Well YES, our Spirit, the only eternal part of our being, is a priority over our physical body. Godly order says: Spirit, soul, body. The world teaches "body, mind, spirit". 1 Timothy 4:7-8 teaches us to train godliness above physical training. However, this scripture is NOT a license to sin, neglect, or live a life without discipline and self-control. Training hard in godliness does not "cancel out" our need for quality nutrition and obedience in the area of diet any more than extra workouts cancel out the need for a healthy diet. There will never be a substitute for eating real food, and we cannot be surprised when we end up with health problems when we lack discipline, care and discernment in this area. I believe this is an area that needs to be brought to light in the Church so that “our Light can so shine before men that they may see our good works and GLORIFY OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN” (Mat 5:16). We are called to be obedient in all areas of our life.
A healthy "diet" for you may look different than what feeds and nourishes MY body. But the common denominator is real, whole, living foods, pure water...foods and herbs that GOD made. My primary job outside of teaching the GOOD NEWS, is to test each patient to customize what foods FEED their body best and figure out which ones are making them sick. There will NEVER be a diet or specific food rules that work for everyone. Some thrive eating clean, grass-fed meats/animal products, and others thrive on a plant-based diet. ALL of us need to be eating a diet heavy in vegetables and leafy greens and far less sugar/starches. There will never be a way around that ;)
It seems our culture, dare I say, especially our CHURCH culture, acknowledges that indulgence in alcohol, drugs, pre-marital or extra-marital sex, pornography, vanity, gossip, and other “lusts of the flesh” are clearly sin. However, there is OFTEN little regard given to the lack of self control with food… and COFFEE (and sadly even alcohol in modern church culture). The abuse of these things clearly leads to illness & fatigue (mental & physical), and cause so much unnecessary suffering. PLEASE DON'T RUN AWAY YET….hear me out!!! GOD'S GRACE IS ENOUGH FOR US.
It is ABSOLUTELY TRUE what MATTHEW said… “IS NOT LIFE MORE THAN FOOD?”. While we certainly do not want “health” and “diet” to become an obsession or idol, we do have a responsibility to take care of the body God designed for us.
RECALL: 1 Cor 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”
Food was given to us to sustain life, and harnesses a power only God could give it, to radically transform our lives. Praise God real food can taste good & be enjoyable!! Praise God for the convenience of whole food supplements & juicing so we can take in concentrated doses of nutrition to make up for what our body has lacked for years (even decades)! The question is: Does not our pleasure, contentment & comfort TRULY come from Jesus? God’s Word says the Holy Spirit is Our Comforter. If some of us are being honest…we have the tendency to choose FOOD (or wine) over Jesus for comfort sometimes (or lots of times!…again, no condemnation in Christ. This is NOT meant to shame ANYONE).
We use food to grieve, celebrate, comfort, medicate and entertain. I’m not suggesting that it’s a sin to do all of the above. The abuse of it, however, is. Food is medicine. Real food is alive and gives life. Real food requires no Doctor’s appointment or prescription. Real food doesn’t DRIVE UP health care costs. Real food was made by our Creator, FOR US, for a reason. It is not meant to be something we obsess over and act like health snobs about. Nor is it an area we can keep pretending God doesn’t care about. Every void we try to fill with food (or sex, tv, social media, medication, busy-ness) is an area of brokenness that God wants to be a part of! Just as sex is a good thing, created by God, FOR MARRIAGE, not to be used or abused outside of the marriage....REAL food is a wonderful thing, Created by God, to be enjoyed and used daily to nourish and heal us, even to celebrate with, but not to be abused or perverted. GOD ALONE can transform our minds to have a new and HOLY relationship with food!!
Romans 12:2 -I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
THE HOLY SPIRIT is our source of self control.
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us SELF CONTROL a fruit of the Spirit!
AND YES, WE CAN CHANGE because God’s Word says,
“We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us”. (Phil 4:13)
AMEN?!! Again, no shame. Ephesians 4:15 exhorts us to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE. We need to talk about this. People are sick, suffering and dying, and SO MUCH OF IT is totally unnecessary.
We are in this together, friends. HIS LOVE is enough!! - Dr. J