If you like music, you’re bound to have a few favorite songs. here are the lyrics to the first verse of one of my favorites: “Junk Food Junkie” by Larry Groce. I would like to examine the deep theological overtones of these lyrics with you, so please read these words carefully.
“You know, I love that organic cooking,
I always ask for more.
And they call me Mr. Natural
On down to the health food store.
I only eat good sea salt.
White sugar don’t touch my lips.
And my friends is always
Begging me to take them
On macrobiotic trips.
Oh, but at night I stake out my strongbox
That I keep under lock and key,
And I take it off to my closet
Where nobody else can see.
I open that door so slowly,
Take a peek up north and south.
Then I pull out a Hostess Twinkie,
And I pop it in my mouth.
Yeah, in the daytime I’m Mr. Natural,
Just as healthy as I can be,
But at night I’m a junk food junkie.
Good Lord, have pity on me.
Now, let me share my Christian version of this with you, and then we can examine the spiritual truths which it contains.
“You know, I love that gospel preaching.
I always ask for more,
And I’m the first at church on Sunday
When they open up the door.
I put spare change in the offering
And praise God with my lips,
But I draw the line
When it comes to taking
Short-term mission trips.
I just get into my pick-up
While pulling out the key,
Then I cruise out of the parking lot,
Where I don’t think God can see.
I drive up to the corner,
Take a look up north and south,
Then put the pedal to the floorboard,
With my cell phone to my mouth.
Yeah, in the service I’m Mr. Spiritual,
Just as pious as I can be,
But after church I’m a different person.
Good Lord, have mercy on me.
Friend, have you ever felt powerless? That is exactly what the enemy wants. So please take a look at this scenario.
As a believer in Christ, you want to stop that habbit which is destroying your life, but you just can’t. You even cry out to God, but all you hear is silence. You are disillusioned, and what started off as something you thought you controlled, now controls you.
Sound familiar? Well, I am here to tell you that rather than being silent, God wants to help you today.
Look at God’s Word with me. Paul faces this very issue in Romans 7:15 (NIV).
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Now instead of stopping there, please read on. Just as the apostle Paul overcame what he was facing through the power of Christ, you can do the same as a believer. Satan would like to convince you that you are defeated, but that doesn’t have to be the case, as Paul shows us in Romans 8:1-2 (NIV).
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Maybe you are asking how you can apply this power to your life. If so, please read on as the Bible explains this to us.
Thanks to man’s fall into sin, the believer in Christ possesses two opposing natures. The old nature is referred to in several ways including the old man, the flesh, the natural man, and the carnal mind.
The old nature cannot be improved through self-help plans or mere willpower. But thankfully, scripture shows us our new nature in Christ.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV) puts it like this:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
The key idea in that verse is participation. This simply means that Christ has become our partner as we walk with Him through this life.
But make no mistake about it–we are in a war. Paul outlines this in Ephesians 6:12-15 (NIV).
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
While this new nature is God’s gift to us, overcoming in life is not a magic formula. We must be obedient and persistent, therefore, as we live our lives in accordance to His word.
Either the old man or our new nature will grow stronger, depending upon which one we choose to feed. In other words, we can placate the old nature by catering to its desires and lusts. Or, we can decide to fortify the new nature while reading and studying the Words of God.
I once heard a story that illistrates what I am trying to say. There was once an old Indian chief who had just become a Christian. One day, he tried to describe the concept of the two natures to his friend.
He compared our dual natures to two wolves. “The white wolf is the new nature which Christ gives us,” he said, “and the black wolf is our sinful nature. The two are in a constant battle, but just as in life, the one who is fed grows stronger.”
Sadly, I’ve noticed that instead of feeding our new nature, a lot of us are like that junk-food junkie, who sneaked off so no one could see him engaging in a wrongful activity.
The two-faced parishioner’s story is even more serious, though. All too often we deceive ourselves. We rationalize that if we run hard enough, God won’t be able to see us either. We live as we please, and then we wonder why we have no power in our walk with Him.
If you want to turn this cycle around, allow God’s Word to permeate your very being. Let Him guide you through His Words, while He becomes your strength and support. Along with this, He wants to give you a new power to live victoriously.
While we all stumble in this world, Christ is the only one who has truly overcome it. So find a deeper walk with Him in the pages of scripture, for through Him you can do all things.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.