Gal 5:17 NKJV
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
The word “lust” always brings up the idea of sexual misconduct and seems to be an awful word that has nothing to do with us. If we look at the definition of the word we see those negative implications. However, lust also means an overpowering desire or craving, such as “a lust for power” which is still negative but branches out to other areas of our lives.
Galatians 5:17 tells us that our flesh lusts against our spirit. How many people do you know who would like to lose some weight and gain some health and yet their “flesh” dominates their desires (their spirit) and the cake in the refrigerator “talks” to them… “Come and eat me… both pieces” and the buffet table calls them back a second and third time for a “mountain” of fried chicken and French fries. Perhaps that “lust for power” is, for some people, a “lust for food”.
Why do so many of us start diets only to lose our will and indulge in something “forbidden” on our plan? It happens because we give in to our flesh. If my flesh is dominating me then my flesh doesn’t want to stop eating when I am full, it doesn’t want to pass up a calorie laden, fat laden, processed food that will destroy my body; it doesn’t want to choose an appropriate food that will not only build health in the future but keep symptoms at bay right now, it doesn’t want to exercise, it doesn’t want to drink enough water, it doesn’t want to make someone feel bad when they make a pie especially for me, it doesn’t want to look “odd” when in public ordering an unusual meal with friends. Our spirit and flesh are on opposite sides and we end up not doing those things that we want to do, e.g. eat the right foods, in the right amounts.
We might add a few good foods to our diet (that’s great!) but you will never get the results you really want. It is important for all of us to look at everything that goes in our mouths. Food is powerful, powerful medicine and it can make huge changes in our health outcomes. If you make a couple of token changes in your meal choices the power of any good food (God’s food) you eat will be overcome by the poor choices (man’s food) you make.
However, there is another definition of “lust”… “ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish; an enviable lust for life”. We can turn those terrible, lustful desires for too much food, too many processed, refined foods into something wonderful. We can have an enthusiasm and a lust for life. That would mean constantly remembering our weight and health goals, reminding ourselves of the way we will look and the way we will live our lives with our bodies functioning as they were intended by our Creator.
It is possible to “do the things that you wish”. It really is… but it requires some help from the Holy Spirit. Ask the Food Coach can help remind us of those things that we want to keep on the forefront of our mind; those things that will bring us closer and closer to those desirable goals.