Day 4: Are cravings chasing you?
Thought for the Day: Are your cravings a curse or a blessing? The answer to that question depends on what you’re craving, because what we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming. Is it the object of our desire, or God and His truth?
A well-known weight loss company recently ran a television ad about a little orange monster chasing a woman throughout her day, tempting her with foods that obviously weren’t part of her healthy eating plan. This ad perfectly captures what it feels like to be harassed by cravings all day long. It’s a scenario that has defined the greater part of my adult life.
I believe God made us to crave. Now, before you think this is some sort of cruel joke by God, let me assure you that the object of our craving was never supposed to be food, sex, money, or chasing after significance.
Think of Eve’s temptation in the garden of Eden. While the object that enticed her might have been an apple, the core of her struggle was that she wanted to be like God, knowing good and evil. The very downfall of humanity was caused when the first woman surrendered to a craving to eat something she wasn’t supposed to eat, and to pursue a power that she was never intended to wield. But it doesn’t stop there. Look at how Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:
After fasting forty days and forty nights . . . Satan came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (vv. 2 – 4)
Satan tried to appeal to Jesus’ physical craving for food. But here’s the significant difference between Eve and Jesus. Eve was saturated in the object of her desire. Jesus was saturated in God’s truth. Jesus had been in a desert fasting for forty days. But He held strong and set a powerful example of how to escape the vicious grip of temptation. When we feel deprived and consumed with wanting unhealthy choices, we too can rely on the truth of God’s Word to help us.
With each of Satan’s temptations, Jesus quoted Scripture without hesitation to refute that temptation. Truth is powerful. The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations. And the more we’ll naturally direct our cravings where they should be directed — to the Author of all truth.
As we read in Matthew 4:8 – 10:
[T]he devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ “
Are cravings a curse or a blessing? The answer to that depends on what we’re craving. And what we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming . . . either the object of our desire or God and His truth.
I was quite proud of myself this morning. For a very long time now, I have managed to completely cut sugar from my tea and coffee. Not a major achievement in weight loss, but still a step in the right direction. Now, there is Enrista coffee, which I love, love, love. But, it has sugar. And not only that – I am so flat broke at the moment, that buying delicious coffee should be the last thing on my mind. So, what did I do – I bought to bread rolls, and left the coffee. And I wanted that coffee so badly – I kept on thinking, surely I deserve a treat ever day. It’s just a cup of coffee. But, not only would at add additional sugar to my diet that I don’t need, I would’ve had to use my credit card for that purchase.
I am grateful that God gave me the strength to not only resist the additional sugar, but the unnecessary expense on my credit card.
I KNOW its just a small thing. I am well aware of that. But, its that small thing that brings me that tiny bit closer to freedom. And isn’t that what all of this is about? Not freedom to eat everything in sight, but freedom to be healthy, slim and trim – in glory to God.