One day at Target my three-year-old was begging me for a toy. I watched my sweet, normally well-behaved child throw herself on the floor, kicking and screaming. She was throwing a fit, and I knew it was a defining moment for us. There wasn’t any room in the aisle as the scene continued, so I actually had to step over her. When I did that, she stopped crying and our eyes met. She was ready to lock horns with me, but she knew I wasn’t changing my mind. So, she got off the floor, and that was it.
Sometimes our flesh is just like my three-year-old daughter throwing a fit in the middle of Target. It doesn’t consider the outcome of its behavior, and it doesn’t care why the answer is what it is. It only cares about indulging itself in the moment.
When I was a new Christian, I remember hearing my pastor talk about the flesh warring against the spirit, but I had no idea what he meant. As I have walked farther with God and grown closer to Him, I now see the ways in which my flesh bosses me around. However, my walk with God has also taught me that, through Him, I am able to overcome the tantrums of the flesh, and so are you.
The Spirit of God enables us to practice self-control whenever our flesh is screaming for a chocolate chip cookie. Let’s be honest, most of us have had plenty of cookies won by our inconsolable flesh, but when we listen to that still, small voice, we have power—power and the ability to say yes to who we really want to be and to make the decisions we really want to make.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
—Galatians 5:16-17 esv
I used to pray, “God, please help me. I need more of you,” but I realized God was saying, “I’m here. You already have all of me, but do I have all of you?”
When we walk with God and pursue things of Him, we feed our spirit and it gets stronger. But, when we walk in the flesh, our spirit is malnourished and weak. The flesh continually makes the same disappointing decisions and leaves us feeling powerless. It’s driven by emotions, and it doesn’t care what we really want because it wants what it wants and it wants it now.
The enemy of walking in the spirit is instant gratification; it’s that one cheesy nacho that leads to a whole plate more. Keep in mind, you’re not a failure because of what you eat—enjoy a treat every now and then; but, just as we need balance when eating healthfully, we need to balance our moments of indulgence as well. One way we might do so is by implementing the 5 Ps, which help us to keep our focus on God and free of the tendency to overeat.
Screen shot these and keep them with you. If you surrender your appetite to God, He will make all the difference.
Praying you invite Him to the table and on your fitness journey so that you are built up in His strength.
Get Healthy, Happy & FIT God’s Way,