Author: Joyce Tilney

The Effect Words Have on Your Eating Habits

“The devil wants you fat!” When I read these words, they pierced my heart.

These words were a jolt to my mind. It became very real to me in that moment what was going on in my life. I hate the devil, and the last thing I wanted was to please him.  There is no doubt about it, the devil wants you fat!

The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance John 10:10, “The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

For years I had struggled with the roller-coaster ride of weight issues, fighting all the emotional ups and downs that go with this battle. There is much information today on obesity, but as a nation, we get fatter and fatter. Information shows us the need for change, but transformation gives us a desire to change. The power to change comes from the One who created us.

In this moment, when I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat,” I had an  immediate, burning desire  in my heart to change. It was a moment that brought  repentance and an awareness that I was responsible and accountable for  the way I had cared for my body.

Once I surrendered my food addiction to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 90 pounds from my body. Yes, I said “addiction.” I did not realize until that moment that I was addicted to food. I had seen members in my family with addiction to alcohol and drugs, but it had not occurred to me that I was addicted to food, and the enemy was using this to destroy my health and well-being. Unlike alcohol and drugs, we must have food to survive. It is what the enemy used in the Garden to tempt Eve, so why should we be surprised that he is still using the temptation of our hunger for his benefit to steal, kill and destroy?

The enemy also tempted Jesus with food. Jesus had been fasting, and when He came off the fast, He was hungry. Satan tempted Him saying, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3). Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” (Luke 4:4b). Job 23:12b says, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”

“For the word of God alive and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). The Word has the power to bring deliverance to you and cut asunder the thick cords of the enemy. When you study the Word, receive a revelation of the Word and speak the Word, the enemy and his temptations have no power over you!

The food industry also knows how they can cause us to become addicted to food cravings. The Holy Spirit led me to study nutrition. I became aware how certain foods affected my body. I strongly urge you to study how chemicals that have been added to foods to stimulate our taste buds, strip their nutritional value and cause cravings that demand our attention.

Dan. 10:19b says, “When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'” I needed strength! I had a word from the Lord, but I knew this battle was not in the physical world but a spiritual battle against the principalities and powers of the world.

As I began this journey, the Lord spoke several different words that gave me strength to face the battle. One of those words was, “When you get a revelation of the purpose of your body, you will not abuse it.” I immediately remembered 1 Cor. 6:19: “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own?”

“Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it …” (Prov. 16:22). Understanding gives us wisdom and strength to walk in obedience to the Word of God. Obedience is the key; weight loss is a side benefit! He has prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Ps. 23, 34:8).

Denying the Flesh: Break the Habit of Reckless Eating

“Break the Habit.” This was the word the Lord spoke to my heart as I earnestly sought Him for direction in my weight battle.

I had a bad habit of eating the wrong food at the wrong time. I did not “think” about what I was eating or when I was eating. I ate to stop the craving that screamed for my attention. I had opened the door to the enemy through my eating habits and he was happy to take advantage of the situation, planting seeds of thoughts about food until I was totally addicted to certain foods. The cravings were consistently screaming in my head to be fed.

At this time, a big change had come into my life and I was having trouble adjusting to the change. During this time, I gained 75 pounds! I was shocked when I stepped on the scales! I cried out to the Lord, “I need your help!” In His great love and mercy He spoke to my heart, “break the habit.” I knew this was my eating habit.

Food addiction becomes a habit when we eat wrong foods that create cravings that we find impossible to stop in our own strength. A habit is a constant, often unconscious inclination to perform some act acquired through its frequent repetition, an established trend of the mind or character. I soon found out that it is not easy to break a habit and that the enemy is not happy about giving up his territory.

In Romans 7:15, Paul shares about a struggle he was having, “…For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I have, that I do” (NLT). I have heard many people say, “if Paul couldn’t control his flesh, how can I?”

Keep reading! Romans 8:1-2 (MSG) “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.

“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.”

As a child of God we have a helper. Jesus knew what we were going to face in this world. He came to show us the way and to learn from His walk in this world. He did not forsake us but gave us the assurance to walk the runway of life. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). We have an advantage over the world; we have a helper.

Paul received a revelation, the Spirit of life in Christ, brings freedom to us and breaks the yoke of bondage.

Revelation is the language of the Spirit. We thrive on receiving revelation of the knowledge of God. As Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-18 (NKJV), we must ask for “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

Paul recognized he was practicing a habit he hated and felt powerless to stop. In his own power he could do nothing, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, his helper, he could overcome any trial that tried to destroy his joy and peace.

