Craving God Not Food – Asheritah Ciuciu

Craving God Not Food – Asheritah Ciuciu


and I had been meditating on a chapter
in Isaiah and I went to the pantry I opened up the doors because I was gonna
have a snack and the verse came to mind why do you seek fullness and something
that does not satisfy welcome to the focus on the family
broadcast helping families thrive a Sherita welcome for the first time to
focus on the family thank you so much for having me here it’s my pleasure this
is a really interesting topic it’s a fairly narrow topic we don’t have a lot
of guests that talk specifically the way you have addressed the issue in your
book and that’s what caught our interest and the desire for us to share with
hopefully millions of people listening right now yeah that’s my prayer what’s
your food story tell me about well I didn’t want to write about food right
yeah I struggle with food but but that’s the story of millions of women and men
and I think we we get held back by shame and we don’t want anyone to know our
struggle for me the the turning point was my first daughter’s first birthday
we had a very hungry caterpillar party everything yeah I mean she won’t
remember any of it of course but we went all out
and I remember tearing down party decorations and bringing stuff inside
and I’d brought the cake in and grabs just one one bite of cake and one bite
turned into five and then I went back and brought more stuff back in and every
time I’d stop by the cake because I needed just a little bit more what
flavor was this cake it was it had to be a good one it was mostly the sugar rush
the sugar high and before I knew it I had demolished half of this caterpillar
shaped cake it was that the first time that you know
that got your attention that man I’m going to town on this cake I mean yeah I
mean I’d over eaten before and you know I left the table with that stuffed
feeling of shouldn’t have eaten that much but but that was the almost an
out-of-body experience where where I was looking at myself and saying why am I
still eating I’m not hungry anymore I don’t want this anymore
it doesn’t even taste good anymore but I almost can’t stop myself
well that that really is the question why yeah what what drives a person to
move in that direction I could see that you know those little pints of
haagen-dazs oh yeah on occasion I mean you can take a couple
of bites and then before long oh the pints gone what happened to that pike
now that’s a small portion isn’t it nobody nobody is agreeing with me but
that is the issue and I guess the question is where’s that satisfaction
coming from why do we do that kind of that Benjy ting idea what’s happening –
yeah I mean I would say there’s definitely a physical component to it
and and scientists have recently discovered that you know food sugar
carbs fats can be just as addicting as drugs why is it always the good stuff I
know I mean this is one of my not addicted to lettuce and tomato
it’s bread curry nobody’s listening thinking yeah he just mentioned lettuce
and tomatoes but it is good and you know one of the words used in Scripture is
gluttony it’s not a word that we use commonly today but it is this it’s what
we’re talking about gluttony you know is the overindulgence of food and you eat
too much and you see it you describe it more as a food fixation though and I
would say when I was talking to Jean my wife about this she really liked that
concept because it broadens the issue it doesn’t talk about shaming somebody but
describe food fixation yeah it’s so there is a physical component but
there’s definitely a mental and a spiritual component as well and food
fixation is this inordinate preoccupation with thoughts and longings
for food so even if you’re not necessarily eating a lot if you wake up
in the morning thinking like what’s for breakfast I can’t wait to dig into
whatever that that’s gonna be and you’re constantly thinking about what you’re
going to eat or what you just ate how much you ate if you go to sleep or
regretting your food choices of the day if you look in the mirror and you’re
constantly thinking about food it means it has mastery over you and scripture
tells us that a person is a slave to whatever has mastered
mmm you know if you’re trying to take a self-assessment that may still be a
little difficult for some people you know some people you may just eat what’s
on your plate I remember talking to my doctor who said you know in the 50s and
60s the government actually promoted that that you should have your child eat
everything on their plate I had no clue I was a little boy in the sixties but
isn’t that interesting and he said that’s one of the lingering effects of
those campaigns where people are feel guilty that they don’t need all the food
you all remember the statement you know there’s starving children in Asia and
you need to eat all your macaroni cheese I don’t know how those two thoughts are
ever linked but they’re starving I don’t know somehow you become obese on their
behalf right that’s one of the lies and maybe we’ll get to that but they’re
there these scripts that are playing in our mind and that cause us to act a
certain way toward food and and I like to think of food fixation as a spectrum
on the one and there is this obsessive maybe emotional eating on the other end
it might be a very healthy person on the outside but is obsessing over healthy
eating and that is called orthorexia I didn’t even realize that’s an eating
disorder as well and it’s the same manifestation of food fixation so back
to the self assessment idea how does a person know it’s not necessarily weight
that’s gonna tell you that because you know I think people that might be a
little higher in their weight aren’t necessarily fixating on food they might
just eat their plate and they’re not counting calories so is there a
distinction between the two yeah I think it comes I’m glad you brought up the
idea of an assessment because it is pausing to reflect on your life on your
thoughts on your heart asking where do you go after a hard day at work oh
that’s interesting do you hit your knees and bring those
problems to the Lord or do you go to the fridge huh where do you go when you have
