I have an ability that I don’t mention often. I can hear ice cream (or frozen custard) calling out to me. It’s a call that draws me…cold, sweet, melting over my tongue. Strawberries, coconut, chocolate chips, bananas…small explosions of flavor showering my taste buds. Savoring the spoonful, eyes closed, spoon lingering, a smile unfurling. In case I wasn’t clear…I like ice cream/frozen custard. Snowmonster from Andy’s, All Shook Up (with coconut added) from Custard’s Last Stand, New York Royal Blizzard from Dairy Queen, Strawberry-Banana shake from Sonic…and I can list several other choices from each of those menus.
They call to me on my way home from work. “I can be yours. Just stop on in.”
I pass by most of those places, and with a slight alteration of my route…any of those places…on my evening commute.
“No one needs to know you splurged. Cheated on your diet. It’s okay. You deserve me.”
The call is smooth, enticing. Ulysses faced the Sirens; I hear the mesmerizing call of the Sugar.
“Remember how good we taste. It’s been a rough day. Things didn’t go your way. Just this one more time….one more time….one more time.”
So I drive, arguing with myself…do I dare? Delightful flavor or good blood sugar count? In case you weren’t aware, I was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes about six weeks ago. I’ve been trying to be good, but the call is strong. Flavor or health?
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV)
Hmm…some might argue that making those verses fit this could be a stretch of context. I mean it is just ice cream. Can’t I glorify God as I enjoy some of His, delicious, creation? It is only a reading on a glucometer…and in a few hours it will go back to normal. And I’m only going to do it this one time….this one time…this one time.
“I don’t have self-control, it’s not my fault….I just can’t help myself.”
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24, ESV)
Hmm…okay a little harder to rationalize this one away. I do have self-control…and my flesh has been crucified. But, I want that treat.
“I’m waiting on you, a quick stop at the drive-thru and you can have me. You deserve it! Why deny yourself!”
Hmm…I’m not hurting anyone. It’s my life I can do as I please and I want to indulge in something I enjoy. It’s my health; it’s my life! Into the drive-thru, I go. One medium Snowmonster ordered, delivered and I eat my treat….one more bite…one more bite…one more bite.
Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.‘ [Isaiah 14:11-14 ESV]
Hmmm…these verses are referencing Satan being cast out of heaven. He wanted what he thought he deserved…claiming his life as his own to do WHATEVER he wanted to do…including replacing God from the throne.
Ouch…isn’t that what I just did? Smaller scale, but same attitude and behavior. My life? My choice? Isn’t He Lord? Yet, I pushed and placed myself on the throne of my life. I decided “I will make myself like the Most High.”
Some may argue it was only ice cream…might be right…but it is also a parable. I make, actually – we all make, these types of decisions in our lives. We struggle with letting Jesus be the Lord of our lives. We, too often, rationalize, dismiss, deny, and flat out ignore Him when it comes to what “we want.” We don’t like surrendering to Him….we call it by a nicer name – control issues…but in the end, isn’t it really deciding we want to make ourselves like the Most High. By emulating Satan in this way, we’re doing the same thing Adam and Eve did…faced with a choice of following God or Satan. We find ourselves choosing Satan…one more time….one more time….
I repent of shoving you off the throne of my life. I repent of trying to replace You. You have given me everything you ask of me…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…and so much more. You have given me ALL things I need for life and Godliness. Thank you, and I need your help remembering that you have given me these things. I place You, once again, on the throne of my life.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. [2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV]
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [Romans 10:8-9 ESV]
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”– yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. [1 Corinthians 8:5-6 ESV]