The Battle Belongs to the Lord

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Ephesians 6-12Can I be honest with you? (I hear a round of, “Yes, absolutely!”) We are in a battle. Have you ever identified with the cartoon images or pictures of people with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? I can always imagine the conversation going on. The devil is saying, “Go ahead! It won’t hurt! No one will know!” While the angel tries to be the voice of reason, “Don’t do it! It will hurt! Remember last time, please! Sure, no one will know, but it will show on your body. And God will know!” Have you been there? Our culture tries to paint a cute or funny picture of what is going on all around us. Sadly, it is neither cute nor funny. It is real.

I’ve listened to the devil’s voice. He likes to be my personal critic. He likes to tell me how I will never succeed…in my job, in my relationships, in my prayer life and in my Hunger Within journey. He tells me to just give up. I will never measure up. I will never be thin enough, smart enough, funny enough, or honest enough. One little thing can go wrong and my whole “Praise God” attitude can go down the drain. fear is a liarI have felt like I fight and fight and never get ahead. Do you identify? Have you been here?

The Thin Within/Hunger Within ministry deals with our food issues, disordered eating and problems with body image. It teaches us how we got in the shape we are in and what to do for healing. The beauty of the Thin Within/Hunger Within ministry is how the material spills over into the other areas of our lives. Yes, dear reader, the Thin Within/Hunger Within material can help us in all areas of our lives where we struggle!

I found myself in a spot just this week where I needed to use the Thin Within tool of Observe and Correct. I have been struggling within myself at a new job. I am doing things I have never done before and I have been questioning if I am good enough or smart enough to do this job. Understand that no one at my new job is making me feel inferior or is saying anything to make me think this is true. This battle raging is within me. It is the proverbial good vs. evil that goes on around us all the time. I felt fear start creeping in and I didn’t like it. I am gratefully far enough on my TW/HW journey to not be running to food to deal with what was going on in my mind. But that sure doesn’t stop the battle in my mind between the lies of the devil and the truth found in God. And the battle raged.

Whole Armor of GodAt this point you may want to quit reading. You may think the story is over because you are remembering your own battles that ended in defeat. Believe me, I’ve been there too. But, not this battle. I am slowing coming to realize that the battles I fight do not belong to me. They belong to the Lord. My job is to be prepared for the battle. He is the one who fights it. I observed that I wasn’t prepared to fight this battle and I needed to suit up if I want to have victory. I corrected by going to God’s Word (Ephesians 6:10-18) and remembering my studies in Hunger Within that taught me how to prepare. I prayed. I wielded the Sword of the Spirit and prayed Scripture. I told the devil the truth to counteract his lies by wearing the Belt of Truth. I held the Shield of Faith. I told God in my prayers that I trust Him and that He is my Strong Tower and I am safe in Him. I prayed that I want my life to reflect His glory. I could feel the fiery darts of the devil being deflected as I stood in the Lord’s strength.  I was wearing the Helmet of Salvation that affirms that I am bought with a dear price and I am His. And my heart was covered with the Breastplate of Righteousness.  Because of His sacrifice, my heart pumps with life because He gave His life for mine. I am covered with His righteousness. I went into battle, fully outfitted and fully prepared. I stood. The Lord fought. He won.Fear Not

Do you find yourself in battles you feel you will never get out of or ever win? I find when I fear I am losing, it is because I am trying to fight on my own. We have God’s promise. He is there with us. Will you prepare, and suit up? Will you then stand and let Him fight the battle? We are in a battle, but it is not ours to fight. The battle belongs to the Lord.

Leave the Boat

Leave the Boat

TFS-diaries-0021-2glgf8c (1)Recently, I have  been going thru some of my Hunger Within journals from the last two times I’ve been through the book.

In one of my journals, I came across an entry that touched my heart. In this entry, the Lord invited me to let go of my own control and submerge myself completely in this way of eating, living and being. He whispered to me, asking me to let go of what I think I should look like and to trust Him fully.

I had shared this on the blog last year about this time. As I read it, it spoke to me again.

 I need to continue to “jump in” fully with God in this journey.

image

The Lord spoke to my heart…..

Society wants us to think that being“skinny” is the answer to acceptance and love. Oh child, I have something so much better for you. True fulfillment does not come from outward beauty of being a certain shape or size or weight.

