Spirit food: Eat this; not that

 

Proverbs 27:7
A person who is full refuses honey, 
but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

Did you ever look at a friend who wasn’t being treated well in a relationship – and knew it – and wonder why that friend kept taking the kind of treatment she was receiving? Maybe her boyfriend was a cheater. Maybe he was cruel in some way. Maybe he ignored her. Whatever the hurtful behavior…it was bad; and, she stayed in it. You just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t break it off and move on.

How about a friend who had some sort of life-damaging issue, addiction or behavior? An eating disorder, promiscuity, hoarding, self-harm, drug use, isolation?

I remember seeing a news clip probably 20+ years ago when Robert Downey, Jr. was being sentenced AGAIN for drug issues. This brilliant, talented, valuable man said the most heart-breaking, tortured thing. “It’s like I have a gun in my mouth and my finger’s on the trigger and I like the taste of metal.”

We’ve all done the same in one way or another. Because of some need or deficit. – some hunger in our lives, we learned to eat the bitter until it tasted normal or sweet to us. The danger is two-fold. We establish an appetite for the bitter and unfullfilling. And because it cannot satisfy, our appetite for it increases and we eat more and more while remaining forever hungry in that area.

I will occasionally see articles on the internet aimed at helping us make better food choices. They’re called, “Eat This, Not That.” The premise of the articles and website is to do “swaps.” Instead of “that” choice at the grocery store, restaurant, salad bar, etc., choose “this” better thing that will be good for you and taste wonderful.

Maybe we’re eating self-pity, loneliness, judgmental and critical thoughts and conversations, feelings of inferiority and unworthiness, offense and hurt, envy, jealousy, strife and arguing, shame and guilt, resentment, condemnation…the list goes on. Let’s get our fingers off the trigger and the metal out of our mouths. We need to belly-up-to-the-bar and have a heaping helping of the crazy sweet love of God. We need to get so full of “this” we cannot imagine eating another bite of “that.”

Here are some tasty morsels to chew on:

*Your love, Lord, is priceless and unfailing and isn’t withheld from anyone (Psalm 36:7)
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I am the temple of God and I meditate on His unfailing love (2 Corinthians 6:16, Psalm 48:9)
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His love for me reaches from earth to the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 36:5)
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I flourish in God and trust in His unfailing love forever and ever (Psalm 52:8)

*You, Lord, are compassionate and gracious, not angry with me and Your love and faithfulness for me is HUGE! (Psalm 86:15, Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17)

*Nothing can stop Your love for me. (Romans 8:35-39)

*Your love for me will never end. (Psalm 136:26)
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You love me and You are delighted with me. (Zephaniah 3:17)

*Knowing You love me so much brings peace and quiet inside me (Zephaniah 3:17)
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You love me so much, You sing over me – with joy and celebration (Zephaniah 3:17)
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You are with me and because You love me, You bring your strength and power to save me. (Zephaniah 3:17)
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Your great loving-kindness compels me into closeness and intimacy with you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

*You don’t love me because of anything I’ve done to earn or deserve it – You love me just because You love me. Just because You are Love. (Titus 3:4-5)

*Because You love me, Father, You sent Jesus for me. Through Him, who I am is completely different than who I was or could ever be without Him. (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Feeling a little spiritually and emotionally hungry? Starting to reach for a bitter bite? Reach for “this” and not “that” as quickly as you realize what is happening. Make the “swap.” Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8) Purpose to change your spiritual and emotional appetite and it will change every aspect of your life. It really will. He promised. We have His Word on it! Take a big bite out of His love!

God is good and He adores us!

http://debbyberry.com/2017/07/712/

God is working it out for your good

 

 

God is always working the circumstances of our lives for our good. Even when those circumstances can’t be called good. He brings beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise to displace despair (Isaiah 61).

Got ashes? Me, too. Some mourning? Yes. Opportunity for despair? All of us do. God’s got an exchange for us. Beauty. Joy. Praise. Even when there are still ash smudges on our cheeks and hands. He’s bringing it. Take hold of it. It’s already yours.

God is good and He adores us.

When things aren’t like we want them to be…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Wow! That is quite the list!!

We may not be growing figs, grapes and olives or breeding and tending livestock, but most of us are working to grow, prosper, and increase in the ways that bring good things to life in our lives. We want to be able to have decent food, shelter, and clothing. To enjoy good relationships. To see strong results from our efforts. And we aren’t too happy when things aren’t working out like we want them to work out.

I’ve been thinking about joy. How it has NOTHING to do with circumstances. Being happy has to do with circumstances. Being joyful is an inside job. A choice. An action. A way of being.

I love how the writer declares that in all of this crisis, loss, and emptiness – in all that he sees around him, he WILL rejoice in the LORD. He WILL be joyful. Not about the circumstances. Not about the challenges. Not about the difficulties. Not about the disappointments. In spite of them. Smack dab in the middle of them. A quality decision. Purposed joy. Purposed focus on God. His goodness. His faithfulness.  [Read more…]