5. Ephesians 2:10: Food Habits - Limiting or Releasing Our Potential. Part 5 of a 5 Part Series.

Key Verse

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not [a]helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of [b]any. 1 Corinthians 6:12

Introduction

We have been given an exciting role on the earth. God is calling us to be walking on the Earth as Sons of God, revealing the knowledge of the glory of God (Habakkuk 2:14) and being Christ to others. We are being built up as the 'spotless' bride in preparation for Jesus to return. We have a massive task of bringing in restoration to the Earth, healing the sick, casting out demons, teaching and preaching. God has given us an exciting task of walking as Sons bringing restoration to the earth. Sadly, His church is sick, overweight, tired, not able to think clearly, depressed, anxious and it goes on. In America the people who go to church are fatter than the general population. In Australia it is not much better.

This is the time to no longer be conformed by the world but be transformed as God renews our minds (Romans 12:2). To no longer put our trust in man and come under the curse that is in Jeremiah 17. Instead by living a live where we glorify in God as our creator and choose to live by understanding how He has designed us to function. This includes food, medications, exercise etc. Then we will be a church that will be healthy, able to think and grow, to be able to work together, to have energy and to be able to do the good works God has for us to do. No longer do we want to suffer the diseases of the Egyptians, but to live with the health He has for us to live.

This study is taken from the book "The Daniel Plan - 40 Days to a Healthier Life" by Rick Warren, Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman. It is to encourage us as the Body of Christ to no longer conform ourselves to the food and the patterns of living the world pushes on us. In fact, the food companies are selling us food not for our health, but to make the maximum profits for their shareholders. The medical companies are mostly selling us drugs and medications that do not heal but mask symptoms. When we start using their pills we are often on them for life. We have been sold a lie that needs to be uncovered and addressed by the Church, so we can represent Christ fully. To have a healthy, clear thinking, sickness free and body of Christ that is the correct weight is not just a dream, but a reality. To spend our time not praying for each other for preventable diseases caused by lifestyle but getting out and being the 'Church' to others. All things are lawful but not all things are beneficial. Let us together acknowledge God as not only our creator but the one that sustains us. God provides both food to us that causes our bodies to function as He intended. As good disciples of Jesus and the temple of the Holy Spirit we are called to look after God's gift to us, our bodies, so we can learn, be the body of Christ and to go out and represent Him in the Earth all of the years He has given us and to be the most effective that we can be doing what He has called us to do.

The most famous account of someone choosing to not eat the royal food but to eat food that was good for him was Daniel and his three friends, Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. (Daniel 1:7) Jerusalem had been besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and he ordered his Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch to bring some of the people of Israel with potential to be leaders. They had to be youths without blemish, of good appearance and skilful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. (Daniel 1:3). To top this off, they were to be given wine and food that the king ate. Can you imagine the thoughts of these men. Pride could easily have destroyed these men, but right from the beginning they chose to live for God and not be seduced by the privileges of being selected. In verse 8 we read " But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.". The eunuch agreed and tested them for 10 days. After this time he saw they were "better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables." Not only this but in verse 17 we find "God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." and from all the young men none were even close to these four men. The king found "20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom." Their desire to be set apart to God brought immense personal reward. Not being seduced by the foods of the king, they chose to eat foods that would cause them to be healthy, able to think clearly and achieve above the other men that were chosen at the time. This put them in a position where God could greatly use them during this incredibly difficult time.

1. The importance of the body

1. All things are lawful.

2. Not all things are helpful

3. I will not be brought under the power of anything.

4. The physical will go but the eternal is the most important.

5. Eating and sexual sins have been discussed together. Both are harmful for the body and spirit.

6. What we eat becomes one with us. We have the Spirit of God in us and we are a temple of the Holy Spirit. This temple needs to be looked after.

7. Our body is God's. It is holy because God made i=t for a purpose. Jesus died for our body on the cross. He now owns it when we are disciples of Jesus.

8. We need to glorify God in both our body and spirit. Both are God's. We are stewards of our body.

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not [a]helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of [b]any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [c]and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (NKJV)


2. Our old self is dead. As Disciples of Jesus we now live differently.

What we used to do and what the world does is controlled by lusts. This was our old man controlling what we thought and what we did. As disciples of Jesus we no longer are controlled by the old man but being renewed by the Spirit we live no longer controlled by anything. We live in the way God has created us to live.

22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)


3. Our Habits Need to be Identified and Challenged

As we discuss the points below, there is a lot working against us in developing healthy habits. It is easy to fail in the long term as we are discouraged or choose to listen to the lies of Satan and not seek the power of God daily to help us in our struggles. We need to seek God for both His plans and His enabling to succeed.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the [a]counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5 (NKJV)


a. We become comfortable with our habits

We develop habits to sooth negative emotions such as loneliness, anxiety, depression or feeling unloved. Food often fills this need much to the detriment of our bodies. The source or root of our habits often come from a lie that Satan has planted in our minds. We need to challenge how we live so we can get rid of both lies and the behaviours associated with the lies and return our worship to the true healer of our souls, Jesus Christ. Jesus kept in constant contact with his Father and daily spent time talking to God and asking God to reveal His plans and to be focused to live and be all God had for him while He was walking on the Earth. This strengthening allowed him to know and follow the ways of His Father.

