“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:1-3.
“Lusts of the flesh” do not limit themselves to inappropriate sexual behaviors. “Indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind” cover a wider range than that, and bleed into the area of our physical health. Many suffer from food addictions, or have gotten to a place where food has taken an inappropriate place of importance in their lives. Instead of food being a form of sustenance only, it becomes a crutch or a helper, and it occupies more than its appropriate share of time in their thought lives. But according to Galatians 5:23, self-control is one of the fruits of a Spirit-filled life. In order to achieve balance in this area of our life, the true helper, the Spirit of God needs to be at work molding and shaping us. And the hope is in the past tense of the verses above. We “were” dead in our trespasses, and we “walked” according to the course of this world. We are not slaves anymore, but we have been freed.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-“ Romans 6:6.
While the “desires of the flesh” are sometimes more outward and easily recognizable, the “desires of the mind” are often a little more indistinct, and therefore more sinister. Self-addiction and covetousness can be improper driving forces behind our quest for optimal physical health. Striving to keep up with the people around us will never lead to satisfaction. We will never be “full”. Whether it be in the want for material items, or in our efforts to look good, the “prince of the power of the air” would have us compare ourselves to those around us. And there is always going to be someone who has more than we do. A bigger house. A nicer car. A better figure. It is a road that leads to nowhere. True satisfaction comes with a life of following Jesus, and living for his approval alone. And he wants you to be physically healthy, not for YOU, but for HIM.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35.