For Valentines Day this year, my daughter, Judi, decided that she wanted to make sugar cookies for her co-workers, her brothers co-workers, the youth group.. We made 4 batches of sugar cookies. They were so good.. so soft.. so delicious.
I have no business eating sugar cookies for one the sugar then the flour.. and the butter. There they sat on the middle of our kitchen island. I ate them like potato chips.. “just can’t eat one.” My hand reached over and grabbed one after another before I even knew what was happening. I ate some on Valentines day and even more the day after. I prayed for help. I needed serious help. They were so irresistible and accessible and plentiful. I was feeling pretty icky by Wednesday evening.
We studied the first chapter of Daniel at church that night. Two words stood out to me.. “the indulgence of Babylon” and “all things are lawful but not beneficial” I had been very indulgent and now I was feeling the effects of how unbeneficial those cookies had been to me. Ugg. I decided that I was no longer going to be indulgent and that I was going only eat food that was beneficial to me.
It was actually pretty good timing for such a decision. All the sugar cookies were gone, and Thursday was grocery shopping day. I spent most of the day asking myself “Is this food beneficial for me?” The only problem was that I was coming off of two days of indulging in sugar and my personal list of non-beneficial foods is very long: sugar, grains, starches, fried foods (love, love, love); feeling icky, thinking sad thoughts.. it was really, REALY hard to keep a cheerful attitude.
Around 8:30 PM, one of my kids who hadn’t done their chores in days started talking to me. I was feeling frustrated and was on the verge of spilling over into very angry about all the little stuff that happens everyday. I warned him, “Do your chores and don’t even talk to me.” He kept talking. I lost it (a sad, sad scene). My loving husband asked me what was wrong, “Is it that time of month?” It wasn’t. I honestly didn’t know what was wrong.
The next morning, I understood that it all started when “I decided.” The Lord has me in a place where I don’t get to decide. For me, it’s like picking fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and sticking it on the tree God is producing in me. It’s rotten fruit even when that knowledge of good and evil originates in His word.
He wants me to live by His Spirit, to allow the fruit of the Spirit to be birthed in me, to live in the revelation His Holy Spirit Gives me, to wait on Him to work the will and the do in me. No works of the flesh allowed. Not even ones that look good. I am to live totally dependent on Him and His grace working through me.
I realized my mistake pretty quickly because for the last few years a pattern of grace has developed: I try to do something on my own; I fall flat on my face. I guess it had been a while since I tried it though. Silly me. I am soooooooo thankful for this pattern in my life. So thankful that God is the Author and Finisher of my faith and doesn’t allow me to succeed at adding rotten fruit to my tree. Thank you, Jesus!!!
So, what about the sugar cookie problem? Friday (after realizing my mistake that morning), I went out and ate fried, starchy and sugary food and enjoyed every bite.. except the sugary food. It was too sugary. I didn’t finish it off. I am starting to not enjoy it as much. I see it as a sign that the Lord beginning a work of deliverance in me. By Friday evening, I knew what to pray, “Lord put a desire in me for food that is beneficial for me.” Amen. Thank you, Jesus!!
Galatians 3: 1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?