Can I talk about the G word here? It won’t offend you will it? It can be a very offensive word afterall…and no, I’m not talking about God so you’ll have to think of something else. Come on, you can guess it. It’s something most churches in the western world rarely talk about. You’ve even probably never heard a message preached on it before.
Think you have it now? How about this… I’m going to put down the Hebrew translation first and then maybe you can guess it. The reason why I’m going to do that is because this word has been somewhat miss-defined for quite a long time now. So here’s the first parts of the definition for your clue from Strong’s Concordance…
Zalal – to shake (as in the wind) i.e. to quake: Fig – to be loose morally, worthless or prodigal.
So what in the world starts with a “G” in English that defines this? It apparently deals with immorality so, how could I say it’s not usually talked about in churches today? Well, because I’m talking about Zalal, which translates in English to… Gluttony.
Yep. Sure does! It’s not until the last parts of the definition that it gets to the eating part. Now before you shut your eyes, plug your ears, and start yelling “lalalalalala!”, did that definition say exactly that eating more than what your stomach should handle was the root sin? Did it say eating unhealthy food was the root sin either? No. Now those things can very well be outliers, but they aren’t the main problem. That’s why it’s been miss-defined. We eat a lot, feel bad about it and let condemnation come in or we’ve decided that it’s not a battle we care to take on. In other words, we ignore gluttony as if it’s an ancient, vestigial remain of a bygone Judaical philosophy. Ya know, like those kosher law things.
The root issue though is that when people make the choice to let their tongue (the flesh) decide how they are to steward the living and holy sacrifice from Romans 12, they’ve just set up an idol before God. Instant moral issue.
The infamous G word is shown here in Prov 23:20-21 which says…
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags. NASB
Ouch! So apparently God says that the result of gluttony is the same as the result of drunkenness. At this point you may say “Wait a minute Ryan… I shout the preacher down when he gets on a tangent about Christians who drink, but pity the fool that takes my twinkies! So… where does that put me?”
I’m just going to put a space here for that timeless, single cricket chirp…
Okay, so now that we’ve paused, sat in a hippie drum circle, talked about our feelings and how hard life is, we can move on. Ya good? Awesome.
The Bible says that the power of life and death are in the tongue. We automatically assume that’s talking only about our speech, right? The tongue doesn’t just talk though; it tastes too! There are so many of us in the body of Christ that are willing to give up anything for the gospel, but it’s amazing how much the flesh is unchecked and allowed to reek havoc through our lives in this area.
I don’t think I need to list the reasons. They’re listed in the obituaries of our newspapers every day. We can talk about binding familiar spirits and generational curses, but after those are dealt with, most of the time it’s not the devil that gets passed down; it’s the cookbook.
Is God first in our stewardship of health? Are we ensuring that we give Him the maximum amount of years of service that we can? Are we speaking the Word of healing and then suffocating the angelic assignments through bad stewardship? Could it be that we are nullifying the Word with tradition (Mark 7:13) through incorrect habits?
One thing is sure. Jesus gives victory and releases us from the bondage of bad habits and soulish comfort derived from food. For any problem we have, God has a promise. Matt 11:30 states “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” We can trade our old burdens for His lighter burden. That also includes going too far the other way because of a feeling of condemnation.
Excellence in service to the Master is possible when the focus is on getting the lifestyle right, instead of just a seasonal diet. If you are doubting because of past attempts that failed, I want to encourage you that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. It’s not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God that you can mount up with wings like an eagle and run and not be weary; walk and not faint!
– Phil 4:13, Zech 4:6, Is 40:31. Who or what is stronger than Jesus?