17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
A study by Northwestern University’s Dr. Matthew Feinstein states that “those with high religious involvement are more likely to be obese. It’s possible that getting together once a week and associating good works and happiness with eating unhealthy foods could lead to the development of habits that are associated with greater body weight and obesity.”
We have established that the sin of gluttony results in the “destruction” of the body — the same descriptor that Paul uses to describe those who don’t pursue spiritual growth. And, in verse 18, he describes them in even harsher terms saying, “many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.” These lazy, slothful people who refuse to grow in the faith are the “enemies of Christ.”
Gluttony leads to obesity which leads to laziness — not just physical laziness, but spiritual and mental laziness as well. Your consumption of food prevents you from being consumed with God. Your eating habits may very well be hindering your spiritual growth. Why do you think people fast in order to spend more time in prayer and get closer to God? Robert Longman said, “In a fast, the believer chooses, for a set time, to do without something that’s hard to do without. This is done so it does not come between the believer and God — so it cannot act as a god over that relationship and over the life of the believer.”
Yes, the way you eat is tied to your spiritual growth. Don’t let food push you into spiritual lethargy. Don’t let the desires of your flesh turn you into an enemy of the cross. These are strong words that none of us want to hear. Even those of you who may not be overweight, but who love food, describe yourselves as “foodies,” and post pictures of every meal on Instagram, must ask if your passion for food and the time you invest in that passion is hindering your investment in your walk with God.
PRACTICAL STEP: Be more active. According to FitBodyHQ, “Research has shown that spontaneous physical activity like doing the dishes, getting up to change the T.V. channel, etc., can add up to burn an impressive 350 calories a day. Like so many things in life: it all counts! All the small pieces add up to a big result, so don’t discount even small, consistent activity.”
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.