I am posting this to my blog and I apologize ahead of time because of its length. If you are doing the MTC study you might enjoy reading this…if you aren’t doing the study, you still might learn a thing or 2 that might interest you. It might even intrigue you enough to go out and get the book and begin the study on your own. Either way…this is what came to me last night and then today in my quiet time. Have I ever told you how great our God is to us???? He is!!!!
This is a hard chapter for me because as I have stated previously I am not a stress eater. When I am stressed I am not able to eat; the very thought of food is nauseating to me when I am frazzled. So there is not a recent episode of stress eating.
Whether I wear a mask or not depends on the people that I am around. With people that I trust; I am an open book and I do not feel a need to hide behind a mask. Around people that I do not trust the mask is in place and they are not aware of my struggles. When it comes to my healthy lifestyle change that is not an intimate issue with me and I am comfortable with being open about it with everyone. It helps to share with others that I am embracing healthy living, starting with a more intimate relationship with God, the choices of foods I put into my body and exercise. I have even shared that I am doing it through an on-line Bible Study and given them the name of the book. This is not something to wear a mask about…God’s work in my transformation needs to be shared with others.
I love spending time with God in quiet contemplation. I have done this several times in the last 3 years and He reveals the most to me when I am quiet in His presence. I start the time by reading a devotion or two; reading some verses in the Bible that relate to the devotions, writing in my journal and then praying. And there are times when I will just be still and know that He is God. There have been times when I have not known what to pray too and at those times I may be crying out to Him to intercede on my behalf or on behalf of a loved one.
I went out to dinner tonight with my husband…I am writing this on Wednesday evening February 8, 2012 and for the first time I was very tempted at the restaurant by his French fries. I am a French fry girl. I normally do not order a meal that does not include them, that is how much I love them. So, tonight after reading Mary Lynn’s answers from chapter 10 about temptation and how giving that temptation a taste is not so bad, I ate one French fry from his plate. Now, before everyone starts thinking that Mary Lynn’s words brought me to ruin…they did not!!! I already felt like she did, I believe that depriving ourselves totally from the things that we love only causes the temptation to grow and the funny thing about eating that French fry…it did not taste as good as I imagined it would taste. I did not want another one, I was not tempted to try another one…it was like I have lost my love for French fries. So, all I can say is Praise the Lord. So, the next time I am tempted by food and I know I will be tempted, for sure I will be tempted the next time I see a chocolate cake or brownies…I will allow myself to sample and take delight in the sample but, I will rely on God to stop me at that one taste of chocolate. That will be my truth and I will base that truth on the verses we have learned this week and there is no need to put voice to any of the lies that I may have heard in my past, because that is where they are…in my past.
So, he has placed before me an open door that no one can shut…what do I hope to see and experience on the other side of that door? I would hope to see what I am seeing now, a chance to continue my work toward a healthy life change that will bring me closer to God by seeking His face and craving the time that I need to be spending with Him. I would hope to see myself becoming more intentional in exercising my mind, my body and my soul with the things that God wants for my life.
I answered the personal reflection questions last night and then this morning during my quiet time God brought me Psalm 19…In verses 1- 6 David is praising God for what He has created here on earth. (These verses are from The Message Bible).
1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening. 3-4 Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.
This is what stood out more than anything and brought me to the conclusion that God was specifically pointing me to these verses today…”The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape. That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset.” I was a sprinter in High School and I did the hurdles. I loved that feeling of getting that perfect rhythmic motion and knowing just the right moment to leave the ground and get over them gracefully. That knowing was inside of me and it is not something that I can explain or even teach somebody…it was just a part of me.
He is saying to me that I need to exercise daily and because He knows me so well He knows exactly what to give me for my inspiration. I know that we are not to live our lives lukewarm, “Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelations 3:16, and when it comes to exercising I am lukewarm. I am not putting my heart into the task He has asked of me. I am to give my all to Him and when I am not faithfully doing that…I don’t feel good about myself. I need to give Him my very best and I feel a promise from Him that I will be rejoicing when that exercise time if over…and not just because the time is up but, because I will be like the champion runner rejoicing that I am working on what He has started in me.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree. 10 God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds. You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red, ripe strawberries.
I am so happy that I changed the Bible translation to The Message as I read this today. The other translation that I was reading talked about honey and I am not a honey lover…I am however, all about the strawberries AND God knows that too. I believe that God is telling me in these verses that my healthy body is part of His law. His revelations will help put my life together. His signposts will point me in the right direction. He has a map all laid out and ready for me to follow, much easier one for me to decipher than the ones that are made with human hands too! He is very clear on His left and rights…another problem that I have sometimes, my husband and children say if I tell them right they know they need to go left and visa versa.
He wants me to have that healthy temple for His Spirit that resides in me. There are my truths to live by each day. This is what I need as I carefully monitor the foods that I allow my body to consume and as I make the time to exercise each day. He will heap rewards on me for my obedience.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool? Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.
God knows when I am walking in align with the mandate to change that I agreed to with Him at the beginning of the “Made to Crave” study, and He knows when I am not doing what He has asked of me. It is not enough for Him to just know…He needs to be sure that I know and that I understand and, therefore I need to confess it to Him. I need to show true contrition to Him. Because I know what is right and I know what I need to do and when I do not do it…I think it is called willful sin. I don’t want to live in willful sin; I want to live in willful obedience. I need to let His word rule over me in all areas of my life…His concentration right now seems to be in the area of exercising my mind, my body and my soul.
God gave me this Psalm today in my quiet time to help power me through those days that I do not want to exercise. I only need God and these verses to get me going in the right direction. I will use Psalm 19 to meet any lie that the devil throws my way to prevent my forward momentum. I am praising Him this morning for reminding me of the feeling I use to get sprinting over those hurdles to the finish line and promising me that if I am obedient to His call to exercise I will feel this way again. And, I will be rejoicing and praising Him for the good work He has done in me.
Thank You for knowing my heart and knowing just what I needed from You to inspire and motivate me. I will stop the fight and stand at the starting gate with my feet and body correctly positioned for the start of this race. I will sprint toward that finish line with my feet in perfect rhythm and relying on the knowledge you have planted inside of me for the exact timing to lift my feet from the ground to smoothly and with grace jump those hurdles that will be placed in front of me. I am rejoicing and praising You Lord, for being all that I need.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen