Food has a higher purpose than for pleasure. I know some of you don’t want to hear that, especially those of you who say, “But I love food.” It’s okay to love food, but how do we allow our love for food to line up with the word of God? Look at the scripture where food is discussed and see what the purposes were:
for meat (to curb hunger)—Gen. 9:3
for sacrifice—Exodus 30:34
for celebration—Genesis 21:8
for worship—Genesis 29:18
for memorial—Exodus 12:14
for hospitality—Genesis 18:1-8
for dedication—Daniel 1:8-16
for bribery (Genesis 25:30-34)
for pleasure—(1 Samuel 2:12-17, 4:18)
When you read the above scriptures, notice there was immoral behavior and gluttony the times food was used for pleasure apart from God’s sanctioning. God gave us food to eat and taste buds for pleasure, but we have to look to God to tell us how to use our food. As far as I can see, God mostly sanctioned food to sustain and honor life. Emotional masking, boredom, and gluttonous pleasure are things God wouldn’t have us engage in so surely we can’t use food toward these ends. When we do (which I’m sure we all have done at one time or another), we are guilty of elevating food to a higher status than what God intends.
Once we recognize that food has a higher purpose, we can then redefine our relationship with it. Food is neither our friend nor our enemy. It is a tool God gave us to master. Food is our slave and we have to master it. We humans have to understand that God gave us dominion, which means we have charge over anything non-human, and that includes food. We can control, must control, food for our health and not allow food to control us. We are the lord of food, but in order for us to operate like we are lord requires that we submit our lordship to the lordship of our Master. He will tell us what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, where to eat, and with whom to eat. He will tell us when our food program needs to change and how to change it. As we seek God to control this area of our life, our schedules, taste buds, emotions or boredom will have less influence over how we eat. Like with anything in life, God will direct our path regarding food. He wants us to have the best food for our bodies so our bodies work best in the body of Christ and for the Kingdom of God. Truly, having an ultimate working body for the body of Christ and God’s Kingdom is a higher purpose for food. I believe when we seek to grasp that food has a higher purpose than for pleasure, we will see an increase in service to our Lord, better attitudes about and while working with others, and an increase in the spirit of wisdom and revelation for our lives, the lives of others and God’s greater plans. And I believe that these are but a few of the divine impartations we will experience. With Jesus as Lord of ALL of our life, just imagine all the great wonders we will see.
How would you define your relationship to food? How do you believe you would be an increased benefit to the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God with Jesus being the ultimate Lord over food in your life?