spirit glorifying! Amen, amen! This post will concentrate on taking authority over our bodies and walking in divine health. As a child of God, we are redeemed from the curse of sin we were born under and Jesus has given us the keys to walking in freedom from sickness and disease. The Bible has many things to say about this, so without further ado, let’s dive in!
Eating from the Hand of God
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” –Genesis 2:16-17
Have you ever wondered why the very first sin was committed by an act of eating? To be honest, I had not until now. But now that I do consider it, I wonder if it may have been because man must eat in order to survive. Eating cannot be avoided. It is true. There are other functions a man’s body must do for survival. Breathing, eliminating wastes, and all those other autonomic functions we learned about in school. However, these things we do involuntarily. Yet, we must actively eat and drink to live. Food cannot be avoided and, unlike plants, we do not obtain our fuel through photosynthesis. God made food for us to cultivate, savor, and enjoy. Of course, too much of a good thing is not a good thing! Back to Adam and Eve, I imagine the only thing available to drink was water. Perhaps they drank from the river flowing out of Eden. [Genesis 2:10] But there were many choices of food to eat.
“And out of the ground the Lord caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” –Genesis 2:9
There were many trees to eat from and only one forbidden fruit to avoid. In the Garden of Eden, what Adam and Eve choose to eat was a matter of life and death. From then until now, I’m not sure much has changed in that respect.
Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded by luring images and tantalizing aromas of enticing cuisine. (Just typing this description is making my mouth water!) Commercials, billboards, break rooms. Food courts, food networks, food apps. Healthy foods, junk foods. Organic foods, GMO-foods.
How much of our lives is spent planning meals, going to grocery stores, cooking, and eating? Not to mention, when we aren’t doing these things, we are more than likely thinking about food. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about! I usually think about what I’m having for lunch while I’m still eating breakfast!
And how many of us have waited for a half hour or more at a restaurant waiting for our place at the table to become available? And have you ever watched people at a buffet? They (I mean, we) act like animals pushing others out of our way to get to the trough!
Has food become an idol for us? I wonder…
Throughout the Bible, God gives us numerous instruction about our food. After God blessed Noah and his sons and established His covenant of the rainbow, God instructed them, “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” [Genesis 9:3]
We have many choices.
- Psalm 25:12 says, “He will instruct him in the way he should choose.”
- Psalm 104:27-28 says, “All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When You give it to them, they gather it up; when You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good things.”
The world’s method tells us to ask ourselves, “Do I really need a snack right now?” So, this method is okay because it gives us pause before we dive into a bag of potato chips. But, personally, this doesn’t help me too much. When I have a craving for chocolate and ask myself if I really need that, I’m going to say, “Yes!” That’s about like a heroin addict coming off their high asking themselves if they really need to shoot up again. Of course, they are going to give in to their cravings and addictions. So, what would happen if we started looking to God for instruction on what to eat and when to eat it? I believe, rather than asking ourselves this question, we should ask God. Just this one simple redirection of a question, changes the focus from us and our needs to God and what He wants for us. By doing this, we also change from relying on our own willpower to say no to the cookies to walking in self-control by the strength of Jesus Christ living within us. Now, we are more than conquerors! We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us!!! This is how we can obtain ultimate freedom over food addictions! Something Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem can’t provide. I’m not saying these methods cannot work. They very well may. But you’re bound to counting points, weighing and measuring, and eating packaged foods. Where’s the freedom in that!?! God’s plan is for us to walk in diving health. When we heed His instructions, we have freedom! Let us eat from the hand of God!
Enjoying the Fruit of our Labor
All the experts say being healthy is eighty percent diet and twenty percent physical activity. So, I won’t spend as much time on this section. However, God made our bodies to move!
“For in Him we live and move and exist.” –Act 17:28
Our heavenly Father wants us to be active and not lazy!
“He who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys.” –Proverbs 18:9
This scripture tells us laziness brings destruction. Laziness destroys the body, the very temple of God. The Word also tells us we reap what we sow, so if we give nothing, we gain nothing.
We must start somewhere. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t lift a 10 pound weight, start with a 5 pound weight. Our physical labor is not in vain. We will see the fruit of our labor when we work hard with purpose!
“Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” –1 Corinthians 15:58
“I run in such a way as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave.” –1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Our bodies are so much stronger than we give them credit. As my trainer says, “Our minds give out much sooner than our bodies do.” Let us push ourselves a little harder every day. Let us change up our routines every now and then and try new things.
And let us remember to rest. Exodus 34:21 says, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest.” This gives our bodies time to heal and revive to do it all over again.
I have faith in Jesus Christ inside of you! You can do it! Work diligently as unto the Lord! He is your strength, your endurance, your willpower! He is the giver of health to those who seek Him and persevere!
And God says, “Your body was created perfectly. You simply have to take authority over it. What is your body made of? The dust of the earth. What have I given you authority over? All the earth.
Take authority over your body. Command your body to digest, absorb, and eliminate your food properly. And take authority over the tormenting demon whispering lies in your ear that you cannot make changes to get healthy!
Just as I formed the earth, allow Jesus to be formed fully in you. Get the world’s method out of you. Don’t live off the world’s knowledge, but rather live solely off the Word of God. For He is the Bread of Life!
Just as the Spirit of God moved over the deep waters, so I will cause your food to move through your body and digest properly. Just as I separated the light from darkness, the good from the evil, so I will separate the healthy nutrients causing them to be absorbed, from the unhealthy components causing them to be eliminated.
Just as I named the heavens and the earth, the land and the seas, Adam and Eve, allow me to name the foods you are to eat. Eat from the hand of Jesus. He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. Taste and see that He is good! You will be satisfied!
Just as the word of God is alive and active, so you shall be active. Just as I yielded seed which bears fruit, so you will begin to see the fruit of your labor/exercise. I will make you strong and mighty because you are in the Lord and the Lord is in you.
Just as I granted Adam and Eve ruler over all the earth, so you will be ruler over your body. No longer will the enemy have authority over your body! I will replace those negative thoughts with whispers of my love for you. I will replace the images the enemy used to haunt your mind with images of how I see you.
You are beautifully pleasing to me.”