And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.Genesis 1:29
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.Genesis 9:3
God is the one that created our bodies, so it stands to reason that He knows best about what to feed our bodies. In the beginning, He gave Adam fruit to eat. After the flood, God added animals to the acceptable food that Noah could eat. There is a wide variety of fruit for man to eat and there is a wide variety of animals and fish that man can eat. Bread is another good food that God has created for mankind’s use. We are going to look at the freedom that we have to eat and drink with. It’s not so much important to God WHAT we eat but the spirit in which we eat it.
Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!Ecclesiastes 10:17
Here is a good rule for our eating. Eat in due season, when the body is really hungry. Don’t eat all the time, but allow it to be a blessing to the body at the times it really is asking for food. Another rule is to eat for strength. It has been said, eat to live and don’t live to eat. God doesn’t want us to gorge ourselves on food. That is lust of the flesh. He wants us to eat a reasonable amount of food. Eat until you are satisfied, not until you are about to throw up!
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.1 Corinthians 3:16-17
We need to understand that our bodies are to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. We want to present ourselves as a holy temple to the Lord. That means we won’t defile the body through adultery, fornication, lust, drugs, smoking, drinking alcohol and especially overeating on the wrong kinds of foods. Overeating has caused many people to go to an early grave. We need much less food than we think we do. Eat small, simple meals prepared with love. Eat to maintain the temple of God, your body. Lust for food shall have no part in the life of a Christian.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
Everything we are and do should glorify God in some way. If it doesn’t, we should cut it out of our lives. Eat and drink to the glory of God, using the wisdom He has laid forth in His Word. Don’t eat to be drunk, which displeases God, but eat to glorify God. Eat to please God. Enjoy the food and drink that He has made and offer over it with a spirit of thanksgiving and love. This pleases God. Everything is spiritual in the kingdom of God, for you are doing things with your spirit.
One time after breaking a fast I was enjoying a slice of melon. It had the sweetest aroma and taste. I ate it slowly, thanking God with each bite for the sweetness of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and my communion with His Spirit. It was the most spiritual time I ever had in eating. People don’t realize that there is a spirit behind eating and drinking. It can either be a spirit of thankfulness or a spirit of lust. Don’t just consume food as fast as you can, but draw the experience out for a while. It will bless your spirit and bless your body’s digestion.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.1 Timothy 4:1-5
There are some cults that put people into bondage that they need to eat a particular way. The Word calls this a doctrine of devils. Everything that God has created for food is acceptable to eat! Fruits, vegetables, grains, milk, eggs, beef, chicken, fish, goats, grasscutter, etc are all fine to eat, if it be offered up in a spirit of thanksgiving to God.
For most of mankind’s history his food has been relatively simple. Food was killed or picked fresh and cooked right away. The ingredients used to prepare food were simple and wholesome. Only in the last century has food been prepared by large, unloving manufacturers who want their food to last as long as it can on the shelf so they can make the maximum profit. There is no doubt a correlation between the toxic chemicals used in the preparation of “food” in America and the sudden rise in cancer and other diseases. This is not the food God has prepared for your body’s use! I encourage you to eat fresh, simple, wholesome meals. Avoid “foods” with a long list of ingredients on their labels. God wants us to eat fresh food. If a “food” needs to be pumped up with preservatives in order to last months on a shelf in a supermarket, it is no longer healthy or fresh. God gave us a mind to reason with and it stands to reason that these foods are not good for the temple of God. Use your liberty for wisdom and not for abuse of the body.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Matthew 6:33
God knows that we need food to eat. Jesus says not to be anxious about these things. As we put God and His Spiritual food first in our lives, the natural things will be added to us, including our daily bread.
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.John 4:34
When the disciples tried to feed Jesus natural food, He used it as an opportunity to teach on the true food, the true nourishment. Our priority is always to do the will of God before seeing to our own needs. If men and women would read the Bible early in the day before feeding themselves naturally, a healthy spiritual habit would be developed. There is nourishment in doing the will of the Father. The Spirit of God within us quickens or makes alive our spirits and our mortal bodies as we obey God and His commandments. Do the will of God NOW. We can always see to our own needs later. It is healthy discipline to wait for the things we need. It shows that we are mature in the faith of Jesus Christ.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.John 6:27
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.John 6:53
Again, after feeding the 5,000 of the loaves and fishes, Jesus uses the natural to explain the importance of the spiritual food. Unless we partake of the flesh and blood of Jesus, we have no nourishment or life in us. It means to take His yoke upon us and learn of Him. Learn to walk in the ways of Jesus, to do what He would do. By doing this, you are partaking of the flesh and blood of Jesus and walking in His footsteps.
