Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dietary Disorders of the Common Christian

Dietary Disorders of the Common Christian

Deuteronomy 8:3- “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD!”

Often, the word of God = bread in Bible

-Human can survive 2 min. w/out air, 3 days w/out water, and about 40 days w/out food

You must eat to survive!

Food contains calories/ calories = packets of energy
No food = no energy for body to function (breathing, pumping blood)
It’s simple, no food= death

So, it’s strange how many people suffer from dietary disorders in USA
Everyday thousands around world die from starvation and malnutrition!
-(You don’t see people in India/ Ethiopia suffer from Anorexia- no such thing there- They simply can’t get food!)
In America, thousands diagnosed yearly with DD’s
[alarming stats: 1:16 people have a DD]

Now I’m not trying to make light of Dietary Disorders @ all.
They’re a serious thing!
But there is an interesting parallel between our physical characteristics as a society, and how they affect every area of our lives…
- When our Spiritual Habits begin to Mirror the Phys. Habits of our Generation!
(Instead of just Living by the Word of God like we are meant to, we have epidemic of “SPIRITUAL DD’s” we’re going to discuss today)
{If you are not careful, you might find yourself in one of these categories…. With one of these “Diseases” that can almost render the Word of God USELESS in your life!}

Dietary Disorder 1: Anorexia

For instance…
(How many here are familiar with the term Anorexia?)
-In our world, Anorexia = most widespread DD
(Ate out last night? Probably Sat w/in 30 ft. of someone w/ anorexia?)
-{Exp. Skinny girl, orders meatloaf& salad/ eats 2 pc lettuce, 1 bite of meatloaf and 3 sips soda.
She says she “Ate before she got there.” …RIGHT…
She’s a Picker and a Chooser!
‘A little bit of this, a little bit of that…not too much, I want to stay right where I’m at!’…Where she’s Comfortable!
Is she still hungry? Her Body is starving! But she’s tricked herself into believing she has enough to live on.}

When it comes to the Word of God, you better make sure you’re not tricking yourself into believing you’re full, or your spirit man is ok. You could be starving yourself right out of the strength you need to make it through your next trial or situation!

What’s the test? (“How do I know that I haven’t been fooling myself so long, that I’m sitting here tonight, barely hanging on, malnourished as can be?”)
Are you a picker and a chooser?
Or when God’s sets the dinner table, are you lapping it up as fast as you can.
Do you skip church or check you brain at the door, when certain people are speaking or when certain topics are being discussed?
When you come in contact with The Word, Do you come with your napkin tucked in your collar and your sleeves rolled up with your fork in one hand and your knife in the other, or do you have an unexpectant heart and a mediocre spirit.

Sometimes we are uncomfortable with certain parts of Scripture.
We like to ignore some and pretend they aren’t in there.
We pick & choose and cut up God’s world view to fit our tastes…
“A little bit of This, A little bit of that…”

You know who gets a lot out of God’s word??? The one who says “The salad’s good, the veggies, the steak and shrimp… “Whatever you cook, just send it down to this end of the table, I know it’s going to be good!” )

-We should not take what we like and leave the veggies on the plate because they aren’t sweet like candy. Truly Hungry people don’t care about tastes and preferences; they just want food!

A friend of mine said, “You don’t go out to eat at a restaurant and take your own menu.”

The Word of God is something you either have to take it as it is or leave it
(EXP. Passover Lamb) (Exp. Mt 13:44- Treasure hidden in field: “W/ Treasure came a lot of dirt”)
--You must be able to take the good w/ all the rest
The King has set the table… are you being a picky eater?

Dietary Disorder 2: Bulimia

(Joke. I used to think Bulimia was a country)
Who are spiritual Bulimics?
The ones who sit through service, take it all in….in 1 ear and out the other.
Because as soon as they get outside, they have their finger down their throat.

