Today is Sunday. Sunday is my favorite day of the week for sure, because I love corporate worship and learning truth from God’s word. We are currently hearing sermons in 1 John from our pastor, and what makes that doubly cool is that I am heavy into the memorization of 1 John. I have passed 1 John 1 and 2 and am working through chapter 3. I feel like I am in a race. Haha, can I beat Pastor to the end. Considering that I started months before he did, chances are slim. But I LOVE to hide God’s work in my heart. It never fails that verses will come to mind right when I need them.
People will often say things like, “Oh, I cannot memorize scripture; it is just too hard.” Well, no, it is not. God would not have given us the command to hide His word in our hearts if He also did not give us the ability to do it! That is how He works.
Let the word of God dwell in you richly…Colossians 3:16
This comes up around the practice of fasting, too. “I cannot go without food for a day because BLANK. Fill in the blank with whatever reason you might have heard for the inability to fast. Again, God commands us to fast, so we have the ability.
When you fast….Matthew 6:16-18
Sometimes I wonder if our tendency is to rest in grace much more than in obedience? We know the right thing to do but we don’t do it.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 4:17
Believe it or not this all applies to my weight loss journey and personal obedience in eating, and it is not even in a round-a-bout way.
First, my foundation is Christ, and knowing how He thinks and how He wants me to interact with others here on this planet is probably the most important thing in my life. But I have to be careful that the knowing part is not above the doing part. I tend to go in that direction, for sure.
The rub for me lies here: there are things I just do not have the desire to do. And that is a real problem. I rest in the fact that I have the ability; but I just don’t have the desire. Now you know why I have this one track mind toward obedience this year. It is sorely needed.
I am down-right comfortable in not doing some things. Not all the time, mind you, but way more often than I should. It is 90% of my repentance: Lord, I know I was supposed to do BLANK, but once again I just didn’t want to, so I didn’t. Sigh.
Can anyone relate to this??
Honest and truthful confess is the order of the day, and if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). But it is hard to go to God with the same confession on what feels like a very regular and often basis. But here’s the thing, it is all about the heart. And if the heart is right before God, He will forgive you for the 275th time. And the 310th time. All He really cares about is me learning what I need to learn from all this trial and error, and that I give glory to Him in the process.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
What if the call to fast is a practice that will enhance your spiritual health as well as your physical health. Much is being seen in the realm of fasting in the secular world, no connection with the Creator God whatsoever. Positive results from configuring eating in such a way as to help you gain better health. The 8 Hour Diet is a popular fasting method of eating: eat during 8 hours and don’t eat during 16 hours of every 24. Intermittent fasting reconfigures that in so many ways, depending on what works for your life and abilities. It is a solid way to eat. It gives your digestive tract a rest, at the very least.
I think it is so cool to realize that a mandate that God set in place in the Old Testament, if followed regularly, leads to better health. I have wondered why the timetable for fasting wasn’t written into scripture more definitively; fast for 2 days every week, not in a row. But no, it simply says, “When you fast…” Maybe God waits for us to simply obey, be shown the benefits, and then dive in full force?? Fasting must always be a God focus first or the benefits we reap in the physical man will leave our soul wanting.
That is just where my mind goes. With fasting, memorizing, praying…or really, any spiritual discipline…God would never ask us to do something and then not make us able. Why can we not be puppet-like so that we can eliminate desires completely? With God given ability and the absence of rogue desires, we could be so Christlike! Right?? But how loving are robots or puppets or whatever we would be at that point. God wants our love!! It’s sort of like my age old statement: I could be the best Christian ever if there were no people around. So true.
Instead, what needs to happen is an ascent toward greater obedience. I need to think of that word that draws me in…satisfaction; satisfy….and find my complete satisfaction in Him alone.
I read this the other day from an online blogger that I love:
“God in Christ has redeemed my wicked heart that wants to remain in sin, and He credits righteousness to me on the basis of my faith in Him and His character.” Arabah Joy
Arabah reminds me that I should pray for “godly, holy, righteous desires” but in the meantime I need to commit to believing that “God justifies the ungodly…me. He justifies my ungodly.”
So another week looms before me, a week in which I am not going to be as perfect as I wish I could be. A week in which I am going to have desires of disobedience. A week in which I may or may not see a lower weight on the scale. Its all good, because it is all part of what God needs me to walk through in order to be a person who brings Him glory through my obedience.
That is why I am focused on consecrated weakness. That is where I stand. And if I take a step into the circle of strength, I will falter. That is what I am striving to avoid.