an argument with your spouse or when your kids are misbehaving or stress even
when yeah or sad happy stressed hold those emotions what about when you feel
hopeless about the future mm-hmm where do you go at that point yeah
appreciate you bringing up the the orthorexia thing we did not know
anything about that until several years ago my daughter’s was she was she was
obsessed with a certain healthy eating and a certain way to exercise and she
dropped weight and we were concerned and God intervened didn’t really saved her
life and she’s in a good spot now but that was a really scary moment it was
like do you have anorexia no I’m eating all this good stuff and I’m not binging
and I’m not yeah but you’re running like ten miles a day and eating lettuce and
tomatoes and carrots and mustard so that was a fixation for her and she had to
find out I don’t have to let that drive my life and so I think she’s getting to
a place that you’re kind of talking about which is finding satisfaction in
God not in all I can do about this food stuff but still it’s an important thing
to recognize yeah it can also be a control thing right because there’s so
much in our lives that we don’t control about I can control what I put in my
body right I can control the purity of the foods that I eat and so that’s often
the driving force and it can be fear so there’s idolatry on one end of food
that food is gonna solve my problem and then there’s idolatry of the will that I
can control things may be disciplined but in either case we’re not worshipping
Jesus we’re not consumed by a hunger for him we’re not finding our souls delight
and satisfaction in his presence and then I want to explore that a little
more let’s move the other side of the equation kind of the lies that the enemy
of our soul tells us because you specifically go at that in your book and
I think that’s important to hear too because he comes to kill steal and
destroy right absolutely what are some of those lies yeah um so one lie is I
need to finish everything on my plate I think you’ve brought that up I don’t
feel obsessed with food but I do tend to you know eat what’s on my plate and that
was my doctor’s point he goes you don’t really have to do that and I gosh I’m
thinking all the way back I can remember that being the mantra you know
we don’t waste food and that came out of the you know the I’m sure our parents
and grandparents who came out of the rushon that was what they did you know
don’t waste anything make sure you eat it now the problem is when there’s
plenty you end up eating too much so that is a lie
yeah and it’s funny that children don’t really struggle with this my two and a
half year old Amelia will push away from the table when she’s done when she’s had
enough there’s this intuitive feeling of fullness and she’s done with the plate
but now we can make the mistake his parents I did it last night with one of
my boys who is certainly you know he’s a teenager but he was not into mom’s stew
and I was like finish your stew and he just said dad I’m not hungry
but we it kind of turned into a little thing I mean it wasn’t you know I’m over
exaggerating but I was he I think he could tell I was disappointed that he
wasn’t finishing his food that’s not a good thing for parents to do right
that’s what you say I mean I don’t know yeah but like in our family I come from
a long line of emotional eaters and from women who finished what’s on their plate
and women who enjoy cooking and baking and tasting everything as we go and that
that birthday party of my daughter’s was the turning point where it wasn’t just
me it was I don’t want to pass this on to my children because if something has
to stop what are some of those other lies we’ve hit this one to clean your
plate yeah so what I like to do with the lies is you identify the lie but then
scripture tells us this is a spiritual battle and so we take up the sword of
the Spirit and the belt of truth and so I’d like to turn description so okay
what’s the truth about this if the lie is I have to clean my plate the truth is
I can steward resources wisely and it doesn’t have to be me eating everything
how does that turn into a practical application had just being satisfied
basically with a clean plate it could be I put less on my plate and eat what I
have if it’s that much and then the rest of it maybe if I save $50 on my grocery
bill because I’m cooking less and I’m eating less then that $50 can go to feed
the hungry children in Africa right whereas what’s left on my plate doesn’t
make a difference amazing another lie is I deserve this
day seeing us that’s right I have kept my
cool all day long it’s my time to get a treat yes is that true John is that true
I would never tell my wife it’s not true where does that get out of balance yeah
that’s okay yeah food is not the enemy food is a good gift from a good father
given to turn our hearts to him and worship our father gives good gifts to
his children and sometimes that ice-cream is a gift but typically it’s
when we share it with someone else in Scripture we seek fellowship over food
and food can bring people together but when I’m locking myself in the pantry
because I want my treat yeah it’s possible that I’m medicating something
that I’m trying to cover something up and the question is after I will this
treat really help me feel better or will it leave me feeling guilty yeah is there
any room here for it just tastes good absolutely I just like the way it tastes
yeah yeah and there is that but then do I need to have two candy bars or can I
have just one bite yeah you know there’s scientific research that our taste buds
go numb after a few bites so there’s the three bite rule I can
have three bites of this delicious food and enjoy every bite of it and have it
be an act of worship so I end and say Jesus thank you for this this is focused
on the family we’re talking to a Sherita choo-choo and her book is called full
food Jesus and the battle for satisfaction we’ve got this and other
resources including a CD or free download of our conversation at focus on
the family comm slash broadcast I can hear some woman though saying come on
