If you use your lives to do what your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit’s help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life. Romans 8:13
Hi friends, It's been a long time I know. :) I have been through such a journey this year with the Lord after a year of struggling and failing in so many ways. I have been writing about my journey back from there daily on a devotional blog, At Home With God.
One thing that has amazed me, as I've been seeking the Lord with all my heart, is the self-discipline and self-control that have resulted in so many areas of my life!
Whether it was procrastination, anger, fear, worry, envy, laziness, needy-ness, pride, over the last eight months, the Lord has given me so much freedom from the power of the flesh. It is ALL the Holy Spirit's doing as I can assure you, I have not a single ounce of self-discipline.
Day by day, week by week, the Lord has freed me from bad habits and besetting sins. One area (just to show you what I mean) was procrastination and laziness. My bad habits of putting things off and just not being able to make myself do what I 'ought' was just misery to me.
I remember thinking, "Wow, If I could just make myself work--and stop putting things off--how different life would be." So knowing what a mess I was, I simply offered that need up to the Lord, and kept my focus on Jesus.. leaving the 'fruit of the Spirit' up to Him to produce.
As I began to seek the Lord, that was one of the first things the Lord gave me strength to do--work. There are so many emotional reasons, needs and struggles that contribute to not being able to do something now.. or to do something we aren't in the mood for. Yet I can now work all day long.. I mean.. all day.. till I can't walk another step, and be happy. This is another miracle--only one in a long train of miracles.
Food is just like so many other 'ammoral activities.' When we use food for the wrong reasons, it becomes an idol in our lives.
The reason I'm telling you this is that I want you to know that the power to stop overeating is there... if we recognize overeating as 'sin' and repent. It is sin of course, and our conscience knows it doesn't it? The guilt is legitimate and the shame is real. Yes God loves us anyway, but He doesn't approve of sin.. however minor it seems to our eyes.
And the way to stop over-eating permanently (the bible word for that is gluttony), is to get the Lord's strength to say no.
But that comes from the Lord.. and abiding in Him. We will never have enough self-control to say no to our flesh apart from Him.
For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. Romans 8:13
Isn't our flesh just like a spoiled child.. dictating to us what it wants.. and oh boy-- if we say No--it throws a fit! But if we keep giving in, how miserable we will be!
If we seek the Lord, spending time with Him in the word and prayer, and ask for his help, he will help us. As we stay close to Him and agree with Him about our sin and repent, his Holy Spirit will give us the power to choose to eat right instead of doing what our flesh wants.
When the Holy Spirit prompts you to not eat that, or that you are done and should push away the plate--we need to obey! If we know a food is especially tempting, and we feel it's bad for our health or too dangerous to eat, then we need to not eat it. Our conscience is the best guide we can have to what we should eat.. much better than a list of rules.
I'm not saying a diet, counting calories, waiting on hunger and stopping when full, or any other weight-loss method will not help.
Any weight loss method that's healthy can be incredibly helpful. But they are all useless unless you follow them and don't cheat. Therein lies the real heart of our problem.
We cheat, lie, steal, and indulge... about food and our weight and our problem. This is the proof that our weight and our eating are a spiritual issue.
We eat for all the wrong reasons. We turn to food for something only God can give us.. comfort, love, happiness, peace.
We often diet for all the wrong reasons too--pride being the biggest one. Then too, diets are a fast way to 'fix' the evidence of our late night forays into the fridge, or the sneaky bites we take all throughout the day. I think diets often set us up to fail.
So for some reason, after all the struggles and sin habits the Lord has freed me from, over-eating is still an issue for me. It's the last hold out of my flesh I guess. One reason I believe the Lord has not just wiped this away, besides my own selfish love of food, is that he wants to help others.
This is one area where I'd like to experience victory.. with others, who are also trying to obey the Lord in the area of eating and lose weight too. It's better to do this sort of thing together isn't it? I want our success to be all to God's glory and I know He does too.
For a couple of weeks now, or maybe longer, I've been feeling a conviction that I should publicly challenge myself and anyone else who wants to try it to lose weight with the Lord's power and help as we seek Him and give our love to Him not to food.
I want to try to lose weight a new way--by simply obeying my conscience.. and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
I have a feeling the weight loss will be slow. But I think that's a good thing. Everything I've read says that when you lose weight over a period of a year or more, the weight loss tends to be permanent.
Oddly enough, if we ate only the calories we needed to support our ideal body weight, we'd guaranteed lose weight.. eventually.
The feeling of deprivation would be eliminated to a great degree. Counting calories might help tremendously, so we at least know how much food is proper and how much is not 'ok'. But waiting on hunger and stopping when full is also a great plan.
A better way to lose weight--in the long run- may be to simply eat right and stop over-eating.
Any plan, again, is useless without the Lord's help. Self-determination just doesn't work does it? How many of us have tried again and again to lose weight? We need to quit being the 'Lord' of what we eat, and let Him decide what is ok and what isn't. When He says stop.. we need to stop.
Really, if you'd like to try this approach to weight loss, then I would challenge you to just go with what you have always felt in your heart was the right one, but this time, listen when your conscience says no. If you think you need to eat 1400 calories and stop. Then ask the Lord--is that what he's saying? And follow through from that point. If you think you need to avoid junk food--I sure do--then do so.
If and when you fail, just repent, tell the Lord you're sorry, and keep going. It doesn't matter how many times a day--don't give up. Keep praying, reading the word, and repenting. He will help.
Remember, the Lord does not condemn us for being prone to sin and if we fail, he will forgive us if we ask him to. If you don't think overeating is sin, then you're on your own. Me--I need help. lol
So I'm gonna try to lose weight on God's time table.. by nothing more than not indulging in the sin of gluttony. He is the only one that can help. My plan is to post my weight and challenges and even failures daily.
I've not been doing great yet.. but I know for a fact that because I have repented and am not going to argue about this any more, the Lord will help me. I can't lose weight and keep it off.. but the Lord can help me and you too.
Praying this was not too hard to read and that the Lord will help you in your weight-loss journey as I am fully expecting him to help me in mine.