January 12, 2012
Why Shouldn't I Indulge
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
God made you wonderful. Psalm 139 says so. You are beautiful and loved just the way you are, whether you're a size zero or a size thirty. But, if your size is a struggle or a place of defeat, God loves you so much He doesn't want you to stay there.
There was a time when I felt utterly defeated in the area of food and health. I knew I needed to make changes, but not because of the number on the scale or my clothing size. I knew it because of the battle that raged in my heart. I craved, I desired, I thought about, and arranged my life around food.
Yet I was a Bible teacher, a woman who loved Jesus. Why couldn't I figure this out? I had found victory in so many areas of my life, but this area alluded me. I constantly asked, "Why shouldn't I indulge?"
One day, I looked up the definition of the word indulge, which means to act in an unrestrained way. For me it was unrestrained eating. You see, eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength and even celebration. The problem comes when pleasure is unrestrained.
I had to get honest enough to admit that I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Chocolate was my comfort and deliverer. Cookies were my reward. Salty chips were my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress and sadness … even in times of happiness.
I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I'd make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health—perhaps even more than my physical health.
Part of my surrender was asking myself a really raw question. May I ask you this same question?
Is it possible we love and rely on food more that we love and rely on God?
Now before you turn your computer off, hear me out. This question is crucial.
We have to see the purpose of our struggle with food as something more than getting to wear smaller sizes and receive compliments. Shallow desires produce shallow efforts. These good things are nice, but not as appealing in the moment as a cinnamon roll, or those chips, or that brownie.
The process of getting healthy has to be about more than just losing weight and focusing on ourselves. It's not about adjusting our diets and hoping for good physical results. It's about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change for the right reasons: because we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. And created to live in victory, not in defeat.
I discovered that pursuing a healthy eating plan for these very reasons was one of the most significant spiritual journeys I'd ever dared to take with God. Today, I invite you to journey with me.
Dear Lord, if I'm being honest with myself and You, I know sometimes I rely on food more than I rely on You. I want to recalibrate my soul and change for the right reasons. I want to see You in and through this entire process. Please be with me, Lord, each day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
If this devotion resonated with you, Lysa's book Made to Crave is just what you've needed. Click here to order your copy! This book can be a group Bible study by using these life-changing resources: Made to Crave Participant's Guide and Made to Crave DVD teaching series, also by Lysa.
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There are many times when we feel utterly defeated in the area of food and health. What little changes can you begin to make starting today?
The process of getting healthy has to be about more than just losing weight and focusing on myself. It's not about adjusting my diet and hoping for good physical results. It's about recalibrating my soul so that I want to change for the right reasons.
Ephesians 1:18-19a, "I pray that the eyes of your heart my be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." (NIV)
© 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 12 January 2012.