Taste is Acquired and Maintained

At times throughout each year our family tries to follow a strict diet called a “Fat Flush”. My step-mother introduced it to us many years ago. We bought the book and became introduced to the author’s theory of nutrition, particularly regarding the body’s interaction with fats, their storage and management by the body.

In a nutshell, a healthy body stores fats for potential and perceived future needs. Sometimes we ingest so much fat that the body must get it out of the system to avoid worse complications. These are where our fat stores come from. There are good and bad fats. Fats in foods make up a large part of our regular diets. If you eat the right kind of fats (primarily omega’s) and sufficiently convince the body that it needs to begin using the stored fats then the good fats are employed in devouring the bad fats — hence you flush fat.

There are many parallels to the concept of fasting here that I could venture off on, but for now I want to point out a phenomenon that our whole family experiences each time we go through this diet.

In the first few days of the diet, there are somewhat strong reactions to the changes in consumption. We stop eating sugars, salts, starches, caffeine and other things our bodies have been used to. There are even violent headaches, hunger pangs and cravings associated with these changes. It is difficult for the first 3 or 4 days. At the same time you are eating very healthy foods, high in fiber and good fats, that your body is not accustomed to. All this seems very disorienting. I even experience light-headedness and dizzy spells as the toxins of the old regime are expended from the body.

Here is the point. Our body regularly craves the things that we have trained it with. We grow accustomed to salts and sugars and other things that in excess are very unhealthy for us. It seems that the more unhealthy it is, the more we want it. This is typical with many addictive things. Each of these addictions scream for satisfaction and we respond by indulging in their particular feeding need.

Somewhere about the second week you find that you are no longer craving these things that your body had been eating and drinking but instead look forward to the new diet of healthy foods and fluids. What at first seemed difficult and uninviting is now rather sought and enjoyed. You begin to wonder why you don’t always have this kind of diet. It really does make you feel and sleep better and think clearer.

Well this is much like your spiritual diet. It is so easy to neglect the proper feeding of your soul and spirit-man. They are presented with junk food at every hand. There are things for your eyes, ears and sensual pleasure readily available all day. Its so easy to partake of the wrong thing and even somewhat satisfying and rewarding (to the flesh). Before you know it you are addicted to the things of a bad diet — the wrong spiritual food.

When you partake of spiritual junk food all day you become carnal, fleshly, no longer acting in the spirit. Just as you can become unhealthy from the wrong diet and wrong behaviors, so you can become unspiritual, from the wrong spiritual diet and wrong mental, emotional and willful behaviors. It is as quick and easy as fast food — “Have it your way” is the slogan on everything in the world.

When you are acting carnally, natural, apart from the Spirit of God, you not only don’t like the things of God, but you hate them. “For the flesh lusteth [wars] against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Gal. 5:17.

“… so that ye cannot do the things that ye would”. You see your spirit, you, really want to please God. But you cannot, you have been fueling the flesh and are making it strong and healthy. Now the flesh is very addictive. Once you begin to feed it, it gets stronger and stronger each time. If you keep asking yourself what you want it answers back with answers that feed its addiction.

This is why fasting is so important. You must deny your Self. If you do not, he remains well fed and strong enough to continue to lead you into temptation. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:13-15.

There are many foods that, when I was young, my parents encouraged me to eat, even made me eat, that I did not want to. My evaluation of them was that they were not good. I didn’t like them. Most of my evaluation was from sight and smell, not taste. Now I eat many of those same foods. Some are even my favorites.

I had to eat them knowing that they were good for me, even though they did not taste good at first. I had to make my Self eat them because someone whom I loved and trusted wanted me to do it to please them. I didn’t want to then, but now I am glad I did. I denied my Self out of love and obedience. Now I reap the benefit of a desire for food that is good for my health.

Taste is acquired not given. You have to do what you do not want to do at first in order to acquire that taste. You have to overcome your Self and its desires and thinking. All the things of God can and should be acquired in time. The passage from James above goes on to say, “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father.”

How is that for encouragement? The things that God wants to make part of your daily diet are good and perfect gifts. I learn every time I do this diet that what I had been eating was not good for me and what is good for me I have not been eating enough of. Every year I have to battle my own Self to determine to deny me so that I can enjoy the rewards of greater health.

The question is, do you trust your Father, that He only gives you what is good for you? You must overcome your own Self-determination by your desire to please Him. When once you begin to trust Him rather than Self you will quickly find that He was right all along. If you eat a steady diet that He recommends you will even begin to desire these things and hunger and thirst for them.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalms 34:8