I remember a time in my life when the cravings were strong! I’m not just talking about food here… I’m talking about the seductiveness of status, money, and power. I want to talk to you today about how to beat food cravings. My testimony is more about other cravings but it can apply to the area of food as well...Lets go! I had it so bad… I remember the day I got baptized I was speaking to a pastor and I was telling him of my dream to own a house like the one I was baptized in.
It was a beautiful mansion and I was hungry to be wealthy… To have more!
The pastor said, “well son, just seek first the kingdom… Don’t worry about that stuff.”
I thought to myself, “what a powerless statement. I have been given power to create wealth!”
Now, I am not saying the desire for wealth is wrong. I just realize now, that at the time, it was not what I was truly desiring.
My cravings were misguided.
At an unconscious level, I believed that more money would bring me satisfaction. It would bring me the significance I so desired.
Because I lived this way I was the hamster on the wheel, chasing the proverbial carrot on a stick. Always chasing, never satisfied...
I achieved a relatively decent amount of success. I had more than enough money for myself. No it wasn’t millions or anything, but I owned a business, worked when I wanted to, and had tons of free time.
Still there was something missing…
I felt an emptiness, a deadness in my soul, a lack of passion for life, slightly depressed with moments of happiness.
Enter the reality of this scripture here:
“When your soul is full, you turn down even the sweetest honey; but when your soul is starving every bitter thing becomes sweet.
I was pursuing the “bitter” things that tasted sweet. Once again, not that desiring wealth was bad or wrong, it was just not what I was truly seeking!
I had a thirst that I thought could be quenched by the pleasures of the world. My soul was starving and the little bit of pleasure money brought tasted so good.
But that only lasted for so long…
It was never enough.
Everything changed for me during the month of September 2011. I went on a trip to Israel where I encountered the person of Jesus.
We were taking communion in the Garden of Gethsemane and all of a sudden something inside of me broke. (In a good way)
The Lord Himself showed up and I was undone.
He told me, “all of this was for you son. My sacrifice was for you!”
In that moment the reality of the Cross hit me like a ton of bricks. For the first time I realized in a personal way what Jesus did for me. My heart truly understood it. I felt the most beautiful, pure, love that I have ever felt.
I lost it!
I cried like I never cried before.... Yes thats how I know it was God, because I wouldn't cry in front of a crowd of people if I could help it, lol.
It was as if I was being washed clean.
I left that trip with a new craving. Not a craving for any THING, but a PERSON!
It was as if something inside of me ignited!
I remember reading the psalms in my room and just feeling the closeness of Jesus. It was as if the words I read were an interpretation of how I was feeling!
“As a deer pants for the water, so I thirst for you.” (Psalm 42:1)
“I will awake and be satisfied with your presence.” (Psalm 17:15)
I would spend hours in my room drinking deep of pleasures of God! I tell you, there is no greater pleasure than hearing the reassuring voice of your Father in Heaven!
and as I did this, something miraculous happened. I felt FULL!
My soul was filled with the delight of God. I was experiencing the reality of psalms 34:7 “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. “
I didn't have that emptiness anymore. I wasn't full of striving to achieve some status quo, or hungry to have more money. I was lost in ecstatic encounter with the one who created me!
No longer did I crave the approval and acceptance of everyone around me, I didn't desire the status of the world, nor did I find food as the source of my comfort.
This is the cure for any unhealthy craving right here!
Getting so intoxicated with the pleasures of His presence and Word that the cravings and addictions to drugs, food, or whatever, simply become as appetizing as dog poo!
I think C.S. Lewis puts it best with this quote,
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
As I am writing this I am getting wrecked by His love all over again. My priorities are aligning, my heart is overflowing, and I remember that nothing else is as important or rewarding than encountering this amazing and wonderful Jesus. This Holy Spirit that intoxicates our souls with His manifest, tangible, presence.
YOUR ACTION STEPS
- Surrender what you think is good so He can give you what is best!
- Instead of satisfying your cravings like you normally would... (sugar, movies, doughnuts...) Crack open The Word and ask Holy Spirit to speak!
- Put on your favorite worship songs and get lost in His Presence!
Here is one of my favorites right now: