Monday, May 26, 2014

The Spirit of Gluttony

Webster's dictionary defines gluttony as "the act or habit of eating or drinking too much. It goes with spirit of greed, resulting in excessive indulgence.

Is Eating Too Much a Sin?

Some might ask: are we talking about food here, the answer is simply, YES we are! This is a one of the sins most of us overlook. In this article I will draw on some situations or instances of greed and gluttony that required the Lord to step in and issue serious rebukes. Don't undermine the value of this teaching; this has value to save souls! For the benefit of our new readers and existing readers everything we post on here is given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Jesus name our claim is not false or inflated with fabrications, but truthful, as we know Him whom we serve to be a Truthful Witness (Revelation 1:5).

As it is, week after week the Lord patiently brings us messages to present on this blog. Like I alluded elsewhere, we are not the subject, neither do we seek attention; instead we witness according to our faith, and a conviction from the Holy Spirit driven by a spirit of obedience. The grace of hearing from the Lord every day is a blessing in itself. However, every message and experience from Him always leads us to reflect on the Scriptural basis of what He presents to us. The message we present to you is for the spiritually conscious in Christ Jesus; this is in preparation for Heaven. We present and express the Lord's truth by faith with the eternal hope of being saved too (1 Corinthians 9:27).

The Scriptures declare, "Since we have these promises, beloved let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV). Therefore, the body is not only defiled by drinking, smoking or sexual sins, but through greed and gluttony as well (1 Corinthians 6:19;6:12). God is holy and as His subjects we must put on holiness daily. Biblically, there are many Scriptures that highlight the sin of gluttony, but since gluttony is demonic, we sometimes do not see it fully manifested. We sometimes mistake the spirit of gluttony to someone who is eating excessively, saying that they are just eating healthy. The Lord told us this is gluttony (Romans 13:14).

Bible Examples of Gluttony

The children of Israel craved other food in the desert (Numbers 11:4-6). This was not because there was nothing for them to eat, but they were gluttonous; they had an appetite driven by a strong craving. The Lord provided quail for them, "while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the Lord's anger burned against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague" (Numbers 11:33 HCSB). This sin was very provocative to the Lord because He was testing them, while at the same time teaching them to appreciate what they have (Exodus 16:4; Hebrews 13:5).

In his address to gluttons, King Solomon warned them that all sorts of delicacies are deceptive (Proverbs 23:1-3) and we are also being watched by those who invited us. Furthermore, when the Lord sent out His disciples He commanded them not to take any provisions for the road (Luke 9:3), for He provided and took care of their needs. In their mission, they lacked nothing, and we should therefore also learn to trust in the Lord when we go out in His name, for He will provide for our every need (Luke 22:35).

The Lord's Rebuke to Gluttonous Members

I will now relate to actual incidents of gluttony that occurred amongst us as a ministry. Again, as in previous times, the Lord wants me to highlight actual situations to show His disapproval of certain behaviors which we often take for granted. We recently arranged a birthday party for one of our daughters. So we invited all our ministry members, including their children, to the party. There were some members who could not make it on time due to work commitments. Some members of our team, after having enough to eat, started taking provisions for family members back home. This resulted in a shortage of food for the invited guests who were not yet present.

Consequently, we did not know how to address the situation and confront those responsible with the truth, thinking they might accuse us of being greedy and selfish. This incident was very disturbing because our invited guests who starved themselves to enjoy a supper with us were given what was still left. The Lord gave Charis a very serious message with a STRONG rebuke for those members who were responsible for this. The family they took food for back home did not starve; they were nurturing but they were craving for other food. The Lord considered this incident gluttonous and greedy.

In addition, we lived with a few children the Lord gave us to take care. They were in the habit of being gluttonous and this led them to sometime steal food out of the refrigerator. This was very displeasing to the Lord.  In His rebuke to some of this children, He showed Charis in a vision a young girl of six standing on the roof of a house declaring to some of the children "You are a glutton!". This was actually the Lord telling us that some of these children were gluttonous. Being led by the Lord,we took up the matter with the children concerned.

Commonly,  people always indulge in luxuries not because they have need for them, but they are driven by a spirit of gluttony. This is a sin (Philippians 3:19) for if they did not have the means to afford the craving, they would not have gone out their way to get and indulge in the craving. Also, it must be noted that drunkards are gluttons (Romans 3:13) as much as those who eats away on all kinds of luxuries.

When the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt He only provided what would sustain them (Exodus 16:4) and they ate manna for 40 years (Exodus 16:35)). It is not my intention to sound like a nutritionist or argue against their findings; I am addressing a reality here. In this country (South Africa), and as in most developing countries,most of us live and survive on a basic staple food daily. My father is about 81 years old and my mother in her early seventies; they have been surviving on the same kind of food for most of their lives and they are still enjoying good health.

So then, we are not suggesting that you should ditch eating other foods other than your usual daily meal. Leaving what we have to crave after other food is sinful (Numbers 11:32-33). It is understandable to eat what is available; it is, however, a sin to reject disrespectfully what someone provided. I have taught my children to eat the food people put in front of them when we go out visiting our parents or some close relatives (Luke 10:8). When Abraham and the other patriarch received guests, including Angels, they prepared whatever food they had available and it was received with thanksgiving (Genesis 18:3-8; Judges 19:20). Therefore, don't feed a craving; it leads to gluttony.  Only enjoy what you need, and remember we are called to preserve our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2; Proverbs 23:2; 23:20-21; 25:16).

Gluttony in Children

As parents, we should be watchful not to encourage gluttony in our children. This often happens when they see something they want and they cry for it. We often succumb to such pressure and give in to a child’s demands. This is spoiling them while encouraging the spirit of gluttony. Giving them is easy because this will inevitably keep them quiet, while their long term development has been influenced, leading them to greed and gluttony. The Lord recently encouraged a God-fearing family not to spoil their children with treats when they cry. Giving them treats is developing a craving in them which results in a habit. They must be properly taught.  I know this is hard for some parents who only want the best for their children. We must employ obedience to God, coupled with discipline and prayer to lay the proper foundation (Proverbs 22:6).

Equally, some people are in the habit of wanting what they see.  The appetite of the eyes is sometimes bigger than the tummies; if we don't contain or control our cravings we end up being gluttons. Contain your appetite and you will be able to control your cravings.

Therefore, let us not demand other food when there is enough available to meet the need for hunger. In my family, we only make an exception when somebody's body reacts to it. For instance Charis cannot eat tomatoes or fish because of an allergic reaction that causes her tongue to swell. The Lord  commanded certain Israelite families to refrain eating certain foods (Judges 13:4), and this was for a purpose. Finally, don't force someone to eat and so encourage gluttony; instead respect their decision.

Blessed truth in submission to Christ Jesus,
Brother Glenn