“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:14, ESV).
In January 2021, God convicted me of an unhealthy eating habit.
You have a problem with food.
“What? No, I don’t, Lord. I don’t struggle with food.”
Yes, you do.
“No, I don’t.”
That’s how the conversation went for a couple of months. Then, I was reading Revelation 2, and came to verse 14. It literally looked like this:
But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.
Those words appeared bolded to me, even though they weren’t. Then God spoke in the still, small voice.
You have a problem with food, and if you don’t get self-control in this area, it will lead to a bigger problem.
I knew he was warning me that a lack of self-control with food would lead to a lack of self-control with sexual purity. That’s not something I wanted to tangle with! God had my attention. I found a 90-day spiritual asceticism practice that included fasting and dietary restrictions, and I followed it. I learned through that experience that I did have a problem with food. And I grew in self-control through the struggle to stop my unhealthy eating habits. I believe that kept me from falling in the area of sexual purity. Thank you, God, for saving me!
Gluttony and lust are two examples of healthy appetites turned sinful through excess. God created us with appetites and desires that, ordered rightly, lead us to him. But when our appetites become an end unto themselves, they lead to slavery, addiction, idolatry, and destruction. Much of what is wrong in our world today can be traced back to disordered, excessive, unwholesome, or unhealthy appetites.