Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29
“I praise you, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your Works, my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
As a young girl, I can remember reading books every day for hours until my eyes threw in the towel and closed for sleep. Studying the Bible enabled me to be very selective in the secular materials that I chose to enhance my knowledge. The habit of seeking sound information by credible sources was reiterated when I did my first college research paper and my professor returned it with the comment, “Who are the people you used as references?” It was a lesson well learned by not utilizing the State of New Jersey’s Online Library for completing my paper.
Yesterday, I received a promotional copy of a Christian magazine. The article that piqued my interest spoke about food as one of the most wonderful blessings that God has given to us.
1. Food is diverse; think about the many cultures and how we are able to use the same ingredients and create dishes with variations of flavors and presentation.
2. Food is nutritious; it provides the correct nutrients for growth and development along with the responsibility of maintaining proper health.
3. Food tastes delicious; let’s face it, who does not love a good meal?
As I read the author’s vivid description of his favorite Indian dish, my body began to react and prepare itself to eat. As I realized what was occurring, I verbalized aloud, “Wait, you just ate dinner.” Based on prior experience, my brain converted a written description into the desire to eat food. As I thought about what I had in the kitchen to snack on, even though I was full, imagine my surprise when the next sentence proclaimed that we have taken God’s bountiful blessing and used it to destroy our bodies-the temple of the Holy Spirit. I immediately lost my appetite and desire to eat again.
When I met my husband and he told me that he cooked every day, I immediately started laughing and asked, “Why would you put yourself through all of that hard work?” As a child, we had the blessing of having a stay-at-home mother who provided nutritious home-cooked meals for us on a daily basis. Deviating from God’s original plan of choosing and cooking healthy foods resulted in my two diagnoses of Hypertension and Obesity. How did I manage to disregard God’s plan and my upbringing to purchase prepared foods with super-sized portions, high calories, and low in nutrients?
I cannot offer any scientific theories for my decision to select food driven by my senses of taste, sight, and smell. My struggle is real. The habit of overcoming poor food selection has improved and remains dormant until my acute sense of smell detects food that I enjoyed from my prior lifestyle.
I pray daily for God to strengthen my willpower against selecting unhealthy food. My testimony is that God always answers our prayers! He allowed me to read an article that I needed for spiritual growth, so now I can no longer offer any excuses for choosing food that will “Destroy my Temple.”
Last night, I was put to the test, as I carefully read the menu at the restaurant for our date night. I did not order appetizers, and I chose a low-calorie vegetable flatbread along with roasted vegetables, and a salad. My mindset has changed, there is no logical explanation for me to continue to destroy my body with altered versions of God’s blessings.
The good news is that my body is responding well to “building the temple” food choices. I will always be required to take medication for High Blood Pressure; however, it has stabilized due to a healthy diet and exercise. My body continues to slowly shrink toward a healthy weight. I thank God for sending a credible source through the mail to give me the needed answer on how to “Build His Temple.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Corinthians 6:19
Prayer for today: Dear God, I am ready to build my temple by receiving the blessing of food as you intended for its use. Please give me the strength to do what is right according to your standards. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz