19 January 2014

Made to Crave -- Vivian's Take

Started the Proverbs Online Bible Study, Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  I hope I can join in the blog hop on this one!  I'd like to take time to write about an article by Christianity Today calling this "The Newest Gnostic Christian Diet".

First, "Made To Crave" isn't just about food.  How many of us turn to drugs, sex, porn, shopping, alcohol or other things rather than to God?  We all have a "God shaped" hole in our heart that leads us to crave Him. Instead of filling that hole with God, we fill it with other things and those things DO NOT satisfy!  Only God, the Living God, can help me in my situations, not food.

Second, I'd like to address this in the article is this quote "TerKeurst doesn't advocate going without food, but she does advocate a rigid devotion to a "healthy eating plan" (plus exercise) of the reader's choice."  Is this not what we call a "spiritual discipline" or "spiritual formation"?

Most of you know, I'm a member of the Church of the Nazarene.  I'd like to quote one of our boys on the definition of spiritual formation:


“Spiritual Formation is a process of being transformed into Christlikeness, through communal practices and participation in the “means of grace,” while giving attention to the care of self, which is demonstrated in loving others and being actively engaged in God’s redemption of all humans and creation.”
      Mark A. Maddix, 2011

Did you catch that? "Giving attention to the care of self" .... There was one section of the webcast Maddix talked about his diet and exercise routine!  There is nothing wrong with a person having a "rigid diet and exercise routine" in place to help him/her to be healthy.  Don't we encourage someone who is addicted to porn to avoid the magazine isle?  Don't we say "Don't take an alcoholic to a bar"? What's the difference? Why is the addiction to food taken so lightly?  In the book "Lose It For Life", the authors raise the question why isn't gluttony preached on? (Not a direct quote but a paraphrase.)

Food isn't bad. Food is needed for nourishment.  Food CAN NOT become the god we turn to satisfy the crave God has placed in us for Him!  It's not going to work!  What happens is we begin to worship the gift rather than the Giver.  This can be anything God has given us!  When we focus on the gift rather than the Giver, we have a problem. Know what? It's okay to address that problem.

Are there bad foods?  Yes.  Are some foods bad for some people? Well ... lets see ... Doctors put heart patients on low sodium and lower fat diets. Doctors put diabetics on no sugar or low carb diets. So, YES!

Lysa will be the first to tell you she loves the boxed brownie mix! What I encourage you to do is this: just because someone in the "Christian" realm writes a review on a book, don't take their word for it. Read it for yourself.  Don't just read it by itself.  Read the Bible, which is the source of Truth, along with the book.  Compare the book to what the Bible says.  Test it against God's Word.

Here's the jest of things .... God created each of us to crave Him.  Inside you, there is a God shaped hole.  Whatever you are trying to put in that hole to feel fulfilled, will only leaving you feeling more empty.  And this ... this is what "Made To Crave" is about!

With all this said, this is where God and me are at.  This will be the GREATEST and MOST DIFFICULT of my struggles!  It has been for 15 years.  Food is how I have handled so many traumatizing situations. It makes me feel good to have that sweet in the moment of hurt and pain.  Last year, I lost 50 pounds and I have gained it ALL back in the matter of months.  I need help!  I need God's help!  I don't care if someone's feeling get hurt if I don't try her cake or pasta dish.  This is my health.  My brother had a heart attack at age 42.  My sister is diabetic and takes blood pressure medicine.  My mother has congestive heart failure, one working artery, and is diabetic too.  This is about me needing to become healthy.  Before I can become physically healthy, I have to find out the spiritual why's.  I'm on the right track!  In the "Lose It For Life" book, I have really did some soul searching.  I'm discovering there are things I have never let God heal me on.  I thought I had but the best to tell if there is real healing is how often we think about the hurt or pain ... how often we talk about it.  God wants to redeem our story for His glory! We have to let Him! 

Resources:

Lysa TerKeurst http://lysaterkeurst.com/made-to-crave/

ChristianityToday http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2011/march/newest-gnostic-christian-diet.html

And the PowerPoint from the Webcast: "Living the Life Spiritual Formation Defined" 

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