Last week I discussed how alcohol and tobacco can disturb the electrical currents of the brain and affect one’s spirituality, because the toxins can benumb and stupefy the mind. “The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man,and affect his inmost life. Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind.” Healthful Living, p. 54
Since God speaks to us directly from His throne through the delicate nerves of the brain, would it not be wise to preserve sound bodies and sound minds by watching what we put into our bodies? “The Redeemer of the world knew that the indulgence of appetite would bring physical debility, and so deaden the perceptive organs that sacred and eternal things would not be discerned. Christ knew that the world was given up to gluttony, and that this indulgence would pervert the moral powers. If the indulgence of appetite was so strong upon the race that, in order to break its power, the divine Son of God, in behalf of man, was required to fast nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian in order that he may overcome even as Christ overcame! The strength of the temptation to indulge perverted appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of Christ in that long fast in the wilderness.
“Christ knew that in order to successfully carry forward the plan of salvation He must commence the work of redeeming man just where the ruin began. Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite. In order to impress upon man his obligations to obey the law of God, Christ began His work of redemption by reforming the physical habits of man. The declension in virtue and the degeneracy of the race are chiefly attributable to the indulgence of perverted appetite.” CD 54.
When you consider the state of health in America today, and all the obesity from overindulgence, is it any wonder why there is spiritual lethargy? Americans eat too much fat, sugar, soft drinks, salt, booze, and get very little exercise. Jesus prophesied of a future time when overindulgence would be a snare or trap for each of us, and most definitely affect our spiritual condition to the point we will not be ready for His coming: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34-36.
Christ warned us that gluttony would be the prevailing sin of the age, and Luke made no mistake when he used the descriptive words, surfeiting (an overabundance of food) and drunkenness (an overabundance of drink), to emphasize the gluttonous condition of the world right before Christ’s coming. Interestingly, we now have a major global obesity problem. There are currently 1.6 billion overweight adults in the world. That number is projected to grow by 40% over the next 10 years according to the CDC. At least 300 million of them are clinically obese and are a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability. 2/3 of Americans are now overweight and obesity among children has increased at an alarming rate.
In the prophecy above, Jesus warned not to let your hearts be overcharged with excessive amounts of eating and drinking, for overeating and overconsumption of the wrong foods will stupefy the mind: “Satan sees that he cannot have so great power over minds when the appetite is kept under control as when it is indulged, and he is constantly working to lead men to indulgence. Under the influence of unhealthful food, the conscience becomes stupefied [dull or lethargic], the mind is darkened, and its susceptibility to impressions is impaired.” CTBH 79. Please read carefully the following statement again: “”The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man, and affect his inmost life. Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind.” Healthful Living, p. 54
National Geographic featured an article, August 2004, called The Heavy Cost of Fat. “American women are now eating 335 more calories per day than they did in 1971. … One-third of the vegetables we are eating are: iceberg lettuce, french fries, and potato chips. … The [refined] grains we are eating are flour-based items like pasta, tortillas, and hamburger buns, which have little more nutritional value than table sugar.” The eye-opening-article went on to say obesity increases liver disease, colon cancer, osteoarthritis, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The percentage of Americans who were obese in 1971 was 14.5; today the percentage has increased to 30.9 percent.
“As our first parents lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, our only hope of regaining Eden is through the firm denial of appetite and passion. Abstemiousness in diet, and control of all the passions, will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigor, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers, and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common. … The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” CD 59.
“If Christians will keep the body in subjection, and bring all their appetites and passions under the control of enlightened conscience, feeling it a duty that they owe to God and to their neighbors to obey the laws which govern health and life, they will have the blessing of physical and mental vigor. They will have moral power to engage in the warfare against Satan; and in the name of Him who conquered appetite in their behalf, they may be more than conquerors on their own account. This warfare is open to all who will engage in it.” CD 69.
I will close with the words of the apostle Paul: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate [to abstain entirely from things harmful to the body] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, [the lower powers such as appetite] and bring it into subjection [to the higher powers of the mind]: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Cor. 9:25-27. So which one is ruling in your life? Is it your mind or your body?
Be sober and vigilant,