As I was praying and reading the Bible I wrote that I was thirsty for God. It was in that moment that He gave me a word picture for how my thirst usually looks.
I am a big diet soda fan. I know I shouldn’t be but I am. I can go off it for a little while but somehow it always finds it’s way back into my refrigerator. When I am physically thirsty I generally have at least two options; water or soda. I am a fairly well educated woman and I know that our bodies are full of water and need water to function correctly. I know that I am supposed to drink around 64oz a day to help my body function at it’s top performance. I also know that drinking more water will help other areas of my life like organ function and weight-loss. I know all of these things, but I will generally still grab a soda over a glass of water. Why?
Soda has flavor and tastes “better” than water. Not because it IS better but because it covers up all of the unhealthy things about it with sweeteners that will also cause harm. Soda has caffeine. Unfortunately I treat my body in such a way that I need caffeine to make it through the day. Oh, and instead of meeting a physical need to quench a thirst, the caffeine actually makes me more dehydrated and the dark syrups make my organs work double time to process it. Soda COSTS more. I have the blessing of water at little to no extra cost, I have to PAY for soda.
So, why would I continue to choose soda over water? Maybe partially because I have programmed myself to do so and partially because I want to satisfy an unhealthy desire in me for a flavor, albeit fake.
Sometimes, this is what my faith looks like.
As I live my life I have very little “expendable” time. Between work and being the mother of a four year old I am pretty busy. I try, more unsuccessfully than not, to keep up with friends and family members but I even fail in making time for this due to my other responsibilities. However, God should be at the top of the list, right?
Some days when I get an hour or two to myself all I want to do is watch TV or read a fiction book. I want to “check out” of the world. I KNOW this probably isn’t the best use of my time in that moment, especially on the days that I have not spent time with God, but I do it anyway.
I count on the fact that I have the Holy Spirit in me to carry me through multiple days without cracking my Bible or having intentional time in prayer (other than with my 4 year old). Yes, I am filled with God and have that blessing, but just like my body is filled with water, I am thirstier than I think. When I choose soda over water I cause the water inside of me to be in greater need. When I choose wasting my time over seeking my Father I create a thirst in my spirit that makes other areas in my life circle out of control.
Just like choosing soda hurts me with preservatives, artificial sweeteners and organ difficulties choosing to watch worthless television or waste time on Facebook over time with my Savior causes breakdowns in my faith and strained relationships with my family because I am “off center” and it even effects things like caring for my body.
Every aspect of my life really does hinge on my relationship with God.
However, just like when I choose water and feel refreshed and clear headed, when I choose to spend time with God, my husband and daughter can literally see a difference in my mood/attitude. I make better decisions and live a healthier life. I am able to recognize and experience “God moments” where He supernaturally intervenes and gives me a chance to share about Him or help someone. Life is better, always.
So why do I keep ending up here? Like Paul says in Romans 7:19-24 the things he wants to do, he doesn’t; the things he does not want to do, he keeps doing. Even though he loved God and delights in Him, sin is present in his body and at war with him.
This is exactly how I feel. At war.
If you feel this way, I totally understand you. I am living it too. It doesn’t mean we are “bad” christians. It means we are human ones. One day we will be free from this diet soda craving flesh but until then we need to keep fighting the good fight and seeking God with all our hearts. Matthew 6:33 rings true every moment of every day.
As Lysa Terkeurst reminds us in her book, Made to Crave, the Israelite’s had to wait on God for their daily portion of manna and if we ask Him, He will supply us the portion we need to counteract those cravings and dig deep into Him to meet our needs.
Will you ask God for Him to give you the portion needed to make it through today, to choose Him above all the other things we can choose?
“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”