“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
Perhaps my awareness is heightened this year because I’m getting older and my pursuit of freedom is more intense. However, it seems the media is inundating us with messages to lose weight, get fit, etc. While this is always the case come January first, we must be militant in our resolve to let this be the year we get uncomfortable with slavery to any other master than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. For us, this is a spiritual battle and thus is fought with spiritual weapons.
It is wonderful to want to feel better. God wants us to feel our best. He longs for us to experience the abundant life to which we are called. Submit your desire to feel more joy, more up, more energy to Him, and wait for His answer. His solutions will not have negative consequences and will not cause any ill effects.
Some obvious suggestions are: Spend time in His Word and in prayer; be willing to face the truth; get adequate rest; consider increasing your activity level; and, continue to carefully consider the food choices you make. Let’s remember, He supplies everything we need for life and godliness. We also have a responsibility to treat our bodies with great respect.
As I read the scripture above earlier this morning I was reminded of the inner work that God is after in each one of us. That work, if submitted to the Lord will produce eternal dividends and not temporary success. One of my current struggles is that I’m only hungry for one meal a day. Otherwise, just a little snack will sustain me for hours. This can be frustrating because I eat lunch with a co-worker every day and sit down to dinner with my husband every night. And so this feels like an “affliction” (to my flesh) though I know it’s a blessing indeed (to my spirit). Because each and every time I surrender the temptation to eat when not hungry I collaborate with the Lord and that work He is doing comes a step closer to completion. When I stop to consider this I realize I’m in the process of walking in my new nature. My old nature ate what I wanted, when I wanted, with little regard for respect or dignity. My new nature eats when He says I’m a 0, and takes into account my schedule and other commitments including family meal time. Therefore, I recognize that if I eat to a 5 at lunchtime I won’t be hungry at dinner. The choice is mine, and I choose to surrender to the inner work the Lord is after in me.
What about you? Are you looking for success this year or an eternal work of the Lord? Can you see how important the practical process is or do you look only to the spiritual? Let’s remember that the Lord longs for us to experience the joy and abundance that comes with living free from any dependencies other than on Him alone.