Summer is filled with fun and frolic. Picnics and lounging, enjoying the long days and laziness. It is a wonderful time!
One of the most enjoyable summer picnic fun events can be old-fashioned potato sack races and three-legged races. In the three legged race, two partners stand next to one another and tie the legs next to one another together. Then, they have to run together to the goal, trying to beat others with the same objective.
|AP Photo/The Jamestown Sun, John M. Steiner|
If you have ever done this event, then you are aware of just how important it is to be “in sync” with your partner. If your left leg is tied to your partners right leg, you have to step your left out as your partner is stepping her right leg out. Outside legs have to be in sync too. Not only that, but the steps have to be of approximately the same length. If one has a larger stride–which might possibly seem the most effective in a normal running race–that person has to shorten his stride for the one with the smaller stride.
Getting a rhythm is vital to this process. It helps if one is the “lead” partner and the other follows the stride length and repetition of the lead partner.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.Galatians 5:25
God calls us to run with him…not just a three-legged race, but through life–clinging to him, tied to him as if tied leg to leg.
Jesus calls us into ongoing relationship with and total dependence on him. He calls us to keep in step with Him. As we do this, we aren’t bound by any law to tell us what is ok to eat and what isn’t. We are free to listen to the Spirit’s voice. In fact, we are free from the restraints and the condemnation that comes via the law when we listen and obey the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to this journey, we don’t abandon praying in favor of merely following hunger and satisfied physical signals. Instead, we depend 100% on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Just as he uses our physical body’s cues to tell us when we are in need of sleep, he uses our physical body’s cues to tell us when our body needs fueling. Just as we don’t question or suspect our body of lying to us about sleep, but lie down and close our eyes, instead, we also need not question our body’s physical need–there is nothing evil about our body’s physical need for food.
We do look to the Lord to confirm that it is His will at this time for us to rest and for us to eat. It is clear from the gospels that he cares about both:
Jesus has intended that we get rest and get nourishment. He uses our bodies to signal when the need is there. We then turn to Him and Psalm 145:15 “happens:”
We live by Romans 6:13:
Where in the past, we may have given ourselves over to justifying eating for any number of reasons, now we offer our tastebuds, our stomachs, our salivary glands–all of it!–to God as instruments of righteousness! We have been redeemed.
Because of what Christ has done, I know that I have the ability to live as one redeemed. I have the ability live, offering the parts of my body to God as instruments of righteousness. PRAISE HIM!
We don’t maintain an attitude of entitlement, however. We know that our body, mind, and heart can be deceived so readily. So we stop, look, and listen, depending on the Holy Spirit to testify with our spirits that we are to eat, what to eat, and when to stop.
Just as surely as we might sense the Holy Spirit’s leading: “There is a woman over there who needs a kind word…I will go over and encourage her.” The word said, the leading may then be: “It is time to move on and allow the Lord to continue to move in the woman’s heart and I will pray as I go about my day.” Always leaning completely on the leading of the Lord, aware and open to the fact that he uses the body he created to signal me of physical need, but the most important thing in determining what he wants is listening and obeying HIM. THAT is my priority.
When I do this, it is like a pair at a three-legged race who are in step with one another. It is smooth, sweet, and successful!
This is about SO much more than food, eating, and our bodies. This is about LIFE and sanctification–becoming more and more Christ-like! Isn’t it awesome how he can use something as mundane as food and eating to show us just how much he wants us to be bound to him? Don’t you just love him so?