Why Many Believers Overlook This Soul-Decaying Idol

We're comforted and entertained by this without realizing we're in bondage.
We're comforted and entertained by this without realizing we're in bondage. (Oscar Keys)

I'm struggling with idolatry today, so I figured one way to do battle with it is to bring it into the light, enlist some of my favorite prayer warriors (you!), and hash it all out—right here in front of everybody. It's the same old idol I've told you about before. The one that knows no mercy and almost takes me under every time I give it just a little room.

The latest battle with my old enemy started when I was visiting a friend who was lying in the hospital bed with sky-high blood pressure. A couple of us were keeping her company while we waited for test results. Her emergency trip to the hospital had put us all in a "teachable" position with our health. We spent the morning doing a little Bible study together, checking out what the Word has to say about a brutal topic—what we eat and drink!

We started with this:

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1–2).

That's pretty clear. When we live out the gospel, it's to be an evident transformation. That transformation isn't just heart transformation—although that's where it all starts. It begins with the heart, but it should affect our entire being. There is a literal and a spiritual aspect to presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Paul takes a radical approach to getting that flabby flesh under control:

But I bring and keep my body under subjection, lest when preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Cor. 9:27).

Everything We Do Should Glorify Him

One of my friends was sharing why she no longer goes to the race track to gamble. She said, "I never wanted anyone to have anything they saw me do that might detract from my commitment to Christ. I want everything I do to be something that glorifies Him."

As she was sharing that, all I could think about is how I've stopped battling my idol and let it gain mastery over me again. I told her, "If people looked at my eating habits, I would be ashamed. I'm not glorifying God ... "

How can I stand and teach the Word, challenge women to live passionately for Christ, when I have this unyielded area in my life? When I'm worshiping at the wrong altar? When I'm indulging in idolatry—feeding my flesh?

Food is not the problem. My heart is.

I love food. I love butter (and lots of it), cream sauce, chocolate, comfort food, creamy food, crunchy food, spicy food, sweet food, salty food, cheesy food, rich food, high-calorie-high-fat food. My love affair with food is unholy.

Enjoying God's Gifts

God blesses us with all good gifts to enjoy, He pours out beauty, comfort, pleasurable experiences, abundant provisions—all to be enjoyed.

Command those who are rich in this world that they not be conceited, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who richly gives us all things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17).

But true enjoyment of God's gifts comes through the holy practice and consumption of those gifts—not through the perversion of the good. Food is good and necessary. But food can become an idol. I don't just eat to live—I live to eat!

When I go beyond enjoying food within holy boundaries and indulge my flesh in unhealthy ways, when my cravings drive my decisions and I seek to find satisfaction through my belly, when gluttony becomes my practice, my approach to food is not glorifying God. In fact, it's idolatry.

Paul, again, gives a strong word about our physical appetites:

Their destination is destruction, their god is their appetite, their glory is in their shame, their minds are set on earthly things (Phil. 3:19).

Paul is speaking specifically of non-believers here, but it's interesting that one characteristic of these individuals is that they worship at the wrong altar. Their "god" is their belly, and they find no shame in looking to food for their joy, comfort and pleasure.

It could be alcohol. Maybe gambling, porn, or drugs, but for me ... food is my addiction.

Letting Christ Rule

In that little hospital room, each of us confessed our addictions. Each of us walked through the Scriptures and allowed the Spirit to confront us that morning. While writing this post, I had to text those two friends and ask for prayer ... while battling a major craving. I don't want to worship at that altar today. I don't want the desire for chocolate to rule my life; I want Christ to rule my life. They prayed, and I planted Romans 12:1–2 a little deeper in my heart.

What altar are you worshiping at today?

Copyright © 2001-2016 Revive Our Hearts. Kimberly Wagner's passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective