I have some weaknesses for some foods that are not the healthiest choice. They are not deadly, but taken in the wrong proportions and in bad health could be destructive to my life. Oh, but how I love these wonderful snacks. They taste amazing. My weaknesses are regular Ruffles, Frito-Lay jalapeno cheddar dip, Chewy Chips A-Hoy Cookies, Nutella, and those smiley face fruit snacks that you get from Wal-Mart. I literally could eat an entire bag of chips, carton cookies, and box of fruit snacks in one sitting with no problems if someone or myself did not intervene. Why would I want to deprive myself of all of this deliciousness? Why not just polish off the whole bag, box, or carton if it makes you happy? Well, because it may make me happy, but it won’t make me healthy. These foods that I wage war with for my physical health are called junk foods. You have them too. They may be different than mine, but you have them. The term junk food refers to items that taste good but lack nutritional value and are often very high in calories and fat. Chips, soft drinks, candy bars, cookies, and many meals purchased at fast-food restaurants fit these criteria. Junk food becomes a problem in our lives when we let them dominate our diet. When we get to a point where we have traded healthy foods for the junk food. We know we have a problem when we have traded apples for apple pie! We have a problem when we trade healthy exercise for inactivity. We become overweight, out of shape, tired, clogged, lethargic and frustrated. Things become imbalanced. The thing about junk food is that it does taste good, but you can’t live on it. You will become unhealthy and malnourished. These same principles apply to our spiritual lives as well. We can and do fill our lives and diet with spiritual junk food that interferes with spiritual hunger for Christ Jesus; wreaks havoc on holy and righteous lifestyle; curbs spiritual appetite for genuine godly spiritual nutrition; often a “different” gospel than the Gospel of Christ Jesus; mostly watered-down Gospel messages/sermons full of worldly or secular humanistic ideas, pop psychology mixed with a little Divine Truth, and catchy drivel that taste good but lack any spiritually nutritional value. What are those things, ideas, people that have taken priority in your life to the point where you no longer could be considered a Disciple of Christ. What is it that has moved you to simply become an admirer of Christ instead of a follower? Are you healthy or unhealthy? Today, many churchgoers have become spiritually bankrupt; because the spiritual power in their life is missing. They love God, attend church faithfully and respect their pastor. They enjoy the company of fellow believers. Yet, there is a disconnect between simply attending church and actually becoming a disciple . Christians hear the messages of being a disciple of Jesus and they know the importance of bearing a daily cross. They know they need to pray , fast, read their Bible and live holy before God. Still, there is a refrain between the knowing and the doing. How many times have we thought about denying ourselves and had no idea how to even start? How many times have we looked at holiness as nothing more than a list of to-dos and not to-dos? How often do we miss the Holy Spirit power in our lives to help us overcome temptation and trials? Have you tried to get spiritually “fit” before and just given up? How often have we attempted to be disciplined in our spiritual lives with praying or fasting or studying God’s Word just to end up quitting? The answer to all of these questions is both simple and difficult. Unfortunately, it is the same answer. The answer is spiritual discipline. The untapped spiritual power that we could possess is found tied to denying ourselves and becoming disciplined. As believers, we must recover the lost art of spiritual disciplines. Although the methods are important, the life is what makes the difference to the world. These disciplines will change our walk, speech, attitude, and our overall outlook . Little change will take place in a dark and hurting world if we do not recover what has been lost in our spiritual lives and use it as a reflection of truth to the world. (Whitley, Nathan) PUT DOWN THE SPIRITUAL JUNK FOOD AND TAKE THE 52 DAY CHALLENGE WITH US BEGINNING OCTOBER 12.
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