how that’s a little bit controlling I mean that’s a little bit legalistic
three bites really only men can participate in I I will not put this on
anyone this is between you and the Lord and so I encourage women take your life
story with food and bring it to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to shine his
light in his truth in your life and to show you is there an area of your
life where you have become a slave to food because you’re right the enemy
comes to steal kill and destroy but that’s not where the verse ends Jesus
says I have come that you might have life and have it to the full so if
you’re living that full life and food is a part of that then sister brother I I
bless you in the name of the Lord this is a good gift from the father but the
enemy doesn’t care what it is he will use anything to keep us from finding our
satisfaction in Jesus that’s good I appreciate that so with the cake I mean
I’m going back now because we moved along but I can’t get off of that cake
you consumed it and what was it what were your next thoughts after that the
feeling of guilt I’m sure like oh my goodness I just ate half of my kids
birthday cake well it was after the party yeah so you didn’t take cake out
of there were now frying chili we just want to make sure yeah so after that
there was guilt there was despair and disgust like how can i how can i Who am
I that I’m eating this way and after that there was this resolution of I am
going to fix this and I promptly researched okay what’s a good diet to go
on and I went on the super strict healthy I’m not gonna name it but it
worked it was really good it helps wean me off of sugar and carbs and all the
good stuff and I was eating very healthy but about three weeks into that both my
husband and my mom kind of sounded an alarm inside hear you’re getting a bit
excessive here a bit obsessed with healthy eating and they could recognize
the beginning warning signs that quickly I tend to be all or nothing well it must
be because that you know your I would have assumed oh look she’s moving in a
great direction yeah yeah that’s a good thing and then there’d be that
encouragement that would reinforce that obsession and that you’re saying that
that’s a danger it pushes you from one side of the pendulum all the way to the
other side of the pendulum so that moderation issue
how do we find that moderation it’s interesting to me scripturally when you
look at these things like food but physical intimacy these are all things
that God wants to have control over in your life and there these are the core
things that we battle yeah I would these are all gifts right God created us as
physical beings and he gave us these wonderful gifts like food like physical
intimacy and yet every good gift the enemy will try to distort and to use it
in a way that hijacks the pleasures that God has given us to draw us away from
finding satisfaction in Jesus but it’s not a hopeless battle because Jesus has
one and he has equipped us with everything we need to win as well so in
my story I went from that overly fixated healthy eating to finally hitting my
knees and saying Lord Jesus you need to take control of this in fact you
mentioned you know when you have that desire to then invite Jesus into the
conversation play that out for us if you have that that food desire all of a
sudden you want to go to the pantry and lock yourself in as you just described
how do you turn to the Lord Sookie lord help me throw me a life-saving moment
here yeah well it starts with asking God to even help make us aware of those
thoughts and of those triggers those moments that drive us to food and just
the other day I was driving I had dropped my daughter off at preschool and
it had been a very stressful morning and I drove away thinking I just need a
mocha and that like will fix it for me I just
I need that and in that phrase I need a what is it and that for me was was that
wake-up moment of no I don’t need a mocha I need Jesus Jesus is enough if
some people are gonna hear that and go really I mean that seems hyper spiritual
but you’re saying no this is healthy living
this is godly living right yeah yeah I I will have mocha I had a mocha this
morning but is it from a place of I need desperation yeah or is it from a place
of fullness if I am already full in Jesus I can enjoy the good gifts he’s
given me the way he intended for them to be but if I am craving emotional
stability or happiness or peace in my home and I run to the pantry that will
leave me feeling empty every single time and this is kind this is it this is the
critical nature of it what is it rooted in that’s what you’re saying over and
over again that you know you got to discover what those cravings are rooted
in and you know giving yourself a little bit of a treat here and there that’s
okay but if it’s rooted in desperation I need in order to feel better then you’ve
got a problem and that’s true of all of the human appetites not just not just
food but like we said all of our appetites have that issue on that
practical level again let me come back to how did you begin to hunger after God
instead of hunger after maybe Doritos yeah well sugar was it for me and I
found myself one morning in my sunroom journaling and the Lord had awakened in
me a hunger for him and I remembered reading one of the Psalms David says
would I want you more than life itself and I was saying Lord I want you more
than life itself and then I felt the spirit saying even more than sugar
wow really I was like I think so and he prompted me to go on a sugar fast
and that was this was five years ago is the first time I had even heard of
anything like that I had been reading a book on fasting by John Piper and was
very convicted that had become a stronghold in my life and
it was something that was controlling me and it was difficult to reach that point
of surrender to say okay I this is a good gift but I will give it up because
I want something better it’s a good thing that the Lord has done here to
create our bodies in such a way but it’s an abuse of our body isn’t it yeah and
what happens on a physiological level I am NOT a doctor but I do love research
