Gluttony = “excessive eating or drinking” – a lack of self – control
My wife brought home strawberry shortcake the other night. It was late – almost bedtime – and I know that I should not eat before going to bed because it always causes indigestion. But, darn, that cake looked delicious. It was three layered with strawberry filling and whipped cream. I just had to have some.
I cut a slice about an inch and a half thick and, as I placed it on a plate, I thought that ain’t enough so I added another thinner slice. It really was delicious but about an hour later I had severe pains in my chest and I knew what it was – indigestion. I had to have some relief; I needed to burp or something else to release gas. I don’t wish to be crass so I’ll leave the rest of that to your imagination.
For the next thirty minutes or so, I continued to groan but, when I finally did find some relief, I began to reflect on what had happened. And the prayers I had just been praying for relief were answered with this harsh comment; “Gluttony.”
So, I looked up the definition of gluttony although I already knew the answer; “excessive eating or drinking.” And God said, “You didn’t even need the first piece let alone adding a second slice.”
My next question brought a real revelation. I asked, “But, God, what could I do? It looked so good.” And God said, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. You, my son, need to practice self-control.”
I felt too lousy to follow that up right then but the very next morning I went to Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The word “fruit” here means a result or reward and self-control is one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. So, when you receive the Holy Spirit, you also receive these fruits of the Spirit but they must be cultivated; they don’t just come over us all of a sudden. Take patience for instance or peace; The Lord had to allow me to face cancer to learn patience and peace and now it was time for me to learn self-control.
Self-control means “restraint of one’s actions.” I certainly failed to use restraint in eating all that cake and I have now learned that I fail to use self-control in other areas of my life. No, I’ll not go into that; you don’t need to know all my failures (ha ha).
Let me add something here that has a connection to what I’m saying. I just recently began reading a book titled “the practice of the presence OF GOD by brother Lawrence. And it’s because of some of what I read that, immediately after feeling the discomfort of eating that cake, I began to pray. I practice the presence of God minute by minute in my daily life. I talk to God about everything I’m doing, even if it’s washing dishes. I thank Him every day for the fact that I am still alive. And it seems that since I have started practicing the presence of God, I’m also hearing His answers; just as I did in this situation about gluttony. It was God speaking to me through His Spirit that revealed the idea of gluttony. And it was the Spirit of God who, immediately, reminded me of Galatians 5:22-23.
Since I have been practicing His presence, I have also been praying from the words of Psalms 25:5 and 119:33 – “guide me in Your truth and teach me.” And “Teach me, O Lord, to follow Your decrees.” And let’s not forget John 16:13 where it says – “…when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
So, let this be a lesson to all of you out there reading this; read Galatians 5:22-23 and learn what the nine fruits are and then look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself; do I practice these rewards; these results of my receiving God’s Spirit?
Ephesians 4:30 says “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed.” Do you think you might be grieving Him by not practicing what He has freely given you? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Self-control seems to be my most difficult one to conquer; sometimes I have trouble containing my temper and it has caused me untold bouts of indigestion and chest pain; stuff like dogs peeing in the living room or tearing through the trash makes me furious. That’s a lack of self –control. And now God is making me deal with it; all because of a piece of cake. The bible says His ways are not our ways and boy howdy, that’s the truth.
I’m telling you all this because I read Psalm 51:12-13 and said, Lord, I will do this. And so I shall. As the Lord teaches me, I will teach it to others.
May the Lord God bless you richly and keep you in the palm of His hands.
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You might also want to read these verses; Proverbs 23:2 & 21;