When Christ wanted to give His disciples the spiritual food, He gave them His example of how to live by serving the Father in heaven. Living by the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Doing all things to glorify God. This is where true nourishment and food comes from. The natural food is only a type or example of the true spiritual food. We must prioritize our lives around the true food and not spend so much time eating the natural food.
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.Matthew 9:15
Jesus said that His disciples would fast after His ascension to heaven. He didn’t say how often to fast or how long to fast. He knew that His Holy Spirit would guide them into that reality. There is no bondage in fasting, unless someone tries to make it a law. It’s meant to be a way to humble oneself and to seek the Lord, putting everything else on the shelf for a season. Listen to your heart and to the Spirit of God and He will show you when it is necessary to fast. No man can command fasting. The heart of man has to desire to be humbled in that way before he will ever agree to such a thing. Fasting is healthy for the temple of God, your body. God would never say to do something that would be harmful to you.
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.1 Corinthians 8:8
Paul reaffirms what the Word has previously said about eating and drinking. It is necessary to maintain the physical body but the things we eat and drink don’t enter into our spirits. Only if we misuse the food and drink with lust do we have a problem with God. God expects us to rule our spirits and our bodies. Remember Jesus’ words, that doing the will of the Father is the true food. The natural food is not very important and so the Bible doesn’t focus on it very much.
Paul also taught a spiritual lesson about not eating food that was sacrificed to idols, if it would cause a weak brother to stumble in his faith. This was a common problem in Paul’s day but is not very prevalent in America these days. Paul also taught not to eat things that would cause others to sin. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us how to act from moment to moment, taking into consideration the spiritual state of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.Romans 14:17
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.Romans 14:23
Paul again teaches that the natural food and drink are not found in the spiritual kingdom of God. Only spiritual food is found in the kingdom of God. How we treat natural food with our spirits is more important than the natural food itself. He goes on to say that if we don’t have faith that it’s okay to eat something, we are eating damnation to ourselves. We must consider that it is possible to run into a brother or sister that may be weak in their faith and are not eating certain things. Let’s be sensitive to where they are at and not cause them to stumble in their weak faith.
So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.Psalm 78:29-31
And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.Numbers 11:4-6
We talked earlier about the dangers of lusting after food. When Israel lusted after the food of Egypt, God sent them quails to eat. He gave them the lustful desire of their hearts. While the food was yet in their mouth, He consumed them in His wrath. It’s interesting to note that God killed the fattest of them. Those that had lusted the most. This is in the Bible for our admonition, that we would not lust after food like they lusted and were consumed. If we would eat temperately, to satisfy hunger and not lust, then none of us would be fat. If we would fast on occasion as the Spirit leads, then we would not be fat. To be fat implies that one has been eating more food than he or she needs to live.
The Israelites despised God’s manna that He had sent for them to live off of. Let us not despise the things God has given us to eat, namely, His Son, Jesus Christ. He is our true food, as it has been said earlier. He is the bread that came down from heaven to give life unto the world.
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.Proverbs 23:1-3
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.Daniel 1:8
The Bible warns us about eating the food and drink that kings partake of. It is extremely rich and savory. Daniel thought it so serious that it would cause him to defile his temple if he ate it, so he requested vegetables instead, and God honored his request. There is freedom and liberty in the Lord to eat what we will, but we need to use that liberty for wisdom and not for foolishness. Eat the simple foods God has created and leave the monstrous ‘food’ of mankind’s creation where they belong: on the shelf!
In summary, remember that the true food is to do the Father’s will and that will sometimes include fasting from natural food for a season. Fasting is a good discipline to make sure we are ruling our bodies and not the bodies ruling us. Natural food is just a type and example of the heavenly food of the Word of God. Do all things with faith, including what you eat and drink naturally. God gives us richly all things to enjoy, so enjoy your food, especially when partaking of it with a humble spirit in thanksgiving to God. We will all die someday, but make sure it’s not a premature death you died because you abused food and let it be your master. Be like Paul and bring your bodies into subjection, lest you be a spiritual castaway.