September 6, 2013

What Do You Crave?


What do you crave? Why do you crave it? I ask these questions because of a craving in my own life...for a milkshake. Now, this is not just ANY milkshake, but the mother of all milkshakes. This milkshake has power. Have you ever felt like that about something? That it had the power to take over your thoughts, your dreams, your every craving? I have. The culprit: the limited-time-only "Birthday Cake Shake" at Zaxby's restaurant.
Behold! The majesty:

What you are seeing is not a mirage. It is a birthday cake-batter shake WITH sprinkles. The topping is CHOCOLATE whipped cream (which, by the way, tastes like mousse).
Let's see it again...closer this time:
Yes, ladies, you CAN drink a birthday cake...just to clear that up! So, I will say that I can definitely contribute a couple of added pounds over the past few years to this delightful treat.
Allow me to diagnose the WHY behind my attraction to this delectable treat. Basically, anytime that there is an "available for a limited time only" sign...I'm hooked. I have to try it! And if I like it, I then have to eat it IN FULL until the limited time runs out. Why is that? Am I scared that I'll never see that food item again? Maybe. Do I have sinful desires for "more, more, more" that still reign in my body? Definitely. We all know that the American "gotta' have it now" culture drives things like this. Well this time, I had bought in--hook, line, and sinker.
The Bible tells us in Romans 6:12, "Never let sin rule your physical body so that you obey it's desires." Mind you, a milkshake here or there is not sinful...but when something--ANYthing--rules our physical bodies in a way that we are obeying that desire rather than what we know God is calling us to do--that IS sinful. For example, I know that the Lord had specifically called me to moderation in my eating and the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Endless milkshakes in order to please my sweet tooth is sinful. For the world offers ONLY a craving for physical pleasure (1 John 2:16), but we have been called to so much more in Christ.
So, how do we build up our own power over these bodily cravings?
1) We have to realize we are powerless on our own. Personal willpower is NOT the key!
2) We must pray for and study the Word of God for ways that Christ's power can work in us.
3) Sometimes, we have to absolutely abstain from (cut out) things in order to cut off their power over us.
4) We must then allow other believers hold us accountable to what God wants us to do.
5) Finally, we must walk in the truth of what God has called us to...replacing the cravings for worldly, physical things with cravings for His Word and for living it out that we might win others to Him.
I can't lie--I am secretly hoping that the "Birthday Cake Shake" comes back in the future...when I have a bit more self-control. Because as we grow in Christ day by day, we display the fruit of the Spirit more and more. Self-control is one of those fruits (Galatians 5:22-23). If that day comes, I hope I'll be able to enjoy this glorious milkshake once or twice during the season, but it's craving will no longer have a hold on me. But I'm experiencing a weak moment at that time, I'll have to choose to abstain.
My challenge to you is to make a list of those desires that seem to have power over you and then work through the five points above. Be encouraged, and find your joy and strength in God's help in times of temptation!

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