When Food Is An Idol

Eve had passed the tree at least a hundred times. It was magnificent, standing like a mighty tower in the middle of the Garden of Eden, loaded with delicious, mouth-watering delights. Eve was convinced it held the sweetest fruit in the garden. However, she had never tasted it. God had told Eve and her husband, Adam, not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, Eve had kept her distance. One day, though, something caught her eye. She stopped to take a look.

As she stood beneath the branches, Eve considered the possibility that God didn’t want them to eat of the tree because He knew they would gain wisdom and be like Him if they did. Yes, God had been extremely gracious by granting them free reign of the garden. But, if He truly loved them, why would He deny them this one pleasure? After all, the fruit looked scrumptious, and she was hungry. Surely God would understand.

Eve reached up and pulled the fruit down to her lips. She bit into it. Wow, she thought. This is amazing. Even better than I expected! Eve’s taste buds danced with delight. Closing her eyes, she savored the explosion of flavor, not wanting the edible ecstasy to end. Eve took another bite. And another. The taste was absolutely heavenly. She offered some fruit to Adam, who was standing near her, and he ate as well.

Immediately, Eve’s eyes were opened, and the sweetness on her tongue turned bitter. She felt nauseous. The reality of what had just occurred hit her like tidal wave. Eve wasn’t just guilty of a culinary crime. She had committed a grievous sin by worshiping the god of her stomach. The consequences of Eve’s momentary indulgence reached far beyond the garden, sending out ripples of devastation that engulfed her marriage, family, descendants, and all of mankind.

It’s easy for us to look back on that fateful day and place blame on Adam and Eve for all of our problems. We say, “If only they hadn’t….” However, we shouldn’t be too hard on them for being weak and giving into temptation. The Bible says in Romans 3:10, “No one is righteous – not even one (ESV).” Had we been in the same situation, we would have walked in their footsteps. Actually, we do. We consume the forbidden fruit every day.

In our society, where eating is practically a hobby, we often seek fulfillment in created things, such as food. When we’re happy, we celebrate by going out for dinner. During sad times, we treat ourselves to a sugary dessert. God’s Word says that everything He created is good (1 Timothy 4:4a). However, food was never meant to be our friend. Nor was it designed to be our comforter. The purpose of food is to nourish our bodies so that we’re physically equipped to serve God and advance His kingdom. Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying what we eat, it should not be the focus of our lives.

Do you struggle as Eve did by saying“Yes!” to your flesh and “No!” to God when it comes to food? Do you find yourself thinking about food all the time, eating when you’re not hungry, or bingeing to the point of making yourself sick? If so, I pray that you’ll find strength and hope over the next week as I explore the issue of food addiction and how prayer and fasting can bring victory to this area of your life.

“Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy (Psalm 63:3-5, NLT).”

Lord God, you know my heart’s desire is for you. Many times, though, I seek love and acceptance in things and chase after other gods. I confess my sin to you. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness and renew a right spirit within me. Restore my unwavering devotion to you so that I flee from any form of idolatry. Thank you, Father, for your unfailing love. You are the only One who satisfies.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this. I need help in this area and suffer daily like you have no idea. May our Lord bless you.

    • You are very welcome. I want you to know God does NOT condemn you (Romans 8:1), so refuse to hold on to any shame you might feel. The Lord is merciful and compassionate, and He loves you. If the enemy is whispering, “You’ll never be free from this,” refuse to believe him! The Lord has already made a way for you to experience victory. The key is holding fast to His Word and relying on His strength. One passage I would highly recommend for you is Psalm 63:1-8. Meditate on these verses daily, and speak them aloud. As you do, faith will rise up in your heart, and YOU WILL be able to say, “No!” to temptations. God will provide! May the Lord bless you as you hunger for Him!

      • Amen. Thank you very much for responding. at work, we are doing the biggest loser. all around me ladies are losing weight. I’m staying behind and this problem is just becoming more obvious. I will go to that psalm. thanks again!

  2. Cindy Stone says:

    I too struggle not to take comfort in food. I rise to my cup of coffee every morning, I binge on carbs when I am feeling stressed at home and at work. I reward myself with food and often feel great joy when indulging myself. But at the same time, I feel empty. The foods I fill myself with make me feel sick and the lack of self control makes me feel like a failure. I am so thankful to have found this website today as I begin my second Daniel fast. I will find my comfort in my Lord today and fill up my mind, body and spirit with His living water! Speaking of water time to drink some more 🙂 in Jesus’ name!