As I changed my focus from food and weight, the Lord spoke quietly in my spirit one day, “when you receive a revelation of the purpose of your body, you will not abuse it.” Immediately, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

My body was created in His image and was the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. I carried the message of Christ, the gospel of peace in my body! I had been fearlessly and wonderfully made. His thoughts are precious towards me. I began to meditate on Psalm 139 and Philippians 1:20 that Christ would be magnified in my body.

The revelation from these Scriptures gave me the strength to make the choice that I would glorify God in my body and spirit. When I surrendered my food addiction to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 80 pounds from my body.

You can read this battle plan in my book, Why Diets Don’t Work—Food Is Not the Problem. The problem is the daily choices that we make. Right choices activate your faith in God to bring deliverance to your challenges of life.

You are made for more. You are not created to survive and be in bondage to anything. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4)

Join the Walk! “…Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

The One Thing That Can Break Your Addiction to Food

Most of us are familiar with the Scripture, “But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). One day as I was preparing for a teaching, I was reading about Martha and Mary. I read the Scripture where Jesus responded to Martha’s outburst of self-pity: “But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42).

The words “one thing is needed” caught my attention. As I pondered these words of Jesus in my heart, I heard the whisper of the Lord: “Most people don’t know what they need.” We live in a sight and sound world. We see and feel only in the natural world and determine what we need by this standard.

As born-again children of God, we are not limited to this natural world. We have total access to the kingdom of heaven through the promises of God. Second Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV) tells us, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

These verses tell us very clearly how we access heaven and live on the earth in the natural realm. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. All the things that we need in this world. We access heaven by reading and meditating the Word of God. This is something all people have to do for themselves (Josh.1:8). When Jesus promised us abundant life in John 10:10, He was not speaking about an abundance of material things: cars, houses, clothes and money. He was speaking about the spiritual needs of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit: “For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). What did Jesus leave to us? John 14:27 tells us, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Why did He leave us His peace? Peace is our greatest need. It is in the peace of God that we hear His voice and follow where He leads us. Peter told us that grace and peace are multiplied in the knowledge of God. As we increase in knowledge, His divine power is made known to us by the Holy Spirit, and we will understand how “things” will follow us as we walk in obedience to His voice. God knows we need things and that we humans like things. He is happy to lead us into a life where we have things when things don’t hold our heart. Matthew 6:33 is the key to obtaining your things in this world: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you.”

Many of us are suffering from discouragement, disappointment and depression because we are struggling to get along in this world. We cannot hear God’s voice because of the frustration and constant changing in the world.

It is not easy living in this world. That is why we surround ourselves with like believers. We also have to learn how to strengthen ourselves in the Lord.

As we look at our needs, remember what Jesus told Martha: “One thing is needed!”—the Word of God. It is life to those who find it and health to their flesh (see Prov. 4:20-22.). When we have the Word of God hidden in our hearts, nothing can take the promise away.

At one time in my life I was drowning in depression. During this time, I gained 75 pounds, which only added to my anxiety. One day I received a phone call from a person I had never met, but God had connected us. When I answered the phone, I heard the words, “Jesus loves you.”  I broke. Those words spoken through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by an obedient woman put a crack in the wall I had built up. My healing began that day. Only the Holy Spirit knows how to give us our breakthrough. You cannot figure it out.

My weight became a big issue in my life. I tried everything the world had to offer. Every magic trick and quick cure. Finally, I said, “I will never try the world’s way again. God, I need a word from You!”

One day I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat!”  Those words pierced my heart. I wept. I repented and said, “God, I need Your help.”  As I meditated on His Word, He gave me a divine strategy that took 90 pounds from my body.

What was my real need?  A word from God. I had to be convicted of my sin and repent. I had abused my body for so long, only a word from God could break the addiction. Repentance is the key to change. I’ve no doubt He was trying to speak to me many times before I surrendered to the Lord and was in the position to hear His voice.

There are many temptations in this world, but the greatest temptation to the children of God is to doubt His Word. We must value the Word of God and understand its place in our everyday lives. What really happened to Eve in the Garden? She did not value God’s Word. When she listened to the serpent and chose his word over God’s Word, she opened the door for deception. We must choose life, and life is in the Word of God.

One day Jesus was teaching and people started to leave. Jesus asked His disciples if they were going to leave. I love Peter’s response: ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

If you have financial needs, God has provided a way of escape. If you have health issues or relationship needs, any need you have, He has the Word of Life for that situation. You don’t need money. You need a word from the Lord. When God blesses you, He adds no sorrow to it: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22). He has the words of eternal life.

My testimony of sharing His divine strategy for my weight loss is in my book and workbook, Why Diets Don’t Work: Food Is Not the Problem. Both books are available from Amazon.com.