It’s the time of year when we, at Thin Within, again offer our hearts and minds to the Lord who chose to come to earth to bring salvation to us. Salvation from eternal separation from God, but also to save us daily from futile ways of thinking and living.
Join us for our December Surrender. Below is sample of the first 4 days of our “December Surrender.” Come on over to Mighty Networks–our Thin Within Community–to listen to each mind renewal meditation as it is posted daily.
This morning, I am studying Jesus’ own words in John 6: “Truly Truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (verse 53)
Woah…Can you imagine the response of the Jews listening to Him? They clearly thought Jesus was speaking of literal cannibalism. Jews took very special care in what they ate, so this would have been reprehensible to them.
They got it wrong. But they responded assuming they had it right…Verse 66 tells us: “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.”
Jesus required the impossible (or so it seemed) of His followers. But where there seems to be no way, he makes a way. He is the WayMaker. I need to remember that.
This morning as I paused with Him about this requirement to take in His flesh and His blood in order to truly have life, I asked Him what it means to me personally, today. He laid on my heart that it means that I will “make room” in my “stomach” — my LIFE — for him in ways that are foreign to me and also common place, perhaps.
As insignificant as it may sound, I instantly knew he was asking me to surrender the last few bites of my “typical” breakfast. Probably a 3rd of my breakfast.
It isn’t about the food…it is about my heart. My heart wanted to react and say “NO! It is *only* a few bites! Surely that doesn’t matter to the Lord!”
Right. The food doesn’t matter to the Lord. My heart DOES. If I sense His leadership and minimize the importance of his call and turn my tail…THAT is the sin…not the food. I am adding another layer of callus to my heart.
I have a stronghold (heart) problem. Not an eating problem. Take care of the heart issue and the eating will follow.
Lord Jesus, thank you that you moved in my heart today to read a difficult passage. You call us to the IMPOSSIBLE. To “eat your flesh and drink your blood.” Lord, I know that this means dying to myself in the moment…and saying yes to you … in the moment…no matter what you are calling me to do. The little “insignificant” requests you make of me are not little and they are not insignificant. Help me not to miss that you are doing a deeper heart work…In your majestic mighty Name, Amen.
How About You?
Do you sense the Lord inviting you to “make room” in some way in your life for more of Him? To be able to really take him in…to feast on him, we have to make room for Him. What will that look like for you today? Feel free to share it with us.
Penny is working her way through the Thin Within book. She shares with us here about coming to “Day 5” where the reader is called to do an exercise to be reconciled with her physical body. The exercise is not for the faint of heart! I am so proud of Penny for making it through. When she told me about her experience, I knew I had to encourage her to share it with all of you—the faithful readers of the Thin Within Blog. Enjoy! ~ Heidi Bylsma
Written By Guest Blogger, Penny Davis
As I came to day five’s reading, I was very much crunched for time! I had committed to my reading daily and wanted to make sure that I followed through. However, I just really had no time to go thru the Mirror, Mirror exercise. So I gave myself permission to ” do it tomorrow!”
Three days later…
I am standing and looking at myself in the mirror , knowing this is not going to be an easy task for me! I am the type of person who makes it one of her life’s goals not to look in the mirror at herself. So here I stand in obedience to God having no idea what changes are about to happen in my heart.
I start the exercise off in prayer, asking God to help me to see myself as He sees me, not as I see myself. I had just added to my truth cards earlier in the week that He is enthralled with my beauty (Psalm 45:11). I know that has a spiritual meaning but I would like to think that He likes what he sees when He sees the outside of me as well, no matter what size I am! He loves me!
After my prayer, I start with my feet and I begin to thank Him for all the places my feet have carried me. How they have walked along beautiful seashores while worshipping Him for his majestic beauty. How they have walked me into the slums of the mission field in Honduras while I spread the good news of Christ and His love. I continue to worship him for my feet and all the many places they have taken me. By this time I am so moved by the Spirit I can hardly see myself for the tears!
I fall to my knees and my heart begins to break. You see, my husband has bad knees and they don’t give him the strong support as they used to. I have seen the toll it has taken on him and how it has changed his lifestyle. All I can do is stand here humbled and thank God for the health of my knees. I begin to pray for my husband. It is a beautiful moment.
I do the same thing when I come to my stomach ( which is the place I like to look least). I begin to thank Him for allowing me to carry three of my greatest blessings. God has given me three miracles! The doctor said that I would never have children. But here I stand looking at the stretch marks that prove my God is a God who heals. I also begin to pray for my Sister and Best Friend who suffer from Crohns and my niece who suffers from Ulcerative Colitis. I begin to pray for people who are fighting breast cancer. I go on like this until I reach the top of my head and I become even more humbled at my health and body.
By the end of the exercise I realize that God has in fact answered my prayer. He did allow me to see myself as He sees me. He gave me spiritual eyes so that I could not only see myself, but that I would see others in their pain.
After I had completed the exercise I read day eight’s lesson and it was on rebuilding the ruins (Isaiah 61:4). I had just stood there in front of the mirror looking at the ruins of my temple due to the misuse of my body and eating. God showed me, that I was not beyond repair! That by His grace, I had not gone so far that He couldn’t restore me!
I am still in the process of the rebuilding and there are days that are harder than others. There is one thing I do know: God is a God of many chances. He hasn’t given up on me and never will! He desires for me to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say ” I am the temple of The Most High God!”
~ Penny Davis
How About You? Have you been reconciled with your body? Are you able to praise your Lord for each part of your body and the many ways he has used each to minister to and through you? You might want to do what Penny did…set aside some time and prayerfully invite God to give you His eyes!
Penny lives in Tennessee with her husband of almost 29 years! They have three married daughters and four beautiful Grands that she is hopelessly in love with. She enjoys riding her bike with her husband and although she is not an avid runner, she loves to run. She also sings on the Praise Team at her church.
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