This is going to be a very interesting week for me in my Made to Crave Bible study.
- It is my birthday this week and ironically it falls during what was supposed to be the last week of the Made to Crave study. Strike 1
- It is also my mother’s birthday, the day after mine. Strike 2
- I have accepted a focus group study for today and it centers on a new higher-end fast food chain. Strike 3
Except, those strikes don’t mean anything for my present lifestyle. Those strikes were for my past not my present. I think I have shared that my problem with food has never been an issue when I am having problems in my life (unless you want to consider an inability to eat a problem and I am sure that most of us do). I gained my 30+ pounds because I was more centered on God and allowed Him to take over my problems. I have known for quite some time that He does not want us to stuff our self when we are happy any more than He wanted to deprive myself before when I was unhappy.
God gave me a mandate to change at the beginning of this study and one of the food items that I gave up was ice cream and while, I did not say I would not eat cake in my mandate it is one of my permissible but definitely not beneficial items…and I have not indulged in eating any sweets since this study started. I have also been staying away from starchy foods during this study…I have learned that starches are not my friend and they go right to my belly. If I want a smaller belly I need to stay away from bread, rice, potatoes etc. These changes are working for me and I have lost 15 lbs. in six weeks. I am more than satisfied with my progress, this is not a quick fix it is a life long journey.
As I reflect back over the first five weeks of this study I am amazed at all the things that I learned from a “diet” book and from the people who I have been sharing this journey with. Some of what I learned made me sad, but I serve a mighty God and I know that He is giving me a mighty testimony to share from this test and from this season of pruning things from my life. Most of what I learned has been very helpful and enlightening and, can be applied in most areas of my life as a woman of God.
One of the most important things that I have learned over the last few weeks is that the only book that we can read that contains the absolute truth that comes from God is the Bible. The Bible is the definitive truth for each one of us and the Bible contains all of the answers. The books that we read in a Bible study are beneficial and you will learn from them too but, remember they are authored by humans and we humans have been known to interject our interpretation of how truth looks to us. The only truth that you can rest assured on, is the truth that comes from studying His word and the feeling of conviction that you receive as you read. So, what are some of my highlights from the book so far…I thought you would never ask?
I found a statement in Chapter 1 that resonated with me and this is what I wrote in my journal, “My empowering phrase from the first chapter is all about my God word for 2012, “Truth.”
“Truth is powerful. The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations.” I love this and I know that I have to be saturated in Him to block those temptations in all of their various forms.
Chapter 2 only confirmed what I already knew, in order to be God centered I needed to be prayer-centered. It is always good to know that you can sometimes be as smart as the teacher. Chapter 2 also brought me to make this humorous reflection; at least it was funny to me… “Truth for Today: I am having the most difficult time reading this book and NOT thinking about food as I read it. If anything is a true test of my reliance on God in my struggle to eat healthier it is reading this book and allowing God to fill me as I read instead of reaching for one of my guilty pleasure foods!! Thank you God that I have removed all enticing snacks from the house and thank You for being here, as I read, to help keep stand firm in my resolve to eat healthy! Whew, I had to get that off of my chest!!!”
Chapter 3 was a defining moment for me and this is what I wrote in my journal about my plan for a healthier lifestyle. “So, here is my plan for living a healthy lifestyle…I am going to first and foremost go to God every day in prayer and stay focused on His book of Truth. I am going to remind myself every day of all that He has done for me and that He made us all to Crave Him and only Him. I am not going to buy those foods that are not good for me, which in turn is not good for my body. I will continue to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes and I am going to remember that there are people in this world that really are suffering from terrible addictions that are literally choking the very life out of them. They need someone to share the truth with them that they made for more than the drug, alcohol, person or food that they are using to fill that need that should only be filled with God!”
Chapter 4 was about accountability and I found myself very focused on looking for Godly accountability partners and I wrote this down as part of a guideline in seeking that accountability, “So, we need someone with integrity, character and I think they need to be a giver too. We need somebody that is willing to give as much as they receive. They need to lift us up and offer us encouragement too. It has to be a true partnership. We all need to recognize that effort goes into being an accountability partner and It is important to give as well as receive.” Have you been successful in the area of accountability?
Chapter 5 reminded me of how I am defined by God and that I was indeed “made for more. I remembered a list that I had read in another book and I used this list in my past as my defining moment.
A child of God (Romans 8:16)
Forgiven (Colossians 1: 13-14)
Saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Justified (Romans 5:1)
A new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14)
Kept in Safety wherever I go (Psalms 91:11)
Casting all my cares on Jesus (1 Peter 5:7)
Doing all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
Bringing every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Being transformed by a renewed mind (Romans 12:1-2)
The righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
An imitator of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1)
Filled with laughter and rejoicing (Job 8:21)
It was during Chapter 6 that God gave me some clear direction for my life and issued me a challenge to add to my Mandate to Change. He took away my internet for the bigger part of 3 days and brought me back into a closer relationship with Him. Here is what I shared about this timely interruption in my life. “This is what God brought me to over the last 48 hours or more and I am so glad that He forced me to take this timeout. The devil had nothing to do with my internet interruption; he loved the time that I spent on-line; he knew that I was too busy doing God’s work and not enough time letting God work on me. One more thing I need to share…God played a song for me this morning on the radio, it started playing as soon as I turned my radio on…in case I doubted what He wanted from me, He decided to use my love for music to bring the point home; Hillsong United, “From the Inside Out.” I think that sealed the deal for me.”
Chapter 7 gave me some words that I have been using almost on a daily basis. I think that they are so important for each of us to use, we don’t have to take ownership of words that people say to us, at least not all the time.
““My friend’s inadvertent statement was not life and it was not godly. Therefore, I don’t have to internalize it. I can leave it on the sidewalk and walk away. Her statement didn’t belong to me. Her statement is not my issue. I have a choice to make. I could feed that comment and make it into an identity crusher; or I could see it for what it was, a careless comment.”
I am going to use these words to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and I am going to take captive every thought to make it obedient to God. (2 Corinthians 10:5)”
I am going to stop my current walk down memory lane with what I learned from Chapter 8 and I will review Chapters 9 – 15 tomorrow. So, what did I get from Chapter 8 of Made to Crave…I had to go look at my journal to see what I wrote about this chapter and it only goes to prove that God knew how to end this blog…
“I am very aware that true beauty comes from and it is not the reflection that I see in the mirror, it is the reflection of Him that other people see when they look at me. My beauty comes from within and I reap benefits from walking closer to Him and, it pleases Him when I take care of myself.
I am a Beautiful Woman of God
I am a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman.
I am far more precious than jewels and my value is far above rubies and pearls. Strength and dignity are my clothing and my position is strong and secure. I open my mouth with skillful and godly wisdom. The bread of idleness, gossip, discontent and self-pity I will not eat.
The beauty of the world is vain, but my beauty comes from reverently fearing the Lord. Each day I will focus on the present knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for every task.
I surrender all disappointments, fears, and misunderstandings to the Lord. Forgetting those things that are behind and laying aside every sin and weight that easily entangles me, I press on to the high prize of being a woman of God.
I am strong in you, Lord, and in the power of Your might. God, you are my Father and I am your precious daughter. Jesus, you are my Bridegroom and I am your beautiful Bride. I am created in your image, a picture of your love.
I AM A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN OF GOD!”
And sister…SO ARE YOU!!!