    • May God bless you today, Cindy, in all that you’re overcoming. I’m with you on this one and I’m praying for the same thing. We will overcome, in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed day!

  3. This website has been such a blessing in not only the wonderful new recipes, but also in answer to prayer about going to food for comfort. This has been a long struggle with me since I’ve had my kids and I’m believing for a breakthrough during this fast. God bless you and keep encouraging others with this website.

    • Yvonne, thank you for your words of encouragement! I give God all the glory, and I’m thankful He has used this site to bless you! This fast is going to be life-changing for you. Just wait! 🙂

      • I’m praying for that, Kristen. I am so blessed by these overcoming food addiction articles. This is my last week of the fast and I just don’t want to stop.

  4. I thank God i found this, i’m in my 7th day of Dan’s fast. I decided to fast after realising tht i’m eating out of control & i’m feeling guilty. I’ll definately order the book. I’m tired of disrespecting God’s temple. May God bless you all as you striving for a godly life,

    • I’m thankful God led you to my website! He will honor your desire to seek Him AND your desire to take better care of his temple. May the Lord give you strength today as you put your hope in Him alone to deliver you! 🙂 I pray the book is a blessing to you as well. God has great things ahead for you on this fast.

  5. Nancy McCutcheon says:

    Hello Kristen,
    I found your website today as I’m about to start my first Daniel Fast. In the past two years I have been on a total change in eating habits and have lost over 50 pounds, and have done well. But I noticed that in the last month, I had been craving sweets in a different way.
    Not sure if the holidays triggered it or my birthday in October but felt that I needed to get really focused on food not ever being an idol again nor allowing any stronghold. I loved your story that you wrote.
    I am excited about using your recipes.
    Blessings to you.

    • Nancy, I’m thankful God led you to the website! I appreciate your kind comments. 🙂 I pray you are blessed and encouraged by the information here. May God bless you in BIG WAYS as you hunger for Him!

      • Nancy McCutcheon says:

        Hi Kristen,
        is there a way to make peanut butter of some type? Having been on South Beach for so long, peanut butter has been my snack during the day with an apple which helped me with protein.
        Is there a way to make your own that would fit into the Daniel Plan?
        Thanks, Nancy

  6. Leslie L. says:

    I thank God for directing me to your website. I have started the Daniel fast today. My only purpose to fast is to draw near to God and deny my flesh of worldly desires. I too struggle with food. I am married to my husband of ten years and have no children. We have tried several time to get pregnant but only to find out that I was infertile due to blocked tubes, ovarian cysts endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. So far I had three surgeries, two to removed the fibroids and cyst. In December of 2013 I was told that the fibroids returned. I strongly believe that Jesus have healed me already because by his stripes I am healed. This fast is to help me crucify my flesh, start off fresh to a healthier me and lifestyle, and take better care of my temple of the Lord. Please stand with me in God’s word as I will see the glory of the Lord in my life, marriage, and journey to living a healthier Christian life that glorifies my Lord and Savior. Thank you for the wonderful advice and may the Lord bless you and all your love ones.

    • Leslie, I’m thankful God led you to the website and you followed His prompting! Thank you for sharing your story. I have something very encouraging to share with you. Just yesterday I emailed a testimony from a woman who was in a very similar situation as you. I will email it to you because I believe God wants you to be encouraged. He has great things ahead for you. This time spent in prayer and fasting is not in vain. One of the names of God is El Roi, “the God Who Sees.” Another one is Jehovah-Raphe, “the God Who Heals.” He is powerful enough to provide you with a child! Many women who have been told they cannot get pregnant are holding babies today. Nothing is impossible with God! I pray the testimony strengthens your faith in the Lord to grant your heart’s desire. I’ve added you to my prayer list for this fast, and I will be agreeing with you for that very thing.

  7. Thank you for this devotion. Sometimes when you tell others about food addiction or your struggle with food, they just look at you like it they can’t believe what you’re saying. But the struggle is real for so many. I will read through these devotions during my fast. I’m on day 15, but planning to go for a full month. God has already done a work in me before by helping me to lose over 70 pounds. I’m down almost 30 pounds once again, but this time is different. I am claiming victory over my food battles, in Jesus’ name!

    • Praise God for the victory He has given you! Yes, the food addiction thing is very real and very prevalent. Christians are not immune to this trap of the devil. I’m thankful you are pressing in and pressing on with the Lord, refusing to let the enemy steal your joy in Him. May God pour out His favor on your life as you trust Him!

  8. My sister in Christ directed me to this website and I loved it instantly. I struggle so much with binge eating. i managed to hide this for so many years but the effects of it are beginning to show. My body is changing as I become heavier everyday. I know that am wonderfully and fearfully made and am using food to destroy God’s beautiful creation. I have tried everything but I am hopefully that the devotions and encouraging comments will help me restore my relationship with Jesus.

    • Praise God! I’m thankful your friend told you about my website, too. I hope you find encouragement as you dive into the Scriptures mentioned on those posts. Let God’s Word bring healing to your mind and heart. He has great plans for you, plans that don’t include being enslaved! May the Lord fill you with His power and give you His perfect peace as you trust in Him!

  9. Hi Kristen,
    I learned about you through Christie Love’s LeadHer video, where you talked about the Daniel Fast. I got your book and have committed to the fast and just starting on Jan. 1, 2015. I signed up to do the fast with you starting on Jan. 4th. I am very thankful I learned about you and was encouraged to learn Christie lost 85 lbs, which started with your Ultimate Daniel Fast. I want to get God’s healing from this stronghold, which I have struggled with nearly all my adult life. Your comment to a earlier person’s question encouraged me… If the enemy is whispering, “You’ll never be free from this,” refuse to believe him!
    The enemy whispers and sometimes, shouts my prison sentence to gluttony and overeating.. saying I will never be free.
    Thank you for all you do and for the Daniel Fast to draw me closer to God and His healing.

    • Hi, Carol! I’m so glad you wrote. 2015 is your year of victory! God has already set you free from this stronghold; you just need to learn to walk in it! I pray the Lord will fill you with His mighty power as you stand on the truth of His Word. Something that helps me tremendously in overcoming temptation is to speak God’s Word aloud. It really strengthens my spirit. Plus, it reminds the Enemy who I am in Christ! Thanks for connecting with me here!

      • Thank you Kristen for your response. Your proclamation that 2015 is my year ~ touches my weary heart in this area of past defeat. Notice I said ‘past’ defeat. 🙂 Thank you for the tools and inspiration…so people like me can have hope for victory in this area.

  10. Kristen, I too want to thank you so much for this website and your most God inspiring words. I started the Daniel’s Fast yesterday. This is my second time. The first time was about 4 years ago after the loss of my husband. I have used food as a substitute in my life for love. Please pray with me and for me to remember that God, my Heavenly Father, loves me and also that I can find love again in my life. May God continue to bless you for your fine service.

    • Lord God, I thank you for Debra and her faith in you. She is coming before you on this fast in brokenness and humility. I pray you will see her hunger for you and fill her with the power of the Holy Spirit. Speak to her clearly through your Word and assure her of your unfailing love. May she find strength in your promises and comfort in Your presence. Be near to her when she feels lonely and misses her husband. Pour out your compassion upon her so that she is able to rest in Your loving embrace. Help her to awaken tomorrow refreshed and full of joy. Give her victory as she fasts and prays in your holy name! Amen!

  11. Charlotte says:

    Kristen, I also want to thank you for this website. I have struggled with food all my life,
    losing and gaining and losing and gaining. I to use food as a replacement for love. I started the fast on Monday and this is my second year. I did the fast last January but did not
    know about this part of the fast. This is really helpful and I know that this time I will manage to defeat the enemy with his lies. I bought your book last year and it is a really wonderful
    resource and I have used several of your recipes. Thank you so much for all your prayers
    and encouragement. This is a wonderful website.

    • Charlotte, thank you for taking the time to write. I’m so glad you’re doing the fast again. God has something special for you this year…VICTORY! You mentioned that you’ve struggled for years. Well, you can’t experience victory without struggle. Your struggle is a thing of the past. Now, it’s time for you to walk in freedom! I’m thankful my book has been a blessing to you. May the Lord fill you with His hope, joy, power, and peace today!

  12. I just received an email by you today, and it brought me to this site. This has been a lifelong struggle for me, and I’m praying for deliverance from this during this fast. This is my first day of my fast, and I truly believe God is delivering a message through you today. Thank you so much and may God bless you.

    • Tiffany, I thank God for leading you to my website as well! God has already provided for your victory. You CAN overcome this struggle through the power of the Holy Spirit! Believe God’s promises, and believe they are for YOU. May the Lord show you His power as you trust Him to deliver you.

  13. I join my voice with many others in thanking you for this wonderful website! I believe it is God-led and you will only see your true impact in heaven.