Why?!? They don’t want to retain what they hear.
Ooh, it’s good to the taste! (If it wasn’t tasty, they wouldn’t be there)
-(They eat it because they like it)…and then they vomit it out of their system as fast as they can because they don’t really want to change!)
- God forbid they may stand out a little bit…look different… different from what they want others to perceive them as.
- Instead of taking it all in and gaining spiritual strength from it, they get it out as soon as possible and end up hanging onto their spiritual lives by a thread, because they have no strength
- They are Christians who continually struggle!
{{They are the social drinkers of Christianity!
(They will have a sip to fit in, but they don’t want to change. They can’t lose control.)
{Bumper Sticker- “God is my co-pilot!” if God is your co-pilot, you had better swap seats! What is the fear of letting God take control for a little bit?}
-They just sit and sip
-They forget our ancestors in the early church were labeled as DRUNKARDS
(cared less about status quo)
ALL they wanted was more of God. “Bring that keg over here and put the spickett in my mouth; I’m getting lost in God tonight!!!
We are too far removed from that/ more sophisticated/ embarrassed about them. “Give me my sip and leave me alone….the way I am}}

-Jesus accepted people for what they were, but never left them that way. He took them higher, drew them closer, into deeper place.

True followers of Christ were never meant to remain stagnate- {stagnate bodies of water are bodies of water that start to decay!} Christ’s plan for any follower of his is continual growth and consistent maturing and going to higher places in Him and deeper levels of commitment and ministry…
(if you are at the same place you were 1-2years ago, even a few weeks ago, you better make sure you’re going the right direction).

-We have to get hungry for God.
We need to get beside ourselves with hunger for God, so much, that we could care less who thinks what about us because it’s all about Him…
I love the attitude of John the Baptist: “He must increase and I must decrease”

Dietary Disorder 3: Gluttony

Watch out for the spiritual Gluttons!
“Who are they?”
“What are you saying with this one, Vince… that we can have too much of the Word of God?”
God Forbid. We can never have enough!

[PHYS> EXAMPLE>] Ave. Person. Any metabolism rate. Put in a LA-Z-BOY
“Here is some food… have at it…. just don’t get up…not for anything.” No exercise (except remote) .
--I don’t care what you feed them, give them long enough and I guarantee you they are gonna start looking different. It’s not because they don’t eat, or eat too much, but it’s all about what they are doing with the food you give them. Food gives your body energy, but unless your body does something with it, say Bye-Bye energy (and the blessing of calories); and hello fat (and the curse of calories not used properly).

That was a Humorous Example…
But this is the plague of Laodocia John talked about…

Christians who come and get spiritually fed on Sunday morning and in our Missional Communities and then they let that Living Word become just a bunch of dead fat when what God meant for His Word to accomplish was strength for the task ahead.

God Doesn’t give us His Word to sit on our spiritual haunches and flip a proverbial remote control, But His Word is Life and strength that we are supposed to take out there to a dying world an “Work it out,” by prayer and love and reaching those who are hurting and suffering

One of God’s principles= “I bless you, for you to bless others”

As long as you’re busy blessing the kingdom of God, God will be blessing you.

But don’t sit on it, because it will become dead weight and actually take the form of a curse to your spiritual life!

-We have to learn to be a people who know how to empty our selves out…(Luke 6:25, “Woe to you who are full, for ye shall hunger!”- Jesus was talking to a mixed crowd that day. His disciples were there, the sick and afflicted, the onlookers and even those who were ungodly and those who were self-satisfied.
Even though His sermon on the mount contained many blessings, He also included corresponding judgments towards those who were literally, at ease in Zion and satisfied with their dead, dry religiosity – They were keeping all the laws of their religion, but their hearts were far from God)
The Blessing became a cursing.

They were cursed with a blessing,

He Says, “You’re blessed if you are hungry, cause I’m gonna fill you, but you’re cursed if you are full cause I’m gonna empty you.”

What a paradox!! -Is He trying to fill them up or empty them out? The answer is: Both He just wants to fill us up with the RIGHT stuff.

America was just recently dubbed the “Fattest country in the world.”
(God has bountifully blessed us for blessing others, and we are one of the richest countries in the world-economy, but our blessing is turning around to choke the life right out of us! And that is a picture of our church and even a picture of many of us sitting here, tonight)

We must learn to do some spiritual exercise.

4: Junk-Food Addiction-

Getting full on the wrong stuff.
Most widespread problem in the American church.

We are a bunch of spiritual Junkies.
We are addicted to junk food. (We get so full off of chips and pizza and candy and soda, that when it’s time to eat the full course meal God has prepared for us that night, with lasagna and steak and veggies, we can’t even take much in. that is unhealthy. )

People who live on junk food are malnourished.
Too Much Junk food pollutes your body!
What is your junkfood???
Maybe your junk food is music (that’s why they call it soul music, it appeals to the inner man…it’s a form of “soul-food”). Or maybe it’s those movies your watching-or that “days of our lives” or WWF (the male soap opera), or it could even be the book you are reading or the web sights your visiting, but ….

