Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Are You Mastered By?

Without a doubt, my favorite drink in the world is Diet Mountain Dew. I love the taste of it (by the way, did you know that the first ingredient listed in it after water is concentrated orange juice, which means that it is like a breakfast drink). I do not like the regular stuff, only the diet. I will drink other forms of pop if this is not around. But if I have the choice, it will be Diet Mountain Dew.

Now, I realize that there are many people who say that pop or soda is really bad for you. It probably is. I have been told that I will have more energy without drinking these things. I probably will. I have been told that it will be better for my overall health without these in my bodily system. Its probably true. But those reasons are not why I have decided to take at least a month off of drinking it. No pop. No caffeine. I'm going off the juice for a season of time in my life. 

If I am not doing it for health reasons, then why would I do it? The same reason you should give up that one thing you say you cannot live without. I want to make sure that this thing I love is not mastering me. I want to make sure I am not addicted to it. I want to make sure I am in control of my life. I want to make sure I am not dominated by Diet Mountain Dew (or any pop).
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything." (1 Corinthians 6:12)
If you study your Bible, you will realize that this verse is in the context of sexual immorality. But there is a principle to be learned here. I am not bound by the Law of God to not drink Diet Mountain Dew, but I am convicted that I should not be addicted to any substance. And so today I put my life to the test as to whether or not this great drink has control of me.

I am being helped in this process by our administrative assistant, who is going off coffee for the next month as well. Usually, when I encourage people to do this with me, they say, "I could never go without coffee." If that is your response, then you probably need to give it up. I don't care if coffee is better for your body than pop. That's not the issue. If you need it to function in life, then you are mastered by it. And you should probably take some time away from it.

John Piper, in his great book, A Hunger for God, argues that the reason you fast from anything is to test yourself to see if you love the gifts that God has given or if you love the giver of the gifts. I want to love God, not just His gifts. I want to pursue Him, not just what He gives.

For me, it is pop. For you, maybe it is coffee. Or maybe it is TV. Or movies. Or maybe it is ice cream. The list can keep going. Could the reason you do not want to give it up is because you love it too much? That might be a good question for you to answer today. Remember, one of the fruit of the Spirit is self control (Galatians 5:23). Saying you can give something up and actually doing it is completely different.

Question: What Is Your Thing That You Simply Cannot Live Without? What Are You Mastered By?

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