(Melt Me) – Discipline: The Bitter Medicine


“Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips; but it will not be consummated until the nature of Jesus is in our heart” (Francis Frangipane)
It seems that in today’s world, food has become a serious issue and many have gone into denial about how important it is to them. We live in a blessed nation where we can just go to the refrigerator or cabinet and choose between many different types of delicious foods anytime we want and as much as we want. Fifty years ago, the Western world was blindsided by a dark presence with the message of “freedom” to do whatever feels good. The “free love” worldview was not about the love of God, but rather promoted the love of self. This was a very powerful influence that was released at a strategic time in this nation in particular, as the older generation was still reeling from the depression and WWII. In the sixties the country was emotionally vulnerable with Vietnam, racial equality and several devastating political assassinations and these traumas created a perfect opportunity to unleash a social rebellion that poured gas on the fires of humanism. The drug and sexual revolution gave many young people a fresh “vision” that took carnality to new heights. They felt the older generation had failed and now planned to create a new world while discarding moral and spiritual restraints in order to express whatever felt good. This is an example of the carnal nature we talk about today and is a poster child of an un-renewed mind. It is the “default” nature and character of the beast and has the potential to deceive and control every one of us if we are not filled with the Spirit of God. This is the same nature that tells us we can think and do whatever feels good and gorge ourselves with every pleasure we can get our hands on – because we are free and everything is going to be alright! This evil, generic liberty is the destructive independence that is opposite from God’s freedom and is actually the freedom FROM serving Almighty God and that is why the world embraces this message of anti-christ with such enthusiasm. As we eat to our constant fulfillment, it hardly crosses our mind but there are millions of starving people around the world. With us being bombarded with food advertisements and being surrounded by restaurants and food stores, you would think that we would pray more for those who are hungry. Most of us do not have a clue what it would be like to miss a meal because we never have – and in this light, we could say with all honesty that we are very spoiled and take much of our blessings for granted. For some, I believe food has become like a drug and being satisfied constantly keeps them in a state of euphoria. It is a fact that when our stomachs are empty we can think more clearly and have more energy, while on the other hand, being “filled” makes us sluggish and sleepy. Imagine that, the enemy knows all about the weaknesses of humans and he provides a daily, endless buffet to keep everyone walking around in a self-indulged stupor. Combine that with the recommended daily allowances of television where the family is mesmerized to the voices and images that are designed to tempt the flesh and you have a realm that is occupied by hypnotized zombies. This is the type of spiritual warfare that Satan is NOT afraid of! It is the individual who recognizes the devils devices and allows their mind to be renewed in Christ that causes Satan to tremble. These are the prayers, confessions, acts of love and holiness that breaks down the gates of hell!

Controlling our diet is not rocket science even though it may seem very complex and uncomfortable to our mind and body. I was recently reminded from someone who made a comment about the war between the spirit and flesh, that they were not able to fight the flesh in their own power – and I definitely agree. This is a perfect example of why so many diets and exercise programs fail. We may think that our “controlling” nature calls the shots for our physical body but in reality it is a “spiritual” problem. This is why it is crucial to ask God to please come and help because without His super-natural intervention we are embarrassingly weak against this powerful adversary. “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1:9) There are two choices with food that will decide whether or not we are serious about physical change. 1. The first choice is to not worry about how much you eat, what you eat or how large and out of shape you become. This attitude can be dangerous and potentially life threatening and the destruction of our self-esteem alone can alter our happiness, opportunities and general lifestyle. This decision to do nothing is actually our default nature making the choice to remain a hostage to the merry-go-round of our psychological agony. Being held as a P.O.W. to food reveals not only our lack of mental and physical control but actually exposes a deeper weakness that is found in our spiritual character. Sadly, it is common to find people who will buy a book about how to draw nearer to God without ever considering a renewal of their mind and this is a perfect example of putting the cart before the horse. Many churches are teaching the Bible stories but are not tying in the parallels of practical “everyday life” truth that relates to the war between our flesh and spirit. It is no secret that people get excited about being blessed or going to heaven but will not even show up at prayer meetings. Selah. 2. The second choice is coming to the point where the bondage is broken and we are set free. However, before we can celebrate victory, several factors must change within our mind and heart. We must have a serious, true desire about changing (not a whim), we must see the “need” to change, and in our determination we must be willing to sacrifice beyond the pain in order to gain the victory for God and our ourselves. If you avoid the word “sacrifice” like the plague, you will never be an overcomer for God! Tape this to your bathroom mirror – “Losing weight and getting in shape is not a sprint – it is a marathon.”

