Saturday, February 15, 2014

Who's in Charge?

My husband loves to read inspirational books--especially when church related. A couple days ago he read to me a section from John Pontius' Journey to the Veil. John wrote about our spirit and the way to overcome the natural man, and that our spirits are not just on a joy ride in our bodies.  We must learn to control the desires of our physical bodies.
We talked a little about the spiritual side of this point, then we began a more general discussion of our eating habits. This is what I learned and a little of the discussion my husband and I shared...

We all struggle with weight. It's part of being human--and mostly American. The food we eat begins the viscous cycle of weight and health problems. They go hand in hand.
But you have to stop yourself and ask... Who's in charge?
When I reach for the peanut butter M&M's do I think about anything other than, "Well hey howdy hey, these look good. I love peanut butter. I'm going to eat some." Then we end up eating the whole bag. Okay, maybe you don't say hey howdy hey a lot like I do, but you get the point.
This my friends is the natural man, taking over our spirit. This is the natural man taking dominance. With each decision we make following the desires of the natural man we loose a bit of our spiritual control.
Who is in charge?
Now ask yourself this... Who do I want in charge?
When I tell people that I've quit eating sugar just about everyone will say the same thing... "How did you do it? How is it even possible? I could never do such a thing."
I started this journey long before my husband and I read this book, but looking back at my choices I made to take my first steps of no sugar I can nod and say, "Yep, That's what I did."
I would look at a sweet and ask myself (and this is where I think my spiritual side would stand up and make itself known), "Do I really need this? Will it make my situation better? Will it make me happy? Is there something better I can eat?"
Now I'm not saying that I've mastered my natural man. I haven't. By my choices I have given my spirit greater control over this small portion of my life, but still have many more struggles to overcome.
Everyone tells me they have no willpower and can't do something as hard as getting rid of sugar. I'm here to say, yes you do. Isn't willpower just another way to refer to our spirit? Don't we all have a spirit? If we could have a conversation between our natural man and our spirit do you think our spirit would be happy with the choices we've made? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
EVERYONE has the willpower to overcome anything. And the first step is to give your spiritual side the chance to raise its voice. Let your spiritual side take dominance and see what happens. The more we do this, the easier it will be for our spirit to be heard over the natural man in each of us.
While this example is specific to food and diet, the principle of our spirit overcoming the natural man is applicable in every aspects of our lives.
So my challenge to you; Pick an area of your life where you'll benefit from your spirit having greater control and work on it, little by little. And don't give up.

Mosiah 3:19 "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit..."

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