and so I’ve looked it up and food addiction ends up changing or a brain
chemistry where it suppresses the production of serotonin which is the
chemical that helps us feel full and satisfied and it stimulates better
endorphins which gives us that happy feeling that this is great yes and so
more sugar we have the more we want to have and it gets to the point just like
a drug addict or just a little bit isn’t enough I don’t want just one piece of
cheesecake I went to I went half mm-hm and when you get to that point of being
out of control it comes back to you does food control you or do you control the
way you eat yeah now this has been really good what are some other ways
that we can gain victory over food I mean obviously you’ve talked about the
discipline of doing it turning toward the Lord help me Lord in this moment
maybe taking a time to pray when you feel that urge to you know eat overeat
food or go for the sweet food what are some other ways that we can engage to
gain victory over this yeah one of my favorite ways is to memorize Scripture
it is the sword of the Spirit it is the way we fight the spiritual battle and
there have been times in my life where just memorizing and filling my mind with
Scripture is what allows the spirit to bring it to mind and that moment of
crisis and I had been meditating on a chapter in Isaiah and I went to the
pantry I opened up the doors because I was gonna have a snack and the verse
came to mind why do you seek fullness in something that does not satisfy and and
that was just a pivotal moment where I was like when we hide God’s word in our
hearts it is what God will use to give us victory and those
it helps us identify lies and confront them with truth and Paul says that we
take captive every thought and make it obedient to Jesus Christ that is where
the spiritual battle is fought that is so good what role does community play in
overcoming that food fixation I would think I mean sometimes as buddies you
know if we go to play golf or something like that it’s pretty normal to go get a
bite to eat and maybe we end up eating an appetizer and a bite to eat it’s that
kind of thing but how can we use community to keep us from over indulging
yeah that’s a great question because so much of this is a solo struggle we
struggle by ourselves in the dark silence usually right but when we bring
it to community we can link arms with our brothers and sisters and find
victory that way so it can be bringing it to the table after your golf outing
with the buddies and saying hey you know what I realized
I tend to eat a bit too much so what do you guys help me you know keep me
accountable and that’s good and we’re putting a guy’s context books written
for women but I mean I would think you know I would imagine after a woman’s
Bible study you’re on the way home you stop at your favorite coffee place you
get a little bakery item and that latte that you’re craving I mean those are the
kinds of things right right and again those are not bad foods
it depends what drives us to those foods but another way to pull in community in
this and this is something I’ve done even recently as texting a friend and
saying hey would we encourage one another in this and at the end of the
day saying you know what I have been obedient to the Lord today in the way
that I’ve eaten and celebrate that with me or I have been disobedient what do
you pray with me and help me to stay accountable but what role Sherita does
it does a friend play and maybe calling you out you mentioned how your family
members said hey you’re going too far in this what’s the role for a friend in
that tread carefully tricky yeah I I think it has to start with a person
who’s struggling and they have to reach out and give permission to that person
unless it’s a parent-child situation or a situation where you know you need to
guide that person to a safe healthy place if
they’re dangerously obsessive but if it’s where most of us are its a
spiritual matter as well as a physical one so in my marriage with my husband I
asked him I came to him and I said I’m really struggling here and you’re doing
life with me like you see when I’m eating too much you see when I grab the
chips after a stressful day would you speak truth to me in those moment that’s
good let’s go to the last question which is really for that person listening
going she’s describing me this is me what are those words of encouragement
for next steps don’t eat the cake I mean obviously but what are some of the
things they can do as they change today mm-hmm well it’s not as easy as don’t
eat the cake because we think every person wakes up saying today is the day
I’m gonna eat right I would really if you were the one who’s
struggling with this right now I would say turn to Jesus and not in an overly
spiritual way but he is right there willing and wanting to help you and then
find someone who can hold you accountable and I would take that last
step and just challenge you to go on a sugar fast find our community on
Facebook find someone to join with you in this and break the stronghold of food
in your life through the power scripture and prayer and worship yea Sherita that
is a great place to land I hope this has been helpful to you
wonderful advice in a sherita’s book full food Jesus in the battle for
satisfaction this really hits I think the hidden places in the Christians life
and it’s so true these are the things that we don’t concentrate on we
concentrate on the big things but we fail in this area particularly when it
comes to the infamous church potluck no and everything in the in the Christian
community tends to revolve around food and a lot of women get a certain sense
of Worth self-worth from the food they can prepare and watching people love
eating it and that is good it needs to be in balance and in moderation
again a Sherita thank you for being with us if we can let’s continue the
discussion online talk about fasting and a couple of other things can we do that
sounds great all right hey I’m John fuller and thanks for watching get more
info about focus over here and more from our guests over there and be sure to
subscribe to our channel as well

