Walking into a hospital emergency room complaining of chest pains, and being diagnosed with vessel blockages and sugar diabetes is life changing. Many everyday habits must be modified to deal with these serious conditions.
Vessel blockages can be cured through intervention or surgery. Prevention of future problems may involve modification of diet and exercise. But the changes to a person’s life style may not be extreme, depending upon his past habits.
Diabetes, on the other hand, offers special challenges since it involves monitoring blood sugar levels multiple times per day, injecting medicines, and tracking carbohydrate intake so that one’s blood sugar may remain consistently level. One can never be completely cured of diabetes. All he can do is gain control of it.
At first, lying in the hospital room, one experiences denial. He reasons that the lab techs must have made a mistake. He tries to get the medical staff to admit that the established standards vary from person to person and that the levels he is experiencing may not be high for him; that they are peculiar to his health. He may go through a phase of making light of the seriousness of his condition; he tries to convince himself that gaining control of his diabetes really doesn’t make any difference.
But eventually, the fact sets in, and he realizes that he must deal with this undesired condition.
While lying in the hospital room, one begins reasoning that dealing with diabetes will not be difficult. The nursing staff regularly checks his blood sugar levels, and injects the needed insulin. The hospital dietary staff delivers tasty, balanced meals (yes, I did say tasty) at consistent times each day. In those circumstances, there is no need for him to count carbs or starches.
So, he reasons, “This isn’t going to be that hard.”
At home, where the food choices are somewhat limited, the diabetic may reason to himself, “This is going to be a little more difficult than I thought, but still not too hard.” The fact that his RN wife prepares his meals, doles out the portions, and helps him monitor his sugar levels adds to the diabetic’s confidence that he can indeed make these changes with ease.
But eventually, the diabetic must go out on his own. He must monitor his own health. He must make wise food choices. And he must do so outside the confined room of the hospital or the semi-confined walls of his home. He must do so in the mega commercialized food world.
The nurses and dietary staff are not around to ensure that he receives a well-balanced diet. His wife is not there to monitor his dietary intake. It’s just he against the food world.
And the food world isn’t particularly concerned about his condition. Its main concern is presenting bountiful portions of food which the masses consider delicious. The food world spends millions of dollars on advertisement, hoping to draw as many people as possible through their door, or to their grocery aisle.
That’s when the diabetic experiences true temptation. That’s when it finally hits him just how hard it’s going to be to make the healthy lifestyle changes. That’s when he realizes what the rest of his life is going to be like.
And it’s tough.
Spiritually, many people begin searching for Jesus, already suspecting that they have a spiritual health issue. Through the sermons they hear, they are convicted of their sin problem and they realize that they must do something about it.
The Bible teaches that our hearts are the cause of our spiritual disease. God and Jesus can cure the heart. Jesus can empower a person to transform from a voluntary slave of Satan to a humble servant of God. When one transforms, he realizes that he must make major changes in his lifestyle; he must give up sin. (Romans 12:1,2)
This may not seem difficult as long as the new disciple remains in the presence and worship services of the church. Preachers and Bible school teachers serve the proper type and amount of spiritual foods. Fellow christians help the penitent sinner identify and keep check on those sinful activities that seem “sweet” to him. When confined within the church, adapting one’s lifestyle to a faithful lifestyle may not appear difficult.
Within the presence of a christian family, living a faithful christian life may not appear to be a difficult task. One’s parents, spouse, and children constantly encourage him to give up old habits, and to replace them with prayer, Bible study, and christian priorities. The temptations which one faces are limited. God designed the home to be a safe place for his followers. And within the home, a new christian may be tempted to reason that adapting from sinner to disciple will not be difficult.
Then there comes the day when the spiritual babe must face the world on his own. His fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are not with him. He is absent from the influence of his family. He, and he alone, must make wise decisions as he purposely resists the temptation of the world.
And the world doesn’t care about his spiritual health.
Satan, through the world simply wants to market bountiful temptations which taste “sweet” to the masses. He spends billions of dollars trying to entice as many people as he can to try his destructive delicacies.
Facing these temptations alone are the times when a christian will be more likely to give in to the destructive forces of sin. Facing these temptations alone are the times when a new disciple realizes that faithfully living his newly chosen lifestyle will not be easy.
These moments are the times when he must fall back on all the Bible truths he has learned. These are the times that he must appreciate the love and care of his family. But mostly, these are the times that the new disciple must learn to rely on his Master, his Savior, his Teacher, and his Counselor.
For when a newborn babe truly learns to trust Jesus, he realizes that he is never alone, and that the salvation of his soul is worth resisting even the sweetest temptation.
“18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me
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