Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 NIV
I started my lifestyle change of food choices on November 18th, 2019. I have had two main revelations. The first is that I feel much better. My thinking has indeed become clearer. My energy level has gone up throughout my day. This has produced a renewed drive to get some of the backlog of projects accomplished around my home. I made the switch 21 days ago (which is the hill for integrating a new habit) and i don’t want to go back. There is a simplicity to my plan that makes it easy to follow…say NO to breads and sugar products. I eat more salads, vegetables, non fried meats, homemade smoothies and lots of variety of nuts throughout the day. That’s the good news.
The second revelation is the loudness of my fleshly passions and desires. I say no to food choices all day long, but I am thinking about food all day long. This being the holiday season, desserts and goodies are plentiful. I don’t each much of any one dessert, but I am frustrated that I feel I deserve to eat a cookie…so I do. Why? As Paul declared, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:19 NIV. I understand that lust for things goes way beyond eating a cookie and there are addictions and actions that are incredible hurtful to your own body and possibly to others around you.
Just a reminder of some of the struggles that we all are facing..Galatians 5:19-21a “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” Notice the last phrase, “and the like” which indicates this is not an exhaustive list. Slow down and read these verses again. As Christians we are to live free from these actions, but we will not find that freedom in our own strength of will.
It comes through identification with Jesus on the cross and the presence of the working of the Holy Spirit. On the cross the Bible declares that our sinful passions and desires were crucified with Jesus. He became our sinful flesh and took its full judgment and penalty – death. This already happened 2000 years ago. By identification and faith we live daily in that reality that our old sinful nature was crucified.
Now the battle is in the mind to live in the newness of the presence of the Holy Spirit leading to life and freedom or to follow the old pattern of thinking of our sinful nature. If you are not trying to live righteously 100 percent of the time, you don’t fully understand the struggle to which I am referring. Paul refers to this struggle as the presence of laws that are enforcing their will upon us. But the mind controlled by the Spirit can choose a new and living way.
For today, I find strength from God’s word. According to Galatians 5:24, my passions and lust have been crucified with Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is available all the time to me, because of Jesus work on the cross. Following after Jesus is submitting to Him will produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit which includes self control.
Another verse that helps me is Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. This clarified my struggle…the presence of thinking about food all the time. Victory for holy living is always associated with the present working of Jesus in our lives – being presently (right at the moment of my need) clothed in his righteousness.
There will be no true freedom that is gained by my own sheer will of trying. But thanks to Jesus who is the author and finisher of my faith walk in Him. His first temptation to overcome was to say NO to indulging in food, He overcame with God’s word and we live in that reality. Jesus identifies with my struggle so I can identify with His love.
Blessing Love y’all