    I am 28 but have loved food my entire life. It’s a passion for me, an art form. I can recognize subtleties in flavors more than most, and have been cooking and baking since I was 7….At one point, I nearly became a pastry chef!
    But, food has also been one of my go-to comforts, and I see my lonely soul reflected in nearly all the comments above me. I have been journaling for 21 years, and most of those years, I filled with pages with desperate confessions of sugar addiction, feelings of shame, and an overall sense of worthlessness.

    But, enough is enough! I have fought this is off and on since high school, but God, MY God is a God of victory and power! I began the Daniel Fast today, after three days of water fasting. I am asking God to show me how to relate to food in a healthy way, and how to use my God-given passion for food to further His kingdom. I am excited to read the rest of the devotional series. I am so very grateful to have found you!!!

    • Praise God! Yes, the Lord has victory in store for you! In fact, it’s already yours. You just need to learn how to walk in it. I believe 2015 is your year! No more shame. No more self-loathing. I pray the Lord will fill you with His power to defeat the enemy once and for all in this area of your life! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  14. I admit I’ve had a moment of weakness and consumed a small portion of meat. I feel like I failed even though I continued with the food restrictions. I’ve asked for strengthening in areas of my life where I give in to temptation.

    • Leslie, the Lord understands your moments of weakness. He doesn’t condemn you (Romans 8:1) when you fall. He loves you and wants the best for you. Once you confess your sin to the Lord, you are forgiven and free! I’m glad you continued with the fast and didn’t quit. I believe God will honor you for that. May the Lord bless you abundantly as you continue to draw near to Him!

  15. Thank you Kirsten for allowing the Lord to use you through this blog. My husband and I have been doing the Daniel fast . I started a DVD series with the teens in our church last night titled ‘ the gods at war’. And I realized I have made food an idol. So seeing this devotional to day was perfect timing.thank you. May the Lord bless you.

    • You’re very welcome! I appreciate your feedback and am glad you were helped by the devotion. May the Lord give you strength to overcome and trust Him to give you victory in this area of your life. He is faithful!

  16. Veronica Montoya says:

    God bless you Kristen. I just started the Daniel fast this week. For me was a call to do it now. I got the book like a year ago, but it was not the time , I guess. When I was wondering what idols are in my life, I found out this one, the food. It is sad, but finding out this devotional here in the web, I can tell you it is like a fresh air to my spirit, and I thank God and you for sharing not only the devotionlas but all the guide through your book.
    I pray for you an your family and ask God to continue iluminating your life.

    Best regards from Mexico,
    Vero Montoya.

  17. This series of post and your book saved my life and my relationship with my son. Bless you for bringing the Daniel Fast into my life. After a 40 year struggle with food addiction in many forms, I feel I have been delivered. I am going to extend my fast to 40 days to focus more on The Word and exercise. Spiritually Strong will be my guide. I can’t believe that after all these years, I am free from this bondage. God is great and He is doing great things through you! Thank you!

    • Praise God! What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing how the Lord has been working. I’m so thankful you’ve been helped and blessed by my books and website. May the Lord continue to strengthen you as you seek Him! 🙂

  18. This is one of the strong holds I am hoping to have a breakthrough with as I start the daniel fast tomorrow. Although I have overcome many things and even lost 90 lbs since my highest weight ever, i still have 30-40 more to lose and it has been years of struggle and I have not lost it. Lately I have been binging on sugar and I know God has something for me and I have just been hiding from him. I have so many fears! I am praying for a breakthrough.

    • Abby, I’m so proud of you! You are stepping out in faith and putting your trust in God. I pray the Lord will strengthen you in every way as you submit to Him. How is your fast going? I’m believing along with you for that breakthrough as you draw near to God on this Daniel Fast.

  19. I did my first Daniel Fast in January 2016 with my church. I was grateful when I happened upon your website before I started. My relationship with the Lord definitely grew stronger during that time. It’s amazing how in just a few months “life”can draw you from your daily Bible Reading and praying.
    Then I received your email invitation for the August fast. As much time as I spent on this website during my first fast I didn’t see this page until now. I started a new job in April and the food temptations are constant as the pharmaceutical companies stop by daily.

    • Hi, Nicole! Thanks for your comments. Will you be doing the fast in August? If not, that’s ok. I was just curious. As far as the food temptations, yes, our society is full of them, especially when generous pharmaceutical reps throw food at you! God can and will help you with self-control in those situations. Continue to seek Him for strength, and put your hope in His Word. “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” (Ps. 29:11). May you be filled with much joy and peace as you trust in Him.