We've made it to see another Friday, and these weeks are flying fast. Nonetheless, happy Friday to you.
Last week's blog, Stranger Things, was a setup for today. If you haven't checked it out yet, click here.
So, over the last few weeks, thoughts around the question What are you eating keep resurfacing. And the phrase, you are what you eat, has also regularly emerged in my mind. Both ideas are straightforward and reminiscent of something I heard back home in Chicago over twelve years ago. I distinctively remember hearing this pastor say, "whoever you feed will grow bigger." Ironically enough, I was at a McDonald's drive-thru while listening to him and ridden with guilt that I worked late again and didn't prepare any dinner in advance.
Fast forward to today, I haven't been in a McDonald's drive-thru in years (yuck), and that phrase still resonates with me today. It couldn't be any more simplistic and yet all-encompassing. Think about it, sis, whoever, and I'd like to add "whatever" you feed will grow stronger. Now, I'm not talking about eating literally but more metaphorically. However, it does apply to what we eat as well. You eat junk; you feel like junk and begin to look like junk. Period.
Last week's post introduced the idea that we live in a parallel universe. A parallel universe is like two worlds going on at that same time. For example, we live here on earth, and I live in Atlanta. My city, home, car, husband, and friends are who and what I see with my natural eye (in this universe). However, another universe or world is also going on simultaneously that we can't see (a spiritual/supernatural world). The devil and his cousins run rampant in that world.
Ephesians 6:10-12 in the GW translation says,
Finally, receive your power from the Lord and his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way, you can take a stand against the devil's strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.
So, naturally, because we can't see that world or its influencers, it's easy to forget it exists. But, although we can't see that world with our naked eye, we can certainly feel it. And not only can we feel it, but we have the power to feed it. Just like when we eat poorly, we can't see the adverse effects immediately, although we may feel them (sluggish, gassy, winded, etc.) Feeding influences in the unseen world are similar.
Satan's orchestration in that world heavily influences our day-to-day lives, and depending on what we're consuming and doing; we help him. Our actions determine the strength of that world's influence.
Sis, I'll make it simple. There are opposing forces behind the scenes working to stop your shine. For example, when you encounter someone nasty or low down, they are not your actual enemy. You are not fighting that person, but the demonic influence behind (or in) them sent to harm and ruffle you.
Here's another example: Think of yourself as having an angel on your right shoulder and a little devil on your left. The angel represents your higher, more disciplined, and godly self. This is the part of you who takes the high road, kills people with kindness, does the right things, and avoids drama. At the same time, the devil on your left represents the devil, of course.
And we know the bible tells us the devil is the father of lies, confusion, hate, discord, and everything negative.
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
When we're distracted, the devil on our left encourages us to get sucked into drama; we're quick to go off, easily irritated, throwing pity parties, loving sin, and doubting ourselves.
And guess what? Our higher self is constantly at war with that version of us. Reason being is that we were born into sin and live in a sin suit (our flesh) while the Holy Spirit (our higher selves, on the inside) fights to remain integral, wise, accountable, and moral.
Talk about an internal conflict that we didn't ask for. Not only were we born sinful, but our default is to love it. Our natural desires are to engage in and enjoy all the bad things.
You know when you want to lash out at that person, overeat, hold grudges, be irresponsible, splurge, get back at them, procrastinate, curse them, thot around, get wasted, and do whatever you want (essentially everything opposite of GOD)?
We're just naturally attracted to the sin stuff. Honestly, sinning feels good and exciting (in the moment). But sis, it really boils down to self-control and dependence on God's power to help us.
We will all face the temptation to sin, and those urges are natural but also induced by our devil on the left, our flesh and sinful nature. It's just a fight that we'll constantly battle until we die. Check out what Apostle Paul (one of the bible's superheroes) says about his experience with sin. And if Paul was one of God's chosen and struggled, we certainly will, but there is hope.
I know that God's standards in Moses' Teachings are spiritual, but I have a corrupt nature, sold as a slave to sin. I don't realize what I'm doing. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate. I don't do what I want to do, but I agree that God's standards are good. So I am no longer the one doing the things I hate, but the sin that lives in me is doing them.
I know that nothing good lives in me; that is, nothing good lives in my corrupt nature. Although I desire to do what is right, I don't do it. I don't do the good I want to do. Instead, I do the evil that I don't want to do. Now, when I do what I don't want to do, I am no longer the one who is doing it. The sin that lives in me is doing it. So I've discovered this truth: Evil is present with me even when I want to do what God's standards say is good. I take pleasure in God's standards in my inner being. However, I see a different standard at work throughout my body. It is at war with the standards my mind sets and tries to take me captive to sin's standards which still exist throughout my body. What a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me from my dying body? I thank God that our Lord Jesus Christ saves me!
Sounds like a parallel universe, hun?
So, what's the solution for not letting the enemy win and negatively influence us? Paul ended his spill with Christ being the answer. Christ is the end-all, and I'd like to add a couple more solutions.
Solution #1 We must watch what we're eating, who we're feeding, and what we're feeding into.
1 Peter 5: 8
Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour.
Ask yourself if you're feeding your sinful nature or feeding the God in you? Whoever you feed most will continue to grow bigger and stronger. The enemy is waiting to catch us slipping.
So, we've got to keep feeding the God in us. Stay submerged in the word of God, connected to the Lord, other believers, and Godly accountability. We must monitor what we do, watch, listen to, and read (including on social media. The devil is on TikTok).
For example, I remember practicing abstinence and wanting to honor God with my body (before I married). But, I loveeed listening to Chris Brown's Take You Down, No Bullsh*t, and other hypersexual music. I also enjoyed hanging with guys who didn't share the same desire for purity. It was a trap.
Now, the music was and still remains everywhere, making it challenging for those hoping to abstain. Music is a food that we eat too. Hey, I'm not saying you can't listen to Breezy, but what I am saying is if you're aiming for something specific, you gotta avoid eating the opposite. No track star eats candy and junk before the race.
Personally, sis, putting myself in situations and feeding myself things I wasn't strong enough to overcome was a setup for failure. Because I kept feeding my flesh and sinful desires, it ultimately kept my sin stronger and willpower weak at times. You get what I'm saying?
Solution #2 is to remain in prayer. There is absolutely no way we can fight against our sinful nature by ourselves. We need the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (God in us) to fight for/with us.
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
We have to do this over and over.
Solution #3 Pray more but also ask God for discernment. Ask him to help you see when you're being attacked spiritually and out of control. Ask the Lord to help you hate what He hates and to love what He loves.
Last but not least, put on the whole armor of God to protect you in this war. The armor is your battle gear.
Ephesians 6:11 & 13-18
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the devil's tricks.
Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you can resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
You got this, sis!
Until next time,
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