20 thoughts on “Craving God Not Food – Asheritah Ciuciu”

  1. I am so grateful for the light you are trying to shine in the dark places…. I agree all too many of us brothers and sisters fail to recognize that what is "Mastering" us can be ANYTHING…it can be lawncare…..housecleaning…..speeding (in our cars)…it can even be "good works"….. I appreciate the conversation you recommend while looking in the mirror….. there used to be another book/program in the "christian community" that tried to teach the same thing, I tried to lead a group at our church and was amazed at the resistance from a few other "sisteres"…… Thank you for this video—- you are blessing people…….and shedding light on dark places! Thank You FOTF for all your hard work to help brothers and sisters who struglle with issues in their lives!

  2. Thanks so much for this nudge in the right direction. I feel gluttony/over eating is a stumbling block and deception that is overlooked in our churches because we do not want to offend. But if the enemy is using any and everything as a weapon against us we must talk about this in our churches and amongst ourselves as followers of Christ in order that we may overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of one another’s testimonies 🙌🏼

  3. This is such a timely message. I feel like in America most of us struggle with food regardless of what side of the spectrum we are on. We are always bombarded with food pictures, messages, and opinions. Which can cause us to obsess over it.

  4. It's definitely a problem within the church, and America in general.. There is too many obese people, not just overweight, obese…. Gluttony is still a sin in 2019, so saints learn to eat to live, not live to eat… It doesn't have to be a struggle, just incorporate more meat (grass fed), into your diet, and you will stay fuller longer, and the cravings will go away… Meat stays in the small intestine, breaking down the nutrients that we need, and at the same time maintains hunger pangs way more hours then eating veggies, etc…. Limit the carbs, and weight will be easy to maintain…

  5. This was good information. There is also some other excellent materials for study that are very helpful by Barb Raveling. "A Taste for Truth", "Freedom from Emotional Eating", and the "Renew the Mind Project", which have been out for a few years. They go into detail on dealing with the lies and replacing them with truth. Highly recommended, as well.

  6. Pastors and church leaders need to get on board with this. Lots of churches have lots of huge potlucks often. I am glad to be a part of a church that doesnt do alot of huge potlucks .

  7. Oh God talk to me…i badly need to listen to this..i actually prayed this morning and always to help me with my relationship with food.

  8. Such a good word. I'm in recovery for Bulimia and I'm so encouraged by this message. It's so needed and so seldom talked about especially in the church. Thank you!

  9. Amen amen amen amen! This needs to be out in the open and talked about! Thank you for this topic! So many Christian women (and men) struggle with food fixation. It can be such a distraction pulling us away from the Lord. I know I felt ashamed by it, keep my food obsession struggle a secret and tried in my own power for years. We need to get it in the light and talk about this. Our freedom is in Jesus and only when I brought him in this struggle, leaning on him day by day. He wants us to bring everything to Him!

  10. Struggling with..thinking I won’t get any food later if I don’t eat a lot at supper. I am not sure why, but I could use prayer. Thank you Asherita for allowing God to use you for a His glory! Thank you also for prayers, if you wouldn’t mind doing. Thanks again!

  11. Nthabiseng Matlala

    Thank you so much for this message, I struggle with emotional eating and this opened my eyes to realize that I'm seeking fullness and satisfaction in food

  12. The saints of old practiced mortifying the flesh, not to show themselves "righteous" but rather as an issue of freedom. God loves us so much he doesn't want us in bondage, even bondage to his good gifts. It is the Gospel that ultimately frees us.

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