Appetites

I’ve been living the gluten-free lifestyle for almost two years now. It took some time adjusting to different recipes and what stores carried the gluten-free food I was looking for. There’s always more to learn. Not only am I comfortable cooking this way now, but I really enjoy knowing I’m feeding my family healthy food. Along with the switch to gluten-free I went healthier all together. I stay away from processed foods and try to eat as natural as possible. I was amazed how much gluten-free junk food I found. I’ve learned so much about reading labels and what really goes in our food.

When I talk to people about gluten-free most people think it would stink to have to eat that way. They think there are so many foods they wouldn’t want to give up. There was a time early on when I would get frustrated at all the things I couldn’t have. I got hungry easily because I wasn’t sure what to replace the old food with. It was just a matter of changing my perspective not on what I couldn’t have but what I could have. After awhile my appetite changed too. I no longer hungered for the things I couldn’t have. The few times my mind would think I wanted the food I used to eat I would remember my stomachaches. My digestive system would gurgle as food went sluggishly through. I didn’t realize there was a better way to live. Had I known, I would have changed what I ate years ago. I ate because I knew I had to. I ate wheat bread because I thought it was a healthy decision. I didn’t know that it was the very thing that was harming me. My stomach always hurt. I just accepted it as a way of life but when the symptoms became more serious I had to take a deeper look at what was wrong.

So when people mention what I have to give up, what I think of is the stomach pains. I think of the low energy level I had. I think of feeling like I had a brick in my gut weighing me down. Those are the things I had to give up. I feel so much better now. I don’t have constant pain. My energy level is up and I still feel light after I eat. It’s like I have been given back life.

As I journey in my walk with Christ I hear people saying they don’t want to give up certain parts of life to live for Christ. Some of those people aren’t Christians and they chose not to be because the things they think they would miss. Others are Christians but still hold on to a few things from their old way of life.

Similar to when I was eating wheat bread because I thought that was a healthy choice for me, sometimes in our Christian walk we can be hurting our self without knowing it by clinging to our old way of life. We accept thoughts or attitudes as normal. It’s not until we have more problems in life that we seek to find out what is wrong. When we press in and seek God for answers He is faithful to shine His light on areas we need to remove. Many of these things require a change of perspective. A willingness to turn from what is hurting us and say yes to the Lord’s way. When we turn we become cleansed and healed but only to the degree we abandon what’s been poisoning us. It’s a matter of dying to yourself and your desires. Trading them in for God’s way of life. Sticking with it for the long haul.

Many times when people change to a gluten free diet they do it for awhile. Then after feeling better a few months little by little they start eating what they were eating before. Then they feel icky again. People do the same in their Christian walk. They do a full turn from their old appetites but after awhile of being delivered they forget the pain and heartache of their old way of life and begin letting past habits in little by little. Then they say the Christian life doesn’t work and walk away. You must be faithful in your new way of living to reap the life-giving benefits. Time and time again the Lord told the Israelites to be faithful in all He was commanding them to do then it would be well with them. When they fell away they would reap the consequences.

After awhile your appetites change for what you desire. The way you talk changes. The way you think changes. You won’t desire to watch the same shows anymore. Your outlook completely changes, if you let the Lord change you. Some people think that following Christ is boring. Following Christ is anything but boring. It’s quite an adventure. The joy and peace you receive is immeasurable. When God’s love surrounds you and the anointing of His Holy Spirit falls on you it’s AMAZING! You thought you were living before but now everything is fuller…richer. Life comes alive and you don’t desire the old way of life anymore. When you fall so in love with Jesus you don’t desire what hurts Him.

Some people want to know how much they can do in their walk with Christ without crossing over the line into sin or disobedience. They want to be saved but give up as little as they can. That’s the wrong perspective. Once you’ve tasted goodness you don’t want to be even close to “the line” of being worldly anymore.

I invite you to come into the presence of the Lord. Feel His all consuming love for you. Let it fill you with a passion for Him that is undying. Come and taste His goodness. You’ll never hunger for anything else again. Once you’ve tasted what He has to offer you nothing else will ever satisfy you. It’s the difference between eating the finest steak as opposed to eating processed chicken nuggets. There’s really no comparison. Though you may struggle with your flesh trying to get you back to your old your habits, your desires will be for the Lord. With His Holy Spirit leading you flesh will not win.

This is a great challenge for many but the rewards are great. Some areas in our lives are easier to submit to the Lord then others. That’s why we need other believers to encourage us along in our walk with the Lord. Everyone can go deeper with the Lord, myself included. I want to encourage you to dive all in with the Lord. It’s worth it. He is worth it.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. I Peter 2:3-4 (NIV)

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25 (NLT)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly the realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

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