“[M]any live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” Philippians 3:18b-19
Last week we studied how the sin of gluttony leads to idolatry and explained how Philippians 3:18b-19 relates to eating as an act of worshipping God. This week we’ll discuss the process for getting your mind off earthly things and no longer making an idol of your stomach.
How to get your mind off earthly things:
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Transformation occurs as you:
1. Read God’s word concerning food
2. Memorize God’s word concerning food
3. Speak God’s word concerning food
4. Perform God’s word concerning food
In other words, you will no longer be living as enemies of the Cross of Christ because you will be living in God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.
People make idols out of almost anything. Satan took great pains to trick the vast majority of the Christian world into forgetting or at least overlooking, the sin of gluttony for two reasons:
1. Self-idol Worship
It leads you to worship a part of your own flesh as an idol, in this case, your stomach (belly). This is important to understand because Satan, himself, is guilty of this very sin. Specifically, according to scripture, Satan decided that he should be worshiped (Daniel 8:11-12, 25). Moreover, Satan declared himself as god, and that is the reason he was cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:14-17, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
2. End Game Strategy
Satan must deceive true Christians into idol worship. Since gluttony leads you straight to the form of idolatry that he committed (self-idol worship), it’s the best method of preparing the world to receive the antichrist’s propaganda for idol worship. It also prepares the rest of the world to more readily accept Satan’s ultimate declaration of himself as god. Satan has used this same method over the years in order to get the world to accept other ideas which were contrary to God’s word. His primary tactic is to use the media (television & radio), books, movies, as well as his “poster children” who provide personal testimonials or lend their celebrity to a “cause.”
The strategy is similar to a good marinade. Just as you saturate a chicken in a marinade sauce overnight so the flavor of the marinade seeps inside of the chicken as well as outside of the chicken, the enemy is saturating individuals all over the world, within and without, with messages related to idolatry. It’s why society is overtly and covertly bombarded with all forms of idolatry everyday. It’s become so commonplace that it’s beginning to seem harmless to most people in some respects. For example, people tell jokes about praying to the god of this or that for help, create commercials and movies depicting individuals as false gods, and even refer to themselves as the god of one thing or another. Notwithstanding the world’s attitude, the Lord makes no exceptions for idol worship.
“Do not put any other gods in place of Me. Do not make statues of gods that look like anything in the sky or on the earth or in the waters. Do not bow down to them or worship them. I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I punish the children for the sin of their parents. I punish the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who hate Me. But for all time to come I show love to all those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:3-6
Remember that “faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:17), so remind yourself aloud of God’s word each time you are confronted with idolatry in any form, whether it comes from without in the form of a hair goddess commercial on the radio, a video game that denotes you are god of the game if you reach a certain score or level, or a technician who calls himself a computer god when he resolves your technical difficulties. But above all, be certain to abolish self-idol worship which comes from within, for instance, by thoughts and behaviors which indicate you have made or are making a god of your stomach.
In other words, just as God has a master plan for the end of the world, Satan also has a plan. And he’s trying to use you as a means to bring his plan to fruition. God has already revealed that Satan plans to have the entire world worship him as god (Revelation 13:4-15). The more the world is bombarded with idolatry now, the more willing the world will be to accept that concept later. Think of it in terms of making something more pliable before actually using it. In the natural, it is easier to manipulate people or things which are flexible. For example, melting a stick of better makes it much easier to blend in with other ingredients. Consequently, the less resistance the enemy will be met with when the anti-christ is revealed, the easier it will be to convince the world to sink even deeper into idol worship and accept his claim to be god. In fact, it’s the same strategy he used in the examples listed below which are now all commonplace realities of life when they used to be counted chief among society’s sins, and it was shameful to even speak openly about them.
a) Homosexuality: As a result of the enemy’s ever-increasing media campaign to change society’s view of homosexuality, fourteen states recognized same-sex marriages, and the highest office of the U.S. government condoned the recognition of civil unions between homosexuals in 2013. Two years later, the Supreme Court of the United States made same-sex marriages legal.
b) Abortion: Became legal in the 1973 with Roe v. Wade, and countless children have died despite efforts to have the law overturned.
c) Sexual Revolution: Resulted in a 35% increase in co-habitation, and correspondingly, fornication. The 2010 U.S. Census estimated that there are 8 million cohabitating couples in the United States. Of that number, 516,000 are believed to be homosexual couples. By contrast, there were only 230,000 cohabiting couples in the country in 1960. Today 3 million children are being raised in cohabiting environments.
d) Illegitimacy laws: In 1917, Minnesota was the first State to protect the rights of illegitimate children by giving them the same status as children born of a marriage, or rather, legitimate children. Accordingly, the mother of an illegitimate child was given the right to sue the alleged father for care, maintenance, and education of the child. While the intent was to correct the mistreatment and penalization of children for circumstances which were beyond their control, the effect was to legitimize the actions of the fornicating parents. 
Gallup Poll Research
And Satan's plan has been working so far. According to the 2010 Gallup Poll, the number of Christians in America continues to decrease, and the majority of Christians who remain reside in the South. In other words, America’s modern-day remnant is predominantly in the southern states.
