If the fruit of the Spirit is self control then why?

…you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Cor 6:20

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…for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. Proverbs 23:21

That is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately.  Especially because I have always had weight issues all my life.  I have especially struggled with it since coming into a saving faith in Christ Jesus.  I have felt conviction constantly over my eating habits because I use food for comfort (i.e. idolatry)
I came across this devotion this morning from the “I Want a Godly Marriage” fb page…
Biblical Reference:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” ~1 Corinthians 10:31
THE POISON OF GLUTTONY:

Before the fall of Rome, the Romans were given to gluttony, immorality, and drunkenness. They dug their grave with their teeth. Killed themselves by illicit indulgence, and embalmed themselves with alcohol. It is said that at their sumptuous banquet, men would rush to the windows, eject the contents of their stomach, and then return to the table for further indulgence. No individual or nation given to drunkenness and gluttony can expect the blessing of God. Rome fell because she overstuffed her body and starved her soul.

Such gluttony is a perversion of a natural, God-given appetite. The gratification of our fleshly appetites is not to receive first importance in our relationships, marriages, and lives. When we cater to the appetites of the flesh – when a normal hunger is extended into abnormality so that it harms the body, dulls the mind, and causes us to neglect the soul – we become guilty of the sin of gluttony.

When we acknowledge that sin and confess it, Jesus will forgive the past and provide the power of self-discipline, temperance, and restraint for the days ahead.

This devotion is so relevant to me today.  See, I have had 3 verses posted on my refrigerator for a few months now. They are

1.  Princes eat at the proper time.  They eat for strength and not drunkenness. Ecc 10:17

2.  Give us this day our daily (portion of) bread.  Matthew 6:11

3.  Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.       Ecc 9:7

God’s Word is powerful…

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5

On a relevant note, my Dad hates fat women.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  James 3:8

He said to me at Christmas, “Can you get any fatter?”  These harmful death-filled words hurt deeply and stayed with me swirling around in my head for days after.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12

They catapulted me into a depression.

One night when I was battling in my mind I asked my husband what He thought Jesus would have replied to my Dad’s words.  He thought a moment and then said, “Well, Jesus would have spoken the truth to those words so He probably would have said something like, “That’s not true…you can get fatter.”

We laughed.

I love my husband’s God-given wisdom.

The truth of those words gave me victory for a while over my thoughts.  But, of course, the enemy hates the Truth, and so a second time he came again at me bombarding my mind with his lies.  This time I felt trapped.

See, I have a pinched nerve in my back and I’ve lost a lot of muscle strength in my left leg.  My pain management Doctor told me that I’m at the point of surgery, but don’t take that path unless I cannot walk…so I suffer with this sometimes agonizing pain.  I started to think about my weight and how it will affect this pinched nerve as I get older.  I started to panic as I pictured my weight having a debilitating affect on my future mobility.

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Luke 3:8

Having God’s words about daily bread in me (specifically about portions) and being scared to death,

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the Father’s mouth.

yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended…2 Cor 7:9

He learned obedience through the things he suffered. Heb 5:8

those things combined have propelled me into better eating and exercise habits.  I am using an internet application to help me keep track of my “portions”, and I’ve started exercising for an hour everyday.   So far so good.

God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18

Jesus is sanctifying teaching me that “I can eat whatever I want just not whenever I want”, or if it sounds better “I can eat whenever I want just not whatever I want.”  To give me freedom he has given me boundaries (portions).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.                Gal 5:22,23

Do I think that my challenge with food is over?  Not by a long shot, but a good and Godly friend of mine said something to me the other day that has stuck with me.  She said,

Never quit quitting.

And with God’s help I won’t.

I also keep in mind something a former Pastor said to me.   He said that even if I gain back every pound I lose God will still love me and never stop loving me.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph 3:16-19

I don’t know about you but that kind of love makes me want to please Jesus even more.  I want to be the best possible witness to Christ that I possibly can.  I want to honor him in all I do, especially with my body and my eating.

Father God, I Remember Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”   Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! God, with Your Holy Spirit in me, help me to honor You with my body, Your temple.  Amen.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Even in an earthly father’s mean-spirited words.

If you struggle with food temptation I would like to hear from you.  Know that I uphold you in prayer and that as I pray for my own sinfulness in this area, my prayer is for you also for we Christians are all members of one body.

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About lifevine

Hi! My name is Amy. I am a former atheist and, for a season, practiced witchcraft. God drew me out of darkness 17 years ago and gave me the spiritual gifts of knowing and faith. He gives me daily encouragement and affirmation and I hope to share Him with you. If you have not yet met the one true God, His name is Jesus Christ, and may I be the first to introduce you to Him? He is the Restorative Savior God promised Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago (Genesis 3:15) after they had sinned in the garden, bringing separation from God because of disobedience. It is rightly reported that a little over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem He was born of a virgin, lived a blameless perfect life in and around Jerusalem, died on a cross on Golgotha for the world's sin, and 3 days later rose again. YES! ROSE AGAIN! AMAZING! Please get baptized in His name, and walk in an eternal restored fellowship with Christ. You can get to know Him by reading, marking, and inwardly digesting His Word.... His Holy Bible.
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3 Responses to If the fruit of the Spirit is self control then why?

  1. Jennifer says:

    I belong to a small group of women who try to be accountable to one another and God regarding their healthy (and often unhealthful) living goals. Your devotional blog is perfect to pass on to them. Also, I keep these women’s picture in my Bible (helps me to remember to pray for them daily) at the same Ephesians 3 passage you quoted. Our little group is called Grace Gals. We don’t meet as often as we should, sometimes only twice a year — but we often connect on Sparkpeople.com which offers all kinds of free workouts and goal tracking devices. May God bless your every good effort in caring for the body and soul He has given you. And may you be continually reassured knowing that Jesus loves loves loves you, no matter what your bathroom scale reads!
    I’m annoyed with your earthly father for his harsh words. I’m sad for your hurt feelings. Let Jesus’ love for YOU wrap you in comfort and wash that sore spot caused by callousness — let it heal, and rejoice while this happens knowing that He who made you delights in you!

    • lifevine says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Jennifer. You too, are precious and honored in His sight.
      By all means please share this devotional blog with your group if you think it can benefit in any way. God bless you and thank you for reading.

  2. Jennifer says:

    *Grace Gals, Grace Girls….something like that!!!

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