What if I told you that the answer to sin is that we just don’t eat enough? Would that pique your interest? It ought to. Because that in fact IS the answer. Weight Watchers knows it. God knows it. The Bible teaches it. And our emaciated little souls are craving it. We just need to start believing it. And eating ourselves into Godliness.
OK boys and girls, its time to bring this bad boy in for a landing. We�ve got the basics down, now we need to move into application. How does this all come together practically in the life of the Believer? We know what we need, how do we go about it in �real� life, not just from the pulpit or in Christian nice-nice talk?
First, let me fall back on what I have come to call the �Weight Watchers Principle�. This hearkens back a bit to the first thing we discussed about conquering sin positively. One of Weight Watchers secrets to success are these hints and tips they give you. One of them is amazingly Biblical though I am quite certain they didn�t intend it to be so.
For myself, I no longer even worry about the weight issue, since I�ve discovered the medical reasons behind my extra pounds (or, the extra pounds behind � whatever). I used to think that I did not over eat, but simply had an allergy to food. I would eat it, and break out in fat. Not much I could do. Since then I�ve gotten my real diagnosis. The sad news is, I�m semi-bulimic: I binge, but I don�t purge.
Ah! I�ve gotten off course � back to Weight Watchers. One of their signature bits of advice is: �Never go grocery shopping when you�re hungry.� Makes sense, doesn�t it? If you go in the store famished, you buy everything in sight. If you go in with a full stomach, you�re much more likely to make rational, sane and controlled choices. Where�s the Biblical part? In Genesis 2:16 �And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” We only tend to notice the negative command here, but not the positive one. And if you ignore the positive one, you�re a sitting duck to violate the negative one. Huh? Let me explain.
God commanded the man regarding the positive part of freely eating of every tree in the Garden, but one. In other words, fill yourself up on what you CAN have, and you�ll have little appetite for what you can�t! Freely eat! Go, get as much as you want, as often as you want. Eat! But when we do not indulge ourselves freely in what God HAS given, sure as I�m a foot tall, it won�t be long before we�re standing in front of what we shouldn�t have with our salivary glands at full tilt. Proverbs 5 applies this same idea to sexual purity. Satisfy yourself with your God given partner, and you won�t make yourself easy prey for temptation. The truth is, sin is so often attractive to us because we just haven�t spent enough time and effort getting enamored with the glories of God! We need to be going to that Fountain all the time, slaking out thirst there constantly so that we don�t get thirsty for poisons of this world.
Most of us live on spiritual K-rations and then wonder why the world has such pull. Let me tell you, after a fine dinner of prime rib, baked potato with butter & sour cream, salad with 1000 Island dressing, great coffee and Cheesy Eddies� cheesecake for dessert � you can�t even tempt ME with a Twinkie. And under normal circumstances, I�d gnaw my own arm off to get one. Why not? Because I am already satisfied. If we aren�t satisfied with God, it isn�t because He hasn�t made Himself available � its because we haven�t been �eating� enough.
Now that leads us (quite nicely I might add) right into our crowning consideration. How do we then work this fruit of the Spirit thing? Like this: Ejaculatory prayer. Say what? You heard me, ejaculatory prayer. I know, sounds weird to our ears, but the Puritans coined the term and with good cause. It was part and parcel of how they understood their relationship to God in prayer.
The idea is this.
Say today is a day when due to stress and trials and tribulations (we do tribulate once and while – don�t we?), little peace it to be found. So we know we ought to have peace. We�re aware the fruit of the Spirit includes peace. We do our best to keep a stiff upper lip, think positive thoughts, act like we have peace even though we�re melting down inside � all the while feeling guilty that we cannot produce the peace as a fruit of the Spirit like we�re supposed to. What do you do?
1. Remember the solution is positive, not negative.
2. Remember something has to change inwardly.
3. Remember the fruit of the Spirit, is the Spirit�s fruit not yours.
Are you ready for 4?
OK � here.
4. Go to Him in prayer and ask for His peace.
Wait a minute Reid, you buffaloed us!
This is you big answer?
Go to Him and ask for it?
Yep � that my dear friends is the real key to this entire quandry. And why I brought up the idea of ejaculatory prayer. It is an constant resorting back to God in prayer � 1000 times a day, LITERALLY if necessary. Going back to Him over and over and over again and constantly asking and seeking His fruit. Praying something like: Father, I have no peace right now. My heart and mind are just frantic. But I know your Spirit is never without peace. Abundant peace. Glorious peace. Can I come and have some of yours right now?�
And let me tell you dear one � because �against such there is no law� you can come as often as you want and need, until you are filled up with all the peace (or love, joy, longsuffering, patience, meekness, kindness, or self-control) you can handle. He is willing friends, but He is desirous of our PARTAKING of His fruit instead of trying to PRODUCE it.
How often have you perhaps prayed for peace in a situation, and it has lasted a bit, but then the anxiety comes back? What did you do? Was your immediate response to run right back to Him and say �I ate that one already, can I have some more?� Or did you now try some other �technique�? Failed, didn�t it? Because the Christian life is meant to be lived in constant, deliberate dependence upon the Spirit. The �Tree� of life is there. But you cannot peck at His fruit or try to produce it yourself and hope for any success. Partake my friend. Let your appetite work for you. Go back, over and over and over again. Cultivate the holy skill of running to Him in short little prayers over and over and asking for His fruit and see if He does not give you that fruit until your heart desires no more. �Taste and see that the Lord is good.� Partake, partake, partake. Gorge yourself by asking Him over and over.
I really cannot stress enough how pleased God is to give to His children the fruit of His own sweet Spirit. If we ask for a fish, He won�t give us serpent. Or for an egg, He won�t give us scorpion will He? Of course not. And if we ask for joy, He won�t give us bitterness. But do not be satisfied with just a taste. Go back, pluck more and more until the juice runs down and drips off of your chin. We Christians sometimes content ourselves with so little of the infinite God. Don�t do it!
Having problems with self-control? Stop biting your lips, and use them to plead for a taste of His fruit of self-control. He�s never out of control. He�s got plenty to give. Lots to share. He�ll give you all you are willing to seek Him for. The Spirit produces His fruit in every season and never has bare branches. Come in the morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and a million times in between and see how He meets you there with fresh fruit � ready to meet the need. He expects you to get it from only one source � Himself. And He does not expect you to produce it on your own.
The secret to the fruit of the Spirit, is to partake of it, NOT, to try and produce it.
Put Him to the test. And find out how much He has waiting for you.