I Samuel 16:7

The Lord told Samuel “Do not consider his appearance or his height. For I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Oh the enemy would like all women and even men to think that. It is a lie that is permeating your culture and has been a part of this world for many ancient years.

Child don’t be afraid. I am with you each step of this journey as you step out of the boat and walk on the water with Me. PicsArt_02-03-07.48.39This boat of security that is your food or your diet or whatever you consider your control of things….step out in faith to me so you may truly LIVE!

Walk to me on these waters so you may fall into my arms. Yes, Child, fully jump into my loving arms!

As you submerge yourself in My love for you and allow my grace to surround you, I will fill you with my peace. 

But to step out of that boat, to walk to me on water, to jump fully into my arms, to submerge yourself fully in my love will take some surrendering.

But, oh My Child, surrendering means true freedom and joy as you bask in my love for you. Surrendering means jumping in with both feet…..into my grace and with faith in Me.

This food and body image is a part of you that has been broken for a long time in your life. But take heart, I have overcome the world. I have PicsArt_02-03-08.13.21created the universe and placed the stars in the sky. I have created you to be uniquely my beautiful daughter and I love you so very much.

Take heart. I am the Great Physician and can heal all wounds. I will bind up your broken heart. I will replace your ashes with beauty. This beauty is one that does not fade or change with age. It is a beauty that is lasting and real. It is who you really are in Me. You are My Beautiful Daughter. You are My Chosen One. You are The One I love with and Everlasting Love.

It will not be easy. It will take time, but the journey will be worth it. Now take hold of my hand, Child and come.image

What about you? What is God asking you to surrender? Are you ready to step out of your “boat of security”? Will you let go of the way YOU might think your body should look? Are you willing to “jump in” with God and be submerged completely in His love and grace?

Keys to Conscious Eating

Keys to Conscious Eating

 


 

I hope that you woke up this morning with this thought on your heart…

 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

 

We can believe it!

You know what? Here’s the thing… If our God is awesome (and I bet not one of you reading this would say you don’t agree with that), if He is so creative and powerful and clever (and I bet you all agree with that), then He has made our bodies reliably, too!

Like a Thin Within class participant said

He has created our marvelous, fearfully and wonderfully-made bodies to give us signals about when we need sleep, rest, when we are in pain, when we need to expel something from our bodies, and when we need to drink or eat, as well as when we need to STOP eating or drinking.

 

The trick is that often, over the years, either through carelessness or dieting, we have “shut down” those hunger and satisfied signals.

We want to get in touch with those signals again because they are a reliable means for eating the right amount of food: Eating to live, rather than living to eat.

When I get back in touch with those signals (this may take work, so please be patient and extend grace to yourself!), I find that I will release extra weight to my natural God-given size and then maintain it. No hocus pocus. No counting. No weighing and measuring. Just a naturally, calm, worry-free, way of living for the rest of my days.

Sound good?

knew it would. I know it does to those of you who already subscribe to this approach.

In Thin Within and Hunger Within, we use the Keys to Conscious Eating to help us get back in touch with the signals of hunger and satisfaction.

These are not “rules” but rather are intended to provide boundaries:

 

Keys to Conscious Eating:

1. Eat when your body is hungry.
2. Eat in a calm environment by reducing distractions or calming your mind.
3. Eat when you are sitting.
4. Eat when your body and mind are relaxed.
5. Eat and drink the things your body enjoys.
6. Pay attention to your food while eating.
7. Eat slowly, savoring each bite.
8. Stop eating before your body is full.

Grace Response: Observation and Correction

 

Each time we eat – as in each and every time we eat – we try to use each of these keys as boundaries.

• Numbers 1 and 8 are the primary boundaries of eating between physical hunger (called a “0”) and physical satisfaction (called a “5”).

• If we use numbers 2 through 7 as secondary boundaries for ourselves, it helps us to succeed at #1 and #8.

• The goal is to be intentional each time food crosses our lips.

If we set a place for Jesus at our tables and imagine His presence there, if we foster a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving for the abundance that He supplies and that He has made our bodies fearfully and wonderfully, we can do this.

We can get back in touch with our body’s signals and discover a stress-free way to release the burdens of our hearts and the burdens of our life. They are so often connected!

Let’s eat when we are hungry.

Let’s stop when we are no longer hungry.

And let’s run to God for all the other things that ordinarily draw and lure us to food.

