This is where you are going to see a 54-year-old woman lying face down on the floor; kicking and throwing a royal daughter of the King tantrum! I am completely resistant to the idea that I am supposed to totally deprive myself, for the rest of my life, of some food that I do enjoy eating. When I embarked on this Bible study I felt a mandate from God to deny myself ice cream for the duration of the study. I met this challenge head-on and I have been successful. Do I walk into the grocery store and wonder down the frozen food section salivating…yep, sometimes. Could I live the rest of my life without ever eating another scoop of ice cream…I honestly do not know the answer to that question. But, I am leaning towards a negative answer to that question. Do I think that I need to go back to eating a bowl every night…this one I got covered, NO!!! It may be permissible but for me it will not be beneficial to eat a bowl of ice cream every night.
I can do what He has called me to do by going to His word for strength and here is what I have realized, God wants to show Himself strong on my behalf. I cannot serve God without fully surrendering to His strength. Here are some verses to help me…
My life verses are a great place to start…Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 41:10…”fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Psalm 18:32-34 “the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Right in the middle of writing my reflections on Chapter 18 a victoriously, sassy friend of mine, Helena, posted a quote from Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional guide that absolutely needs to be used by me to help give me strength… “Even the smallest drop of God’s strength is more than enough to cover our frailties, our shortcomings, the places where we deem ourselves weak.” — Lysa Terkeurst from devotional 47.
I CAN!!! I really CAN and it is all because of Him!!
I love the idea of using an old-fashioned scale…we used to have one in our house when I was growing up and it was so much fun weighing different items and seeing what weighed more. I know that anything that we use that places God in the center will far outweigh anything that satan might be using to knock us off track. Any area in my life that causes me to take my eyes off of God is coming from the devil and he does not prevail over God with me. God’s word and His spirit inside of me far exceed anything that the evil one could place on the other side of that scale.
I am not into self-flagellation. It does me no good and it does not help those people around me that love me. This does not mean that I don’t get upset with myself about some decisions that I have made because I do, but instead of beating myself up over it I try to figure out why I made that choice. I look for my triggers for that behavior and then try to come up with a better way to handle that situation in the future. Or I run totally in the other direction when that trigger presents itself again so I do not fall into temptation. I have often learned the hard way that Jesus is the Master Gardener in our lives and that He will not hesitate to pull out the trimmer to prune those things that have become dead weight inside of me. It is only through that pruning that I can grow into a beautiful woman of God. As Patsy Clairmont said in a devotion that I read today called, “Pruning”, “We were born to grow until our fruit falls to earth for the last time and we blossom into eternal life.” I intend to blossom into His arms eternally! 18 chapters down and one more to go!
I admit that I have come to both love and hate the word “diet.”
On the one hand, it represents hope for change.
On the other, it’s like a sign flashing “Failure ahead!”
I don’t want to embark on another faulty plan, Lord.
I want to embark on a journey with You that is led by You and depends on Your power.
I can do nothing on my own! Show me the path that will enable me to change.
Show me, as only You can, what works for me, what is healthy for me.
I want to think of this venture in positive terms, Lord–
not that I am signing up to be miserable or in want.
I want to learn to feed my body what it truly needs when it truly needs it.
And to feed my soul with the Bread of Life–You!
Today I place my future, my failures, my setbacks,
all of my hopes and plans into Your hands.
There alone will I find meaning and true success in my life.