I was recently thinking about the daily grind of being led around by the nose of my appetite and a vision came to me. (To many it may sound silly but sometimes we need anything we can find that might help give us an edge.) Pretend there was a king that was the ruler of a castle and he had a problem with food consumption. He was very overweight and in his frustration and depression from being obese he ordered guards to be placed at the entrances of the kitchen and pantry to help restrict his access to food. What he failed to realize is that when he came to the doorways each guard would stand aside and without saying a word they would allow the king to walk in and take whatever he desired. The king realized that no matter how much he talked about losing weight and all the healthy programs he could become involved with, no one could tell him NO which left him in complete control of his choices. He finally realized the war was in his own mind and only his own will was ultimately responsible for his decisions. You guessed it – we are the king! If we want food, who in the world is going to stop us? The same is true with any of our carnal cravings. Our resolution games are only blowing smoke of false promises and disappointments because until we spiritually dress for battle and go to the front lines of combat; we are already defeated. Our mind/will IS the king of our temple and our mental decisions guide the body like the reins and bridles guide a horse which is why we must tear down the images we have built and replace them with a brand new vision. We must decide if our flesh is going to control us or is Jesus going to be our Master. God knows there will never be a CHANGE in our person until we change the way we think. God, the devil and our imagination can influence us but generally speaking in the end – we choose exactly who we want to be. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

You and I as Christians are supposed to be dead to sin and alive to God – that’s what Jesus did! That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day because the more you play “footsie” with it, the more chances it has to whisper in your ear. We want to keep our little black book that has all of our idols phone numbers in it so we can call them when we feel the “urge” to indulge. This could include a hidden stash of booze, pot or drugs, the devil’s music, pornographic books, erotic websites or DVD’s, prostitutes, massage parlors or any fornication including the occasional adulterous affair, stealing, cheating or any type of deceptive secret sin that you refuse to let go of. God is saying today that He knows what you love because He can perfectly see your heart and He wants all of us to develop a “repulsion” to anything that is an abomination to His holiness. The only way to step into this level of sanctification is to LIVE in His holy of holies. Not just visit every now and then – but to DWELL there every minute of every day. It is time to demonstrate our knowledge of this very clear principal of divine truth that declares whoever you choose to serve – you automatically become their servant. In this light, the so-called freedom to do whatever we want is disguised as being our own independent person but after the mask is removed we discover that we are a SLAVE to our flesh which is actually not a freedom after all. It may be a good time to have a meeting between yourself to decide once and for all who is going to be your God. “Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness.” (Romans 6:16)

So brother, I understand what you are saying but how can we put all of this together into a workable, understandable, plan of action? I am so glad you asked! We must come back to basics of our salvation and one of the “pillars” is faith. Faith is not as easy to comprehend as many people may presume and we will never become so “smart” that we stop going down the path to Hebrews 11:1. One of the key words in this passage is “HOPE” because it is the desire of the imagination that something better is waiting for us. The assurance that hope gives us, motivates us to action which is why we practice our convictions. You see, if we did not believe that something good was coming, we would not waste our time trying to prepare! We would come to the conclusion there is no chance that circumstances will change for the better. Listen carefully, belief without action is just knowledge. Faith must become “activated” (made alive) to the point in our heart that we KNOW without a doubt, that we will receive EVEN when we cannot see anything with our eyes. We can comprehend the present situation and realize that things need to change in our flesh, but faith stands up and says my spiritual eyes have been opened and now I can SEE IT – and I KNOW I will receive it!

If we do not care about change even though we realize in our flesh that we need to, we could care less about faith because we have made up our mind that we will not sacrifice or pay the price that it will take to succeed. Our refusal to have faith is the result of us not caring about ourselves, those around us or God Himself. So to paraphrase Hebrews 11”1, we could say it something like this, “Now faith is being so sure that what we hoped for is coming, that we are now completely convinced that what we cannot see with our fleshly eyes – does exist in the spirit realm! You see, we seek the face of God about who He wants us to be and that leaves us with an idea of what we need to deal with and work on. Then we begin to pray constantly with an awareness that He is trying to use every opportunity He can to include in our transformation process. When we are filled with the strength of His peace, we can begin to yield our will to God and take control of our flesh. This in turn allows us to “focus” on His Word and His voice as He begins to lead us. Only in the life of those who have abandoned their old nature can Christ become the Lord of the temple. Everyone is laying the foundation and building a house of some kind in some way, and each person who lives has no choice whether or not to build – only what they build. Selah. “Heavenly Father, May we be awakened to the seriousness of allowing our flesh to control us. We repent for our arrogance in thinking that we are more spiritual than we really are. We fall on our face and cry out for your mercy and forgiveness. Thank you for your endless love, amen.”

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