As we began this week in a study called Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst at Proverbs 31.Org, I wondered what are the things in my life that I crave instead of God. For me mostly, I believe it is food and coffee and honestly I do not exercise enough. For others it might be chocolate, soda, candy, sex, drugs, fame, power, self-importance, alcohol, shopping, exercise, sleeping, games, smoking, gossip, boasting, lust and even planning too much about food and exercise and eating too little, material possessions, love, fitting in, significance and the list goes on and on and on. Can you associate with a craving that is not God?
Ultimately, our hearts were made to crave God, but we have this problem with wrong cravings. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial! 1 Cor. 10:23. Anything can become an obsession when not kept in moderation. It is wrong to be obsessed with overeating and eating the wrong things, but it is also wrong to become obsessed with healthy eating, eating too little, and even craving too much of healthy exercise. Turning to anything other than Jesus in an obsessive manner is wrong. Are there any of these things that you crave that you can not imagine giving up? Any place our focus is drawn, any thing that we crave instead of the Father is wrong.
We have learned this week in Chapter 1 that we were made to crave only God. I know that so why is it so hard? What is it about food that draws me? What is it about any addiction that draws us? We were made to enjoy food, but not to indulge in it.
Our reflection verse this week was Ps 84:2. This verse came alive like never before. Read it very slowly. I am quoting it this week as I think about chocolate or another snack that I know is not healthy. My (Debbie’s) soul yearns, even faints – really does your soul yearn, even faint for the Lord? Mine is more and more as I cry out and ask God to help me with any ungodly cravings.
As I read chapter 1 and the introduction, I was struck by so much that Lysa TerKeurst shared in the Made to Crave book. The way she described how Satan did all he could to destroy Eve and Jesus is the very same tactics he uses on you and me today. Satan causes us to crave those things other than God, and yes he was there with Eve in the Garden tempting her just like he tempts us today.
Here are some things that jumped out at me in Chapter 1 and the participant’s guide – what I would call my aha moments:
“It’s not the how to, it’s the want to.” Don’t we all know how? We have tried diets, exercising, cutting back, and some even surgery, but nothing works because it’s the want to that we need. I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it over and over and over and many of you have too.
“God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone.”
“In my case, the number itself was not the issue. The issue was how I felt mentally, spiritually, and physically. It was time to be honest with myself.” The number on the scale really is not the issue. I have known many little women who have medical problems – the number on the scale looks perfect – the body looks perfect, but inside are things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many unhealthy cravings for other things. Lysa reminded us we over underweight spiritually. That is not a place I want to be underweight.
Page 20 – “God made us to crave…but the object of our craving was never supposed to be food.” As I read that I realized why the binging does not fulfill me. I am still hungry – hungry for something greater. Gosh I could eat a half a bag of candy or something else. I have been stuffing myself with the wrong things, and should be feeding myself with scripture or even a prayer, or maybe even sit down and read my Bible until the urge goes to where it should be. Food is not bad, it is when we let it control us mentally, physically and spiritually. This is why I fail at diets. I’m great at filling up on healthy foods. Feeling full is not my problem. It is making room for junk food that is my problem. Eating when I am NOT hungry is the problem. Eating when I am stressed is the problem or being so busy that I grab fast food that is not healthy. I am underweight spiritually and that’s being honest.
It was time to get honest with myself when I read page 20. What do I run to when I am stressed, when I feel angry or hurt, when I feel alone – you got it – it’s food, not God, not the scriptures – it’s food – poor me instead of knowing whose I am and who really cares when I am hurting.
“Is it possible we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?” (pg.28). That hit me again – smack in the face or maybe the gut. Have you ever thought of food that way? I have, but now I’m ashamed after reading that. Yes I admit I have relied on food more than I rely on God when I crave something. Food is necessary for life, but not junk food and not overindulging.
Pg 23 – “We consume what we think about. And what we think about can consume us if we’re not careful.” Do you think about food? Even on a diet we crave food. I can buy a bag of candy for Halloween and before you know it, it is gone. I keep going back and back thinking about it in the kitchen. Crazy I know. Just like Eve I don’t take my eyes off the candy. I don’t get full because I am not craving the one who created me. I go for that one piece and go back again and again.
Pg 24 – “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Cor 10:23. Are you like me? Overeating things that are not beneficial to my health and my weight like candy, cookies, chips, cake has gone on for so many years that it is now a HABIT. I know when I am dieting, I can crave an apple or an orange, so why is it I don’t do that when I’m not on a diet? Could it be Satan knows my weaknesses?
Pg 24 – “Truth is powerful. The more saturated we are in truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations”
I heard our preacher last Sunday at church telling us “How the Bible Changes Us”. He told us to read it, learn it, believe/accept it and to DO IT! I have read my Bible all of my adult life and gone to Bible studies, but I have never memorized and come to love the scriptures like I do now. I looked up several verses and this one hit home. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world”. 1 John 2:15-16. Satan tempted Jesus, but what did Jesus do – exactly what we should do – quote scripture.
It’s time to do it! It’s time to quote scripture or pray when I have a craving. It’s time to be empowered to make good food choices, to plan meals for the week and healthy snacks. It’s time to be healthy spiritually, physically and mentally. It’s time to walk, exercise to a video and MOVE! It is time to take baby steps. It is time to practice portion control.
How about you? Are you ready to make the changes you need to crave God?