16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:16 (NKJV)

56 This has become mine,

Because I kept Your precepts. Psalm 119:56 (NKJV)

16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:16 (NKJV)


b. We identify with our habits.

It is easy to identify ourselves with our habits. For example, if we say "I am always late" we are saying that this is who we are. By changing our thinking so we see it as a habit we can change NOT who we are. God still loves us even with our weaknesses. Jesus came to die for us with our habits, but through Him we can change these so our actions reflect Christ's. Romans 12:2 talks about not mindlessly doing what the world does, but being transformed as we think deeply about what we do through reading the scriptures and having our minds renewed.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)


c. All habits have consequences

It is easy to slip into the thinking that habits are easy and rewarding. If they are rewarding, we repeat it so we change our mindset so the good habits are rewarded. For example, with the eating of junk food, the reward is in the taste now, but there is a negative long term consequence. In Hebrews 11:25 we read about pleasures of sin being passing and not long term. They do end up with negative consequences..

25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the [a]passing pleasures of sin, Hebrews 11:25 (NKJV)

Listen to Your Father

23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

Consider carefully what is before you;

2 And put a knife to your throat

If you are a man given to appetite.

3 Do not desire his delicacies,

For they are deceptive food. Proverbs 23:1-3 (NKJV)


d. Satan's Desire is for you to be destroyed

When we understand who Satan is and what He is tempting us with we see these habits differently. In John 10:10 Jesus calls Satan a robber, a killer and a destroyer. He is trying to use food and everything else to stop you from being healthy, effective and a able to become the son of God that you were made to be. Living a healthy life honours God so he plants negative thoughts that bring doubt. He says it is a waste of time, hopeless and you are unable to do this.

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

e. When we trust in Man and not God we live under a curse.

The mindset we have been trained to have as people in the western culture is that we can abuse our bodies as much as we like and then we go to the doctor to get medicines that address the decisions of our bad decisions or poor choices. Having a mindset that God is our creator and we live under the guidelines He established and food He has made for our bodies to function at their optimum and not eat food that has been doctored, manufactured and designed to make us desire to eat it or even addicted and to keep a long shelf life so the manufacturer can make the maximum profits for their shareholder.

5 Thus says the Lord:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man

And makes flesh his [a]strength,

Whose heart departs from the Lord. Jeremiah 17:5 (NKJV)

Even though we might get away and appear healthy, our long term consequences of our decisions will bring a negative consequences. Eating food that is bad for us will lead to health issues in the long run. In Galatians we read:

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)


4. How Do We Develop Lasting Change?

a. Lasting change requires building your life on the truth.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. We receive all this when we choose to follow and obey him with all our bodies. The truth that He establishes in us allows us to function and be all that God has made for us. We go not to the world for truth but God. As our creator He has made our bodies to function best with the foods He has made for us. Our bodies are designed to be self-healing, to protect itself from disease and to be able to think clearly.

Our journey must start with facing the truth about ourselves. What are our bad habits, our motivations and the things we struggle with. Discovering and facing the truth about what you do and finding the source of your habit is very powerful. And with God's direction and power, and the help of the body of Christ choosing to do something about it. Without being established in truth then there will be no permanent change. The mindset is for this not to be a fad, but for this to be the start of a life long journey.

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)

15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:15 (NKJV)


b. Lasting change requires making wise choices.

We have been led by the world to think that we deserve to be able to eat what we want and be happy. There is also something in the back of our minds that tells us that being healthy is an important goal. To make good choices and decision we need to first decide to change. Being healthy is intentional. It is a lifetime of choices that begins with making one decision.

We have seen or experience illnesses that they are desperately wanting God to heal. Sadly, due to poor choices even if God healed them, their lifestyle would cause this illness to come back. Should God heal us if we continue to make poor choices about our lifestyle so we are suffering with sickness and disease? Healthy choices start the process of change. Our old self that is being destroyed by poor lifestyle and choices can instead be made new as we put on our new self.

22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)

13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 (NKJV)


c. Lasting change requires new ways of thinking.

The way you think about something is the foundation for how you feel and then act. Change always starts in the mind, when we make a conscious choice to do it differently. Our lives have been shaped by advertising, convenience, taste and even addiction. God is calling us to renew our minds to find out how God is calling us to live which includes the choices we are making about food. Change begins with repentance, which means to make a 180 degree turn and choose to do the right thing.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

Sometimes we choose the simplest or easiest way. This way is broad and easy but unfortunately leads to destruction. The way to life is through a narrow gate and is difficult to find. But the only way to life is through the narrow gate.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.14 [a]Because narrow is the gate and [b]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)

Philippians 2:5 reminds us that we can only have the mindset of Christ when we fill our mind with the Bible, which is God's truth.

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

We can gain victory as we focus not on the world, but on Jesus and the Word of God. As we focus on the truth, the lies and temptation lose power and we can have victory.


d. Lasting change requires God's Spirit in your life

By struggling to bring change into our lives through ourselves, not only will it be hard work and lead to frustration, condemnation and lack of progress, we will be working under the law. As disciples of Jesus, we are no longer are under the law when we daily nail the 'old man' to the cross and are resurrected with Christ in His likeness. We are no longer under law when we die to ourselves and choose to have the Spirit of God fill us, guide us and empower us to do the impossible. This change is a Spirit change that requires the Spirit to guide and direct us as sons. To have the Father's heart on how He has made our bodies and wants us to eat and look after what He has made. As sons, we have crucified our flesh with its passions and desires. We are no longer a slave to our body and what it wants or craves, but what God wants us to eat and do. One of the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering and self-control. We cannot do this in the flesh.

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:18-25 (NKJV)

What is impossible in the flesh, we can do the impossible as we allow the Spirit of God not only to indwell in us but to take control and guide and direct us.

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

If you want to know more about walking in the Spirit, Romans 8 is a fantastic place to read and meditate on. In verses 9-11 Paul states that when Christ is in us our bodies are dead, but our spirit is alive and the spirit will give life to our mortal bodies. Dying to ourselves and walking in the Spirit is an essential part of this process.

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [d]through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11

Living in the flesh then actually brings death. If we allow the Spirit to guide us then what we do to our bodies He brings us life. Walking as sons of God leads to freedom from bondage to fear. Suffering for a time leads to being glorified with Him.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba,[e] Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:12-16

e. Lasting change requires an honest community.

As some of the habits and pattern that have been established in our lives are so deeply ingrained we can never get victory over them by ourselves. God's plan is for us to need each other and live in community.

In Genesis we read that God has made us to live in relationship with others. God saw it was not good for man to be alone. We are made to need and related to others.

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18 (NKJV)

In Hebrews we are taught to keep meeting together.

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)

In Galatians we are told to bear each other's burdens. We are needing to work together as a body to encourage and help each other.

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 we read how two are better is one, but a threefold cord is even stronger. Being together gives us strength. Having Jesus makes the cord unbreakable.

The Value of a Friend

9 Two are better than one,

Because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

But woe to him who is alone when he falls,

For he has no one to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;

But how can one be warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.

And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NKJV)


f. Lasting Change Requires us to fully trust God

In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose a source of knowledge that was not from God. Coming to God humbly and seeking His way, his knowledge, His wisdom and His strength is choosing to live a life totally different to how mankind has lived since the fall. We are choosing to acknowledge God as our creator, see our bodies as fearfully and wonderfully made and ask God what He has designed our bodies to take in for them to function as He has designed them to function. In Jeremiah 17:5 we read that man is actually cursed when we trust in man and when our hearts trust in God. Changing our mindset where we have said it is OK to eat what we want and do whatever we want with our bodies and then we go to man or doctors to get pills what man has invented to mask the symptoms of our diseases caused by bad choices. Let us start by going to God and living as He intends. No temptation is beyond us.

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to [a]bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Being perfect as God is a high call. God is perfect and we are needing to go to Him so we can make the right choices. When we get it wrong we must ask God for forgiveness and deal with it and repent and change our ways so we are once again walking as He wants us to as sons of God.

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48(NKJV)

Trust that God has fearfully and wonderfully made us. When we listen to Him and discover how he has designed our bodies to work and what it needs to have to work as He has made them to we can live a life free of disease and decay, able to think clearly and walk truly as sons of God. No longer falling apart, constantly sick and having the diseases of the Egyptians.


Conclusion

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not [a]helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of [b]any. 1 Corinthians 6:12

We have been seduced by the pleasures of the world for too long as the body of Christ. Now is the time for us to desire to grow as sons of God and to become fully effective for God as He has intended. The body is God’s army on earth sent out to being restoration to the earth and to represent God on the earth. This starts with doing what Daniel did with his friends. To make a choice to not live as the world does but to make a conscious choice to walk differently to the world. We are called to trust and put our hope in God not man. No longer driven by desires or habits but dying to our flesh and choosing to build our lives on the truth. From this truth we learn to think differently and through the Spirit of God bring honest change as we fully trust God and work with the body of Christ to represent God on the earth. We become the Church or Ecclesia that are different to the world. We are healthy, think clearly and show that it is possible to trust God and put our hope in Him and He will cause us to be all He intended us to be. Food is seen as feeding our bodies as God intended so we can function without the sicknesses of the Egyptians. We are known as a people who are living as God intended and are fully prepared to live and be all God intended us to be. To bring restoration to the Earth.

He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of his beloved Son. Colossians 1:13. (TPT)

©2018 by Timothy Peden.