A couple of years ago I radically changed my diet. I bought a book, formed my new grocery list (including some items I’d never even heard of before), and headed shopping. Once at the store I am diligently examining every label, comparing sodium content between brands, looking for those hidden ingredients and pesky chemicals. THREE HOURS later I am at the checkout.
Now once I set my mind to do something, I can get really focused. I felt very satisfied that I had done a thorough job shopping, had purchased nothing unhealthy, and was excited to get started with the new recipes. Eating healthy is really quite easy for me. I like a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains. The hard part came in turning away from foods that I liked because of unhealthy ingredients or being overly processed. Can I really live without Ruffles potato chips or Dr Pepper??
But an amazing thing happened. Several weeks after removing all the refined sugar and processed foods from my diet, everything ELSE tasted better! All the processing and negative ingredients had been hiding the very best of the flavors. I was enjoying this new, healthy food plan much better than I had anticipated. And of course, I began to lose weight and feel better as well. It was a win!
However, as we humans tend to do, I got my eyes off the goal. It was extremely hard to stick to my plan when eating at a restaurant, or when invited to another’s home. Work became more demanding, so drive-thru fast food meals began to be a habit again. My body was feeling weary so the caffeine intake increased. I still really loved eating healthy, but there just didn’t seem to be time to regroup. It was just too hard.
This is such an example of how I’ve been in my spiritual life so many times. I would get focused. Determine what bible reading plan I would use. Shop around for books that would encourage me, tapes that would motivate me, groups to join where we could share this awesome experience with God together. But then I would struggle with the things I had to let go of. Could I turn away from my thoughts that had been processed by the world, or the hidden ingredients of my life, like the sin of a critical spirit? Could I really live without judging everyone, even if it was just in my mind?? Life’s demands would call and my focus would shift. I still loved God. I would try to regroup, but I had let the old ways back in, and it was just too hard.
2 Timothy 2:21 says “Whoever cleanses himself from what is unclean and separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences will then himself be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.”
Psalm 34:8 says “O taste and see that the Lord is good!”
We long to be vessels of honor, our lives spent in noble purposes. But it requires that we turn away from those things that contaminate us, the corrupting influences of the world that cloud our thinking and hinder our spiritual progress. We must be diligent and pay attention that these things don’t creep back into our lives when life gets busy and the pressure’s on. When we are willing to turn from these things, He promises to help us do exactly that. We can get excited about spending time with Him, and His word becomes so much more enjoyable. We can taste God like never before, and see how truly good He is!!