I was craving something while I was out and about one day. In my head I was asking, “How can I get something sweet?” A convenience store came to mind. As I walked into the store, a calm, firm voice (also in my head) said, “You can have anything you want.” I took this as permission to indulge myself and chose an ice-cream sandwich. To be “good” I got a bottle of water instead of a sweetened drink. Later in the afternoon I had a cupcake and coffee at church. By early evening, on the drive home, I noticed that my fingers were puffy and stiff and my gas pedal foot was cramping. When I woke up the next morning I understood. God’s Spirit was telling me that I could choose any outcome.
Previously, I prayed for the outcome of improved health. I’ve been making poor choices in a number of areas related to health for some time. My attention has been brought to alternatives to those behaviors, BUT my addictive relationship with sugar and other unhealthy choices has been stronger than my desire to change and receive the better result.
On the one hand, I had been asking for health and on the other hand I had been doing the things that lead to disease. James 4:3 James 4:3You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts.
American King James Version×says “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts” (KJV throughout). My action was motivated by lust. My desire for a healthy body was relegated to an afterthought (water instead of a sweetened drink). When James says “you ask amiss” it means “badly.” When you ask badly, you are asking for a bad outcome. Other meanings of the word “amiss” indicate some of those outcomes; diseased, evil, grievously, miserably, sick, and sore.
What the Spirit also pointed out to me the next morning was the inconsistency of my desires. James 4:8 James 4:8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
American King James Version×says, “…purify your hearts, ye double minded.” The source from which we make choices determines what we will choose. If we are asking for and choosing fulfillment of our lusts, the result will be disease, evil, grief, misery, and soreness.
I know I’m not alone in this situation. There are a number of people in the church who are not in the best overall condition. Just like the general population, many of us are indulging ourselves and ignoring the inevitable consequences. Sometimes at church the subject of unhealthy foods comes up. On a number of occasions, I’ve noticed a pattern of thought that is very consistent. Someone mentions that a particular item is not really good for someone else and then that person laughs and says, “I’m not afraid to die a little sooner.”
Realistically, dying sooner is not the choice. What we’re actually choosing is a life of physical and mental suffering. Food choices, along with getting enough sleep and exercise, determine your quality of life. Ask yourself about the results you’re looking for. Do I want to feel confused, tired, and depressed? Do I want aches and pains? Do I want to be burdened with expensive medications with their negative side-effects for possibly years into the future? Or would I rather be clear-headed, energetic and positive, and have money for healthy, productive choices?
Most important, our health choices can determine how we can be used by God. If I’m unhappy and unable to do certain things, how does that glorify our Father in heaven? When I ask for healing, but I choose illness, how do I expect God to answer? Throughout the Bible, God is saying you can have anything you want. But most important of all, He is saying to you to “…choose life…” Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
American King James Version×KJV.