4 Steps to Stop Living as an Enemy of the Cross of Christ & ending Idol worship:
“Samuel spoke to the whole community of Israel. He said, ‘Do you really want to return to the Lord with all your hearts? If you do, get rid of your strange gods. Get rid of your statues of goddesses that are named after Ashtoreth. Commit yourselves to the Lord. Serve Him only. Then He will save you from the powerful hand of the Philistines.’”
“So the people of Israel put away their statues of gods that were named after Baal. They put away their statues of goddesses named after Ashtoreth. They served the Lord only. Then Samuel said, ‘Gather all of the people of Israel together at Mizpah. I will pray to the Lord for you.’ When the people had come together at Mizpah, they went to the well and got water. They poured it out in the sight of the Lord. On that day they didn’t eat any food. They admitted they had sinned. They said, ‘We’ve sinned against the Lord.’ Samuel was the leader of Israel at Mizpah.
“The Philistines heard that Israel had gathered together at Mizpah. So the Philistine rulers came up to attack them. When the people of Israel heard about it, they were afraid. They said to Samuel, ‘Don’t stop crying out to the Lord our God to help us. Keep praying that he’ll save us from the powerful hand of the Philistines.’ Then Samuel got a very young lamb. He sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord to help Israel. And the Lord Answered his prayer.
“The Philistines came near to attack Israel. At that time Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering. But that day the Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines. He threw them into such a panic that the Israelites were able to chase them away. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah. They chased the Philistines all the way to a point below Beth Car. They killed them all along the way.” 1 Samuel 7:3-11
1. Leave Your Idols Behind
As the Israelites obeyed Samuel by demonstrating their intent to return to God by leaving their idols behind and traveling to Mizpah in order to be reconciled to God through Samuel, so must you renounce your idol, i.e. your stomach/belly, and declare that God is your only God. 1 Samuel 7:3-4
2. Pour Out Your Heart to God
Pouring out water before the Lord symbolized Israel pouring out her heart to God in repentance. 1 Samuel 7:6
a) Be Honest & Sincere
God knows you want to lose weight, but now that you know this is about more than losing weight, you should also desire to be reconciled to Him in this area of your life. In other words, you should want to be in His Will and to stop living as His enemy.
b) Ask to be Saved from Destruction
You may already have unknowingly set some disease or syndrome in motion or be at a high risk for developing things such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, etc., due to committing the sins of gluttony and idolatry. Whether you already have a medical condition or are at risk for developing one, as long as you’re still breathing, it’s not too late to cry out to the Lord to save you as Israel did when the Philistines were almost upon them at Mizpah for war.
“But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:10-11
3. Confess Your Sin
During the Old Testament, Israel cried out to Samuel, the prophet & judge to intercede for them because they could not directly go to God themselves. As requested, Samuel sacrificed a suckling lamb for the sins of the people and cried out to God to save them on their behalf (1 Samuel 7:7-9).
a) Jesus the Sacrificial Lamb
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins on the cross because He lived a sinless life. The resurrection is proof that His sacrifice was perfect. Otherwise, Jesus would not have been raised on the third day (John 1:29 and 1 Corinthians 5:7).
b) Jesus the High Priest
The Book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus is our High Priest in the Order of Melchizdek. Like the Levite priests, Jesus has entered the Most Holy Place (heaven), and we, like the Israelites, are awaiting the return of our High Priest, who even now is at the right hand of God interceding for us (Hebrews 4:14-15).
c) Take your confession directly to Jesus
When Jesus was crucified, the veil that separated the holy place from the Most Holy place in the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:33) and later in the temple (2 Chronicles 3:14) was torn in two, symbolizing that there was no longer a barrier between God and His people (Matthew 27:51 & Hebrews 10:20). Everyone who believes in Christ may freely go to God directly through Christ (“In Jesus’ name we pray”).
Admit you committed the sin of gluttony, and the sin raged out of control until you ended up making an idol of your stomach. Ask Jesus to forgive you.
Although fasting is usually thought of in terms of abstaining from all food for a period of time, 1 Samuel 7:6 teaches us that fasting is also a way of humbling yourself before God in submission to Him. Additionally, it is how the Holy Spirit simultaneously disciplines you and empowers you to lose weight. Just how this works will be discussed in detail during a later lesson.
 ProCon.org, Gay Marriage, 14 States with Legal Gay Marriage and 35 States with Same-sex Marriage Bans, Last updated on 10/21/13.
 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) AND/OR (No. 70-18) 314 F.Supp. 1217 (1973).
 Not Just Roommates: Cohabitation after the Sexual Revolution, by Elizabeth H. Pleck, University of Chicago Press, 2012. Chapter 1, Page 2
 Children and Youth in America: A Documentary History, Rights of Parents and Children, Volume II, 1866-1932, Parts 1-6, Page 178, Editor, Robert H. Bremner, The American Public Health Association, 1971.
 2010 Gallup Poll Research
Ann Wooten Taylor
Ann is an attorney who has been licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas since 2004, practicing in the areas of child abuse and neglect, special education, and unemployment insurance law. Mrs. Taylor is also the C.E.O. of Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries and a Christian author. Her first non-fiction, Christian book entitled, "Eating as an Act of Worship Workbook" was published and released by Life to Legacy Publishing in 2015. Her second book, the "Eating as an Act of Worship Teacher's Edition" was published and released in December 2016.