Life lately is super-duper hard. I am seeing that there are so many areas where I am just not listening to God, and He is faithfully directing me even though I am not.
I have this craving for a deeper relationship with the Lord but when the rubber meets the road, I am sorely lacking in activities to actually bring this about. Obedience. Devotion. Time. I keep thinking how nice it would be to actually “hear” the Lord tell me something, like so many people claim, or to feel Him impress something specific and obviously Him on my soul. But His written word does exactly those two things. And how easily and often I disregard that.
And I have the most critical spirit ever lately. Oh my goodness, the thoughts that keep rolling through my mind about others belong to a foreign body.
And the weirdest thing: I actually can see where I have reverted back to striving in my own effort. I have lost sight of allowing the Lord to work through me?
Bottom line: Because I am in such a funk, I am losing sight of absolutely obedience. And without absolute obedience, you have disobedience at best.
I know that I am forgiven. And I know that trials teach me more about Jesus. I know that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I know that God commands us to give thanks in all circumstances (I Thessalonians 4:18). Oh, my, do I need to learn how to do that. I think that a constant attitude of gratitude would allow me to push down the critical spirit, for sure.
The best reminder of gratitude is Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. It should be a yearly read for anyone who needs reminded of the importance of gratitude. Can you imagine if your first response to anything that happened was to start a gratitude monologue with Jesus. Because He makes all things work out for good if you are a Jesus child (Romans 8:28). So it is like advanced gratitude. You know the possibly crappy situation, the recurring sin you struggle with, the person that intersects with you every single day and is just mean and inconsiderate…God will eventually use that all for your good. So be thankful in advance for what He will do!
Instead of waiting for things to change, instead of praying for certain people to exit your life, instead of being satisfied with toxic thoughts all day long, settle into an attitude of gratitude to help yourself past the stuff that just needs to be gone.
I have actually feel like I have been making wise eating choices more times than not. But the scale has not moved. Part of the problem with that is that I should not be jumping on the scale willy nilly and giving it the power to affect me. The source of my joy is Jesus alone, right?
A weight gain last time around was harsh for me. And I have a feeling the same is going to be the case this time. Because, emotionally and mentally, I have written God out of the picture, I think. The trouble is I am really not sure how I did it or how to undo it or when it occurred or why I just failed to notice. It is that slow fade thing that can happen in so many arenas. It is the reason I can not ever make the decision to eat something sugar, because the sugary whatever would be the start of the slow fade away from the line that God draws for me to stand on. But I do it. Well, at least I have done it in the past. My desire is to not do it again and stay 100% sugar free. But I am finding that my desires are not always what runs the show. Again, it is that idea that I am not currently allowing God to be in charge.
So, because of grace and mercy and forgiveness and second chances…really 450th chances sometimes…tomorrow I can wake up with a renewed chance to bring glory to the Lord. It is due to His mercies for me that are NEW every single morning I am on this earth (Lamentations 3: 22-23).
I read a paragraph in Breaking the Stronghold of Food yesterday that stuck with me in a weird way. One of the authors, Nancy Brown, stated, “For me, knowing God was not pleased with my eating habits was not enough to motivate or change me. I knew it was wrong, but I kept on doing it. And knowing that He was tender and loving didn’t change my behavior either. Whether God was pleased or displeased had no bearing on my behavior.” (pg 40)
Oh my goodness, I could utter those words. I need to get a greater level of caring. According to Nancy, acquiring the knowledge and tools is what enables you to also acquire the caring. She lists eight truths that have to form the foundation of your new attitude about food.
- Jesus died for the sin of overeating.
- Your fat does not define you.
- You are an overcomer IN CHRIST.
- Grace is what empowers you to live above your sin.
- Freedom through obedience is a choice.
- Spiritual warfare regarding food is real.
- With God all things are possible.
- Healthy eating is cooperating with the Lord.
I took some time to really pray through those eight bullets, and will share some thoughts next time.