(*Disclaimer: There’s nothing wrong with these things in themselves, but when they replace God’s word in your life, they begin to weigh you down…
Do you make time to balance all this? Read books about God & Christian Spirituality? Do you make time to watch movies & listen to music that honors God and builds up your character and strength…?)

We Do have a tendency to fill our selves up with junk food and then we wonder why we are not getting anything out of the sermon the man of God is bringing.

-{That’s why fasting is so great! It brings fresh life into our walk with God. I view fasting differently than some people, but during a fast not only do I put food away from my mouth, but I also turn off the movies and stop reading the books and newspaper and websites and I stop listening to worldly music and just tune myself into God for a while. Fasting empties you! It’s not the only thing that empties you, but it is one sure way to do it! It is like a cleanse (you hear people, “ I’m going on a cleanse…nothing but fruits and veggies and nuts and space food for about two weeks!” and they are excited about it). Fasting is like a cleanse for your spiritual man. No junk food, just the pure, unadulterated Word of God, for a short while. Fasting is powerful! I’ve known people whose lives were totally changed by just a 3-day fast! And it’s because we empty ourselves out of everything that we place before God and all of the sudden it’s just you (emptied out) and Him, and He is all you have to fulfill your needs}.

-You see God doesn’t fill a full vessel; He fills empty vessels.
The Key is emptying yourself out…making yourself available to God by going out there and putting into action the word of God in your lfe…

God wants us to be hungry. (Same Chapter in Matthew, “Blessed are they who hunger now, for ye shall be filled”…)

Hunger is a key to the life of a Christ-follower and to the life of the church.

If you are not hungry for more of God, you better check yourself.

*Revival doesn’t normally come to full vessels.

With every great revival throughout history, you’ll find one common thread: HUNGER.

At the day of Pentecost…, (they were eagerly anticipating the promise of the Comforter who would guide them. They had no place else to go! They were desperate to hear from God and scared to death that the Romans were going to come busting down the door any minute. But in an answer to their hunger, God sent the greatest revival; this earth has ever seen…The Bible records that they turned the world upside down.)

In 1906…(, no one wanted to hear about the Pentecostal experience, until the Great earthquake that caused such devastation. (GOD knew just what He was doing, He knows How to make us hungry when we won’t be emptied out on our own). All of the sudden here comes an earth-shaker, and in response people forsake their dead dry religions and, like an aftershock, here comes an earth shaking revival- that we are still feeling today.

But boy I would love to have our very own spiritual earthquake… but… it’s not going to show until we show some hunger. Oh, It’s hitting certain areas around the world: areas, that I might add, are hungry for God and are desperate for a move of God. If we want that great revival, it is going to be birthed out of our hunger.

Hunger is a powerful motivator! Hunger will make people do crazy things! (It’ll make some lepers break the law and go wandering into the enemy’s camp for food not knowing God had prepared them a meal…It’ll make a kings son disobey his father’s orders that no man eat before the battle…it’ll make a people recently freed from slavery, want to return to their chains and the cruel whips of their task masters and forsake their promised land…It’ll make us step out of our comfort zones, start doing bizarre things. Like all night prayer meetings…etc).

-Everyone seems to be trying to take care of their bodies.
(SD recently named healthiest city in USA).
Health is the new trend. (24 hour fitness, Jamba Juice, Wheatgrass, vitamins…etc.)
We need to start taking care of our souls!

-Let me sum this up. Thousands are dying everyday, starving for a taste of what we have, but we remain unchanged, and unaffected by their plea. We are indifferent and apathetic and concerned only about our own bellies. We must get beyond ourselves! Whether it’s that BIG revival you are looking for, or just a more productive walk with God, it will be achieved by your level of hunger.

We must eat right.
We can’t be picky anorexics or puking bulimics, or even satisfied gluttons…
We must be hungry.
If it means adjusting our dietary habits, or cutting down on the unfulfilling junk food of this world, we need to create hunger, and learn to empty our selves so that He can fill us and use us.

-God loves a cry of hunger and desperation- I challenge you today, if you want to see Anchor Gaslamp turn into a spiritual delivery and birthing room, If you want to get closer to God than ever before, If you want to see revival turn your city upside down, it starts with hunger!

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