Food is not evil. Enjoying food is not evil. Feasting is not evil (Esther 9:17-23; Nehemiah 8:10-12). God has given us food to both enjoy and to nourish our bodies. The desire for more and more food is the issue. The overeating is the problem.
God gave us:
- the physical sensation of hunger
- hunger equals eating
- the physical sensation of fullness
- fullness equals stop eating
Problems in our day wth food:
- highly processed
- highly processed equals caloric density
- taste buds are tempted to eat more
- we overeat
- overeating has beaten us
Is the solution to just eat plain food? Is the solution the avoidance of processed food? Is the solution abstinence from problem food? Is the solution something in-between? God gave us different gifts and talents. He has called us to different callings. The answers are different to the above questions because we are all different and what we are led to do by God will be different. It’s a given. No one solution fits everyone.
Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation;the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.Matthew 16:41 NASB
“watching and praying” (“watch and pray” NKJV). The verse tense for these two words is: “a command to do something in the future and involves continuous and repeated action”. “not enter” The verb tense for enter is a combination of “a simple action” and “an assertion about which there is some doubt or uncertainty, or indefiniteness. Often the uncertainty only arises because the action has not yet occurred”.
Matthew 26:41 in applying it to overeating and food:
- watching and praying: the verse tense says I am to make both watching and praying a repeated ongoing exercise in my life. IT IS IMPORTANT!
What am I “watching and praying” about?
- Should I avoid certain foods because they are a trigger for me?
- Can I eat certain foods that are sometimes a problem but with God’s help can I learn to enjoy them without overeating?
- Should I avoid altogether certain foods as they are too big of a temptation for me?
- Asking for help to be sensitive to overeating at meal times.
“Watching and praying” so I do “not enter into temptation”:
- the temptation to overeat
- the temptation to think food is more important than it is
- the temptation to get legalistic about food and decide certain foods are evil or wrong to eat (unless there is a medical reason to NOT eat certain foods)
- the temptation to make excuses to overeat, repent, overeat, repent, overeat, repent
“the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” It’s easy for me to say “I’m OK I can handle it”, or “I’ve been good for ages I’ve got this beat”, and forget it’s by God’s grace and help I am winning the overeating battle.
I must remember my weak flesh that is so easily swayed by the devil’s temptations. Important note to myself: make the spirit person strong and it will keep the flesh person weak.
Other translations of Matthew 26:41:
Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. The spirit wants to do what is right, but the body is weak. NCV
Watch and pray so that you will not be tempted. Man’s spirit is willing, but the body does not have the power to do it. NLV
Watch and pray
Do it every day
The spirit will thrive
The flesh will dive
God’s help will flow
Overeating will go