Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fattening Up My God

I was in denial! My weight wasn't where it needed to be, but in my smugness I ignored reality and fattened up my god!

I did this by avoiding God's Gluttony Measurement Device GGMD), what are called weight scales. They sit alone there in the bathroom beaconing to me, but I turn my head in denial as I hurry past on the way to the pantry and fridge.

However, truth hit me squarely in the face each time I entered the doctor's chambers. Again, but I rationalized the weight gain! Those pounds were surely due to my pocket change and watch, I lied to myself! Surely his scales are out of calibration, by ten pounds of so?

Finally God silently set me straight: be honest with yourself. You have been fattening up your god!
1 Corinthians 9:25a ( ESV) "Every athlete exercises self-control in all things."
My proposition is that we are the "other gods besides God". Evaluate that objectively, testing it with scripture, and you will find that is the case! As such, the Father is my God, but I am also my god. The only way to come to the Father is through Jesus Christ. I am born-again, as you are or can be, when I made myself (and you yourself) a living sacrifice. In essence it is to quit living for yourself and start living for God. Christians claim they do that, then ignore scripture because each prideful and self-indulgent god rationalizes their own sin! That's the law of the flesh.

To obey God is to show reverence for his will. His will is that each of us turn from the self to him. It's a hard thing to do because sin is genetic, being original from Adam until now. Let's talk about Adam for a minute... and his wife. God provided all that they needed to eat, for they could eat of any tree in the Garden, but one. However, because of temptation (and those who love good food know what that is), they ate Epicurean food. Epicureans are those people who place value on self-satisfaction. Paul called their god an "unknown god". We know who the unknown god is: God, but you mistakenly have your god before him! Why are we all Epicureans? Because we want self-satisfaction, and we want it immediately!

In our self-worship, the self demands treats and we appease our god by eating rich foods! God's will was that we be vegans, but like one person whom I know always says: "I want meat!" Of course meat in moderation is still alright, but from the passage above, the Christian "athlete" is to "exercise self-control".

"Self-control" is withholding things from your god (little "g") rather than appeasing him or her. My god demands pizza and chocolate desserts in addition to what my body NEEDS for sustenance. When I appease my own god, I disappoint God because he tells me to have self-control!

Overeating is as great a sin as becoming intoxicated with alcohol. Churches even have overeating orgies where "Christians eat in remembrance of their self!" Christians even brag about becoming drunk with Epicurean delights as they overeat the fried chicken and crème pie! Our god is content as we pat our Buddha bellies, but inside we know that we are being disobedient. It is NOT God's will that we be obese for obesity (unless for poor health) is an outcome of gluttony, but oftentimes we rationalize our poor health so that we can appease our other god!

The scales at the doctor's office didn't lie. I was without excuse. I'm not obese, but at some point in time, a rational person should think, There is a trend. If I continue to overeat, I'm going to become obese.  The irrational person will lie to themselves and God by thinking, I will worry about that later. Food "get in my belly", as the Fat B_____d said in one particular movie (which I never saw, but heard about).

As I stood on the scales, I quit lying to myself. If this continues I'll regain my Buddha belly which at one time I pondered and ignored! (Yes, like Buddha, I thought about my own belly!) I didn't like the mental picture which I saw.

God doesn't want us to obese. First off, it's defying the temple within with gluttony. Secondly, it is sin and thirdly it's self-worship because "you are doing what is right in your own eyes" in spite of God's will!

Just as those addicted to drugs, must admit the addiction; those who are obese because of overeating, must do the same. Self-control is the antidote for both addictions and since each are appeasing their god, prayer is the method. You don't have to do it alone!

Before we eat, some of us pray and give thanks for the food provided by God. Part of that prayer can be, "Lord, help me with self-control!" You see controlling the self, is putting on God because if God is working in you, you are not alone. Ironically, practicing self-control is depending on God to control the self... your false god!

Stand back and look in the mirror. Step on those scales without fear. Truth is not to be feared. Admit your weakness as I did mine. Your old person needs to change. Life is not about you; it is about God. We should want to please God, not satisfy the self! The willingness to change is when you are truly created a new person. That new person should desire to please God, but again in irony, it's your god who gets the benefit of heeding God!

Now look at the example which we set: Christians show the world how weak we are by how big we get. Our example is lack of self-control. We tell the world by our appearance that we don't care what God thinks... I'm going to do it my way! What's more, lack of self-control is identified in other areas of your life. For instance, when I was appeasing myself with cigarettes, I thought, why not appease myself with this sin or that sin? That was the law of sin beaconing me to disregard the law of the Spirit!

When is the time for change? The instant that you realize that change is needed! Yesterday, the Spirit overpowered my other god, and told me with a thought, You need to practice more self-control... and NOW! With that admonishment, I exercised self-control that instant. I looked brownies in the face all day and asked God to empower me to ignore that Epicurean delight.  I ate a banana and was satisfied!

I burned some more calories that day because exercise satisfies the craving for food as well as burns calories. With tendonitis I was in pain, but I rode 17 miles hurting all the time. God overcame my pain for me because I wanted him to help me with self-control! Exercising is self-control. It's harnessing apathy and putting it in its place! Sometimes we feel pain when we do things the new self needs to do. We work by the sweat of our brow. That's our reward (sic) by not heeding God in the first place! Self-control IS hard work!

I quit smoking 33 years ago next month after smoking for over 25 years. That was the most self-control I ever experienced and it WAS painful, but I asked God to help me with the temptation to smoke. He answered my prayer. He does the same with overeating!  Because I don't smoke, even my little god is healthy because I received the benefits by obeying God. The same can happen with food craving. Good health is my god receiving the benefits from God because some of my self was sacrificed to God. My god knelt to God on bended knee and God lifted me up!

It occurred to me that some may be offended because people do develop health problems which circumvent the calories burned, causing them to be stored as fat in the cells. I do sympathize with any person who is genetically predisposed to certain body types or who may suffer diseases which make it harder to control one's diet.

With that said, those who are overweight are more predisposed to most diseases. Disease is not normally a cause for weight gain, but overweight is a pre-cursor of disease. Both of my parents suffered from type-2 diabetes. Their "suffering' was more the change in lifestyle than it was the disease itself. Dad grew up with the nickname "Slim" because he was skinny. With age Dad, who loved his cornbread and sorghum, gained weight and with his sugar count, became diabetic. When his sugar count reached 450, he went on oral insulin for a period, but when it was under control, he changed his diet, became a new creation (Slim Again) and never had another diabetic problem.

Dad loved his chocolate pie as well. At gatherings in our family it was always there. Never one time did Dad ever even eat one piece of his beloved chocolate pie, but he ate sugar-free canned apricots as a substitute. Talk about self-control, Dad had it! He did that for 35 years or so, and never broke his diet. He did eventually die, but it was his overworked heart likely from the time that he was overweight!

Mom was much the same. As a diabetic 75 year old woman, she lost from 198 down to 128 pounds on a diet of mostly broccoli and cauliflower. Mom did have a stroke from eating fat foods, and ended up dying, not from diabetes, but from heart trouble, a remnant of being overweight.

With that said, diabetes is not a good reason, but may be more of an excuse. Science has come to that conclusion:

Latest Diabetes News. Being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing the common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes. In this disease, the body makes enough insulin but the cells in the body have become resistant to the salutary action of insulin. (MedicineNet).
People can rationalize anything, but one rationalization equals zero justifications!

There is hope for some people. Dad had hope. Mom had hope, too! But their hope was based on self-control which emanates from God. Both were Christians and both sought to please God!

For those who have the pain of arthritis or diseases such as lupus, don't be offended. Offense is never my motive, but passing along my faith in God is! My prayer is for those who struggle with weight gain, for it is a struggle. I struggle with it myself, but endeavor to pre-empt the aftermath by controlling before the struggle even gets harder!

Self-control is almost impossible unless God is in control.

  • When God speaks listen.
  • When God teaches, never twist his will to suit your own.
  • Face reality: you may not be obese, but if things don't change you certainly will be!
  • Never rationalize that you are happy the way you are. You are fooling no one, not even yourself!
  • God's desire is that you change. Look for ways to please him by changing.
  • Self-control is your living sacrifice to God. What more do you have to offer than you? Jesus sacrificed himself for you; self-control is sacrificing yourself for him. Jesus' sacrifice was not easy... yours won't be either.
  • God will never ask you to do the impossible because with God all things are possible!
  • When the self is sacrificed that is pleasing to God.
  • God rewards those who depend on him.
  • By doing God's will, especially when it's hard, God is well-pleased. His pleasure is that you benefit from doing his  will. That's the Abrahamic Covenant applied!
  • You are not a good person by doing God's will, but are doing the minimum because you are not good. His acceptance of your sacrifice for him is God's grace. He's please with the aroma of your self-sacrifice.
  • With obedience you become a better testimony for God because you are doing his will.
  • Excessive eating is a stronghold for many. The best sacrifice to God are strongholds. They are the first born in your soul and by sacrificing them, one can be more thoroughly imbued with the Holy Spirit. Strongholds keep God out of your soul. Removing those barriers beacons him to saturate you!
  • With weight loss there is no easy way outside of God. His natural law is that what goes in must either be burned off or stored. Fad diets cannot defy this physical law. Therefore, self-control is the only way to weight loss, and there are two methods: less eating or more exercise. Ideally, it is both!
  • Lastly, gluttony is as sinful as drunkenness, lustfulness, lying, and even stealing because they all our appeasing the self. Throw them all into the belly of Molech, because they need burned!
  • And last, but not least... fatty foods are not the way to control weight. Forego pleasure most of the time for your health before the end to your time, but treat yourself to an occasional reward for your control.

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