I am sitting here eating the world’s largest bowl of broccoli, wondering if by some act of magic I might be able to transform these green leafy tree items into chocolate chip cookies, or what I like to call, the favorite dessert of Claire and 10-year olds worldwide.
It’s Day 2 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox. The author of this book, (who I fondly refer to as “My Friend Diane,” so I don’t get upset with her when she demands I say no to cupcakes,) makes some pretty big claims as to what I’ll experience at the end of this journey. She says that after 21 days of avoiding sugar, food that you thought wasn’t sweet before will start to taste incredibly sweet. Processed foods have deceived us into thinking it takes a load of added sugars for things to actually be labeled as a “sweet.” For example, what is sweeter: a juicy grapefruit, or swedish fish? A green apple or a caramel latte from Starbucks? It doesn’t take a genius.
The truth? Our tongues need a reboot, because we’ve been straight up fooled, yo.
My Friend Diane says that at the end of this 21 days, swedish fish and lattes will taste, like…well, the trash that they actually are, because I will have figured out what natural sweetness tastes like again. I will have given my system a long enough break from the crappy stuff to know the Real Deal when it comes along. The Garden of Eden stuff, not the Nasty of Nestle stuff.
I am guilty of wanting quick-and-easy, sweet-and salty in many areas of my life, even from God. The quick soundbite, the arrow from heaven telling me which way to go (like, ASAP), a confirmation via Angel messenger who bears good news about my future every time I get anxious about anything. Basically, I want what I have defined as the “sweet stuff,” and I want it NOW.
Translation: what I want is not the God of the Bible, but a god of my own making, who bends to my every whim whenever I please.
Newsflash: That isn’t a God, it’s an idol, and the Bible has this to say about them:
They are worthless, the objects of mockery: when their judgement comes, they will perish. He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including Israel, the people of his inheritance–the Lord Almighty is his name. – Jeremiah 51
If you go and redefine who God is and what He has promised, you don’t have God at all. You become the fool. Nobody defines God except for God. Thems are the rules, folks.
Speaking of redefining things, in a recent documentary I saw called Fed Up, it became tremendously clear that food companies have been quite successful in bamboozling us in the grocery store aisles for decades now. When the low-fat food craze hit about 10 years ago, these companies quickly found that people didn’t really care what they were eating as long as that label was on it. Here’s the unfortunate truth- if you want something to still taste good when you take all the fat out of it, there’s only one thing you can put in to bring the flavor back. It won’t contain anything close to real food, but don’t let that bother you. Just focus on “low-fat…” and don’t focus on the fact that they have added loads of…
Sugar, darling. Sugah.
Let me tell you what didn’t happen from all of this lack of fat we were consuming. Low-fat Americans.
I have to ask myself: where have I been fooled when it comes to God? What “quick” promises have been made to me by idols? Where have I gone for the low-fat version of Jesus? There is no fast food God. There is a steadfast, consistent, never-changing, defined by the Bible God, and there’s only ONE of him. He doesn’t come puffed, deep-fried, or with added fiber. The rest are just imitators, and weak cheap-o yucky ones at that.
All of these imitators (idols) of the Old Testament, New Testament, and the modern day, can label themselves however they want. They can promise tastiness and pleasure and desires satisfied but they are just going to leave you with a stomachache in the end. Satan wants to change the label on Jesus, make him tame instead of wild, convince us that we don’t need Him to live a truly satisfying life. He wants us to see Jesus like broccoli- a mild, good, healthy choice for our lives, one we can choose to have when we are feeling particularly holy, but nothing we can’t put on the back burner for awhile, as long as we aren’t absolutely gorging ourselves on Dairy Queen. Satan didn’t receive the title of “Deceiver” for nothing, lovelies.
If I am constantly turning to things that will not truly satisfy me, they will steal my soul. That’s a promise. For a fleeting moment, I will think I’ve gotten what I want, only to end up sick and wasted on the other end. People. This is way more serious than “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” This is life or death. We HAVE to choose. You can go around, playing with lesser lower “g” gods, doing the idiot dance for them, thinking you are playing them like an instrument to get what you want, and you have been their puppet. They will have been playing you.
Or, you can rely on the work of Jesus, and run to God for the well that never runs dry, and you will be his Bride, his joy, and his absolute delight.
It seems like such an easy choice, but the Deceiver is prowling around, and he’s after blood. If he can get Eve, who walked in the garden with God, to eat an apple that God said she didn’t need, don’t think you’re immune to his advances. The Word warns us to be aware that he crouches on our doorsteps, waiting to steal life. Just like those food companies, Satan whispers, “There’s nothing real to be tasted here, but don’t let that bother you.”
It’s time to be bothered.
It may take drastic measures to get those high fructose corn syrup idols out of your life, but you have to do it. First, admit that your heart is a sugary idol-making factory, and pray for the grace of Jesus to change you. Grab a friend. Be accountable. Put down the TV remote, or the cake, or your wandering hands, or the computer, or whatever it is that’s keeping you going back to broken cisterns that can’t hold water. It will probably take more than 21 days, and it may take a lifetime.
But I can promise you, PROMISE you, that it will be worth it. You will wonder how you ever got fooled by those lifeless, heartless dummies called idols, and you’ll gladly drink the real living water that only Jesus can give.
So leave behind Satan’s meal of choice: idols that cause food poisoning, who promise to fill your tummy but leave you vomiting over a dirty toilet in a public restroom.
So don’t walk, RUN to get those beasts out of your system. God is for you. You will know His sweetness.
You will taste and see.