Have you ever considered the fact that the first temptation mentioned in the Bible happened in a garden and it involved food? It all started with Adam and Eve and that infamous story about Satan tempting Eve with fruit. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can safely say that fruit was never a temptation for me. I was tempted by ice cream, potato chips and fried chicken, maybe, but never an apple or an orange.
Satan was busy trying to destroy people back then, and he is still at it today. He is still using food to tempt people today, just as he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Believe me, if you have determined to get up, to get moving and to start running toward your goal, he will be coming after you stronger than ever. If you are tempted by food, you are going to be tempted by it even more. You have to learn how to tame that temptation and figure out what to do when you are tempted to cheat.
I believe that we struggle with the same things that Eve did. Eve’s problem was that she wanted something more. She wasn’t content with what she had, and she had to have more, no matter what it cost her.
The same is true for us today. This is football season—just watch the commercials that are played during football games. They are all about Viagra, beer, trucks, girls and having great bodies. The world tells us that in order to be something—to be happy or satisfied—we have to take Viagra, have a beer in our hand, have a nice truck and have a hot chick at our side. And just like Eve, many people are taking a bite of the deadly lie Satan is putting in front of them. But instead of delivering the promised results, it’s delivering heartache, addictions, emotional problems and pain.
My weakness was food. That was Satan’s target in my life, and it may be what you are struggling with as well. But there is good news! You can beat Satan at his own game. You can overcome and tame temptation by learning to watch for his tactics and by strengthening yourself through prayer.
I listened to my coach and implemented a few strategies into my life plan that have helped me succeed in my efforts to tame temptation. I had to learn to tell my body what it was going to do and not let it tell me what I was going to do. I also had to trust in the fact that God promises a way of escape for every temptation. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
The Bible is absolute truth. The battle to get into shape will be won or lost in the mind, so fill your mind with the Word of God. Here are just a few of many key verses: Philippians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Proverbs 3:7-8; Matthew 26:41; and Isaiah 40:31. I suggest that you write these down and post them in places where you are most likely to be tempted to remind yourself to pray for the Holy Spirit’s strength.
God promises you a way of escape for every temptation, including food. So determine that you are going to get back up when you fall and that you are going stay in the game. Don’t let Satan keep you down. Don’t quit, because if you keep on with your commitment to live a healthy lifestyle, before you know it, a transformation will take place in your life, your attitudes, your desires and your body!
Steve Reynolds, the “anti-fat pastor,” has served as senior pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Va., since 1982. He is the author of Bod4God and Get Off the Couch. Steve launched a weight-loss ministry called “Losing to Live” in his church and nationwide after he lost more than 100 pounds. His story has been featured in local, national and international media, including Fox News, CNN, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. For more information, contact www.losingtolive.com.