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Food Prison

Food Prison

Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? Isaiah 1:5

All summer, my son and I have been training for a distance race this fall. Every time we run, I’m frustrated that I haven’t lost the 10 pounds I’ve been meaning to lose. So, every time, I swear that I’ll lose it and every time, I curse myself for not getting there yet. Why am I making myself miserable? Why do I continue to eat junk, living enslaved to food?

Though the struggles may have been different, this sounds like the same question Isaiah put to God’s people in today’s passage. Why are you choosing pain? Why do you rebel and remain in prison?  

The Israelites, like us, were given the option of following themselves or God, who explicitly described the consequences of either choice. The Israelites however, repeatedly chose to live enslaved to their own destruction. They chose prison.

We do this. Though we may know Christ, he does not force us to obey. He opens the prison door but he does not kick us out. Just as no one else can recover for us, God does not make us obey. He gives us the choice to abandon our addictions to food, drugs, pride, lust, work and selfishness, but he doesn’t force us.

If we find ourselves imprisoned to our own destructive behaviors, we cannot blame God. He has given us the only adequate alternative to following ourselves – Jesus Christ. If we are enslaved, we have chosen to remain in prison. Remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good (Isaiah 1:16-17).

I am not left alone in my food addiction, but neither does God just make me hate food. Divine assistance often only happens as I obey. The waters often part only when my feet get wet (Joshua 3:13).

This will mean different things for different people. In my drug addiction, I had to go to treatment and commit to radical life change. In my food addiction, I may not need to go to treatment, but I’d be a fool if I expected to just pray, change nothing, and magically lose 10 pounds. If I want to live free, I must do what it takes to follow God to freedom.

 

 

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