Friday, August 7, 2015

Glorify God and Bacon

                Have you ever stopped to think about all the things that you do in one day? You wake up; you get ready for work, school, etc. You might do a quick devotion while sipping your coffee, or after getting the kids off to school. We eat, we sleep, we work, we play, we have conversations- we each do a lot of things in one day. The other day, I started to think about all that I do in one day. I thought about all the work that I do, the people I talk to, the things that I watch on TV, and I found myself asking if I glorified God in every single one of them. Did I glorify God in the conversation I had with my husband before I left that morning? Did I glorify God in the way I responded to the guy going 15 miles below the speed limit in front of me? Did I glorify God in everything I had done so far? It was heart breaking to see that not only had I not glorified God that day, but there were many days that I did not glorify Him either.
               “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.”
1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)
                Paul tells us that all things are lawful for us. Nothing is banned from us anymore. We can now eat as much bacon as we want. We can have bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and for snacks in between if we want. There are no longer any restrictions- all things are lawful for us. But, let’s be real, if you ate bacon every single day for every single meal, you would eventually end up in the hospital with a heart attack, or at least with severely high cholesterol. It might be lawful for us to eat bacon, but it is not always good for us. Just because God says we can, doesn’t mean that we should.
                The other point that Paul wants us to see is that at no point should anything we eat, or anything we do ever become more important to us than our God. We should not allow anything on this earth, however lawful it may be, to become our gods. If you are not willing to lay it down and never pick it back up because God asked you to, then you are most likely enslaved to it. If you can’t resist that one thing that God has asked you to lay down, than you are most likely under its power and it has become your god. I struggled with cigarettes for years after becoming a Christian. There was nothing that said I couldn’t smoke, but God had asked me to lay them down, time and time again. I couldn’t because they had become my god- I was enslaved to them. Praise God He broke those chains and I am smoke free! But it took me a long time to finally get out from under their power.
                “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food’- and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
 1 Corinthians 6:13
                Paul is said to have quoted a saying that was common among the Corinthians at the time here in this verse. They would say that food was meant to be eaten, their bodies needed food, and God gave them everything to eat and enjoy, and besides, in the end God would destroy both of them anyway, so what harm was there in indulging? I mean, come on- who doesn’t love bacon! But Paul reminds us of a very powerful truth, one that has made me rethink a lot of my choices when it comes to food, and my day to day activities. He says that our bodies were made for the Lord. Paul writes that the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. We were not created to live this life according to our passions, our desires and our whims. We were created for the Lord. Your body, your flesh, all the parts of your anatomy was created for God to dwell in, walk in and work in. You and I are not our own.

                I am learning that to glorify God in all that I do involves every activity of my day. From the moment I wake up to the moment I lay my head down to sleep is an opportunity to glorify and exalt my God. What I put into my body for food, entertainment and substance has a direct affect on my relationship with Him and with others because I was created for Him, He was not created for me. You are probably thinking right now that you are not involved in sexual immorality. There is none to be found in your life. You have not joined your members to a prostitute. (vs. 14-16) I thought the same thing as I was reading Paul’s words. But then I started to think about what I watch on TV, what I read on the internet, and what my eyes tend to wander to. Does everything that touches my eyes glorify my God? No, it does not.
                God lives in me. He dwells in me. Yet here I am sitting in front of a TV screen excusing one sexual innuendo for another, not to mention the homosexual comments, the language and the violence, all being watched by me and excused by me. I excuse them away because all things are lawful for me. One thing I have noticed is that when I get caught up in one of my chic flicks the next day I find myself disgruntled with my husband. I had never really thought about it until one of my friends told my why she never watched romance movies or chic flicks anymore. She said that she noticed how she would become dissatisfied with her husband after watching one of them. The more she watched them, the more upset she would become and found herself secretly wishing she had someone different. She was secretly comparing her husband to the men in those movies, and let’s face it ladies, there is no man like that on the planet. Men fall short because they are men- not made up movie characters scripted to say exactly what every single woman on the earth wants to hear. What she was watching was causing her to have problems in her marriage.
                Let me ask you this question, and then you can decide for yourself whether or not that TV program you are watching, that book you are reading or that movie you just had to see is lawful for you. If Jesus was sitting next to you, sharing your bucket of popcorn, would He be pleased with what He was watching? We want to glorify God in all that we do, yet we want Him to cover His eyes when our favorite TV program comes on.
                “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
                Here it is- the simple truth that should guide everything we say, do, watch or read; everything we eat, drink or consume- God lives in us. Everything we put into our bodies, whether food related or TV related He is also taking part of. I once heard a pastor talk on this subject. He asked what we would do if someone backed a garbage truck up to our churches and dumped piles and piles of trash into our sanctuaries. We would most likely be outraged! None of us would want to sit through a sermon smelling all that trash, let alone have any part with it whatsoever. Yet, here we are, expecting God to sit through the trash we dump into our bodies every single day. His temple, we are His temple and we dump trash into His sanctuary without a moment’s hesitation.
                These past few months have made me realize that all that I do, even what I eat and drink matters to my God. How I treat my body that He paid so dearly for matters to Him because I matter to Him. I am not my own. He bought and paid for me, all of me, not just the parts I want Him to have- but all of who I am is His. My mind, my spirit, my flesh, my soul, even the breath I breathe is His, bought and paid for with His precious blood. Why would we not want to glorify Him in all that we do, say, eat, think, breath and watch? Amen?

               This blog post was written more for me; it is my heart, things that the Lord is speaking to me about my own personal life. I have allowed trash to be dumped into my Lord’s temple, I realize it, and I acknowledge it and I confess it before Him. I pray that through the words He has given me you too will be able to come to recognize the trash you have placed in His temple and that we, as a body, would no longer give our members over to things that may be lawful for us, but are not good for us. I pray that each one of us will begin to start each day seeking to glorify our God in all that we do, all that we say, all that we think, all that we watch, all that we eat, all that we drink, and yes, even with all that we breath. May the Lord God give you understanding and peace today to live the life He has called you to live, in strength and wisdom and power. To God be the glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord, forever and ever, Amen.