Ya with me? 😃

 

 


 

How are you doing with eating between 0 and 5 being your primary boundary? Which of the secondary boundaries do you think could help you more effectively abide by your primary boundaries? Which is hardest for you? Select one of these today to ask for God’s special help with. How can you plan for success?

Taste and See

Taste and See

Jeremiah 29-13The spring 2016 Hunger Within class has started with a bang. I would like to say I am amazed at how similar our stories are, but I am not. We all have so much in common in our upbringings: as far as our weight goes, our skewed views of our bodies and that silent hunger within that we try to fill with so many things – the number one thing being food and dieting.  Most of us have dieted till we are blue in the face and would do anything to never diet again. Most of us have been up and down in weight many, many times. I am seeing that most, me included have been members of every diet club where we have spent exorbitant amounts of money to not eat (see my blog http://www.thinwithin.org/only-in-america/). We have joined gyms, been instructors and have even fallen into exercise bulimia. And many of us were members and leaders of another biblical intuitive eating program that a few years ago became not so biblical. What does all this have in common? We have all been on a search to feed our Hunger Within with everything we could find except going to the One who created it in the first place.

God created our Hunger Within because He wants us to go to Him. He wants to fill us and satisfy us. He wants us to taste and see that He is good and we are blessed when we trust in Him (Psalm 34:8). When we try to fill that hunger with the things of the world, we may feel satisfied for a short time, and then whatever we are using falls flat. We may feel that we have to have the control over our food that diets seem to give us. Sadly, when we fall off our diets, the food starts controlling us. We think if we could just get the food to obey for once we would melt into the bodies we believe we need and deserve. We get desperate, looking under every rock to find the one perfect plan that will finally work for us. Well, I have found it!! Only God can satisfy the longing soul and fill the hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 107:9).

I searched and cried out and I prayed and then I finally surrendered control. God’s Word became real to me in a way it hadn’t before. He told me that if I would look for Him wholeheartedly, I would find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). We as Christians like to quote Jeremiah 29:11 about how God has plans for us to prosper us and not harm us. I love that verse. But, somehow I would stop reading before I got to verse 13. I wasn’t having any victory because my whole heart wasn’t in it. I still wanted things my way in many aspects of my food issues. I wanted what I wanted whenever I wanted and in the amounts I wanted till the pain of being at the weight I was became worse than the pain of giving up control. I sought the LORD God with all my heart at that moment of surrender, and I found Him. I found Him in my pantry and in my refrigerator right where I had been looking for something to fill me. He was there all the time, just waiting for my choice to be Him over all the other choices. He was patient, so very patient and longsuffering as I chose this thing and that thing over Him. And the day I surrendered fully to Him and His plan of eating for me, He grabbed me into His arms and comforted me through the pain of giving up control.

What about you? Are you tired of trying to fill that Hunger Within with the things of the world and are you ready to surrender to God who is the only One who can truly fill you? He is right there, in front of you as you stand with your refrigerator door open looking for just the right thing to satisfy your craving. Reach for Him and taste and see that He is good.

 

Feeling Insecure

Feeling Insecure

PicsArt_02-02-03.53.54How many of us can relate to feeling insecure, especially when starting this “new way of eating”? Eating 0-5 does seem to “fly in the face” of what we hear and see around us in popular media! It is new and different and can cause a bit of anxiety at first.

Whether you are new to Thin Within (or Hunger Within) or you have been doing this for years, when God asks us to do something that might be very different, give up something,  or to surrender more, we  can feel insecure in what He is asking us to do. Maybe He’s asking you to surrender to Him the way you think you should look. Maybe He’s asking you to give up more food than you thought. Maybe you are battling the surrender of the scale or the amount YOU think you should weigh.

We all have probably cried out to the Lord,

1“Can I really do this?  

Lord, I am not capable.  

I am not worthy of this.

I am not (insert your insecurity here).”

I felt that way when I first started thinking about leading Hunger Within.  I felt like I wasn’t a “good enough student” of Hunger Within or Thin Within to qualify as a leader.  I haven’t released a bunch of weight. I didn’t feel like my testimony was all that exciting.  But God allowed me to see that If HE is calling me to it, HE will be enough for me.

Corinthians 12:9

The Lord said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 

HE will be the one to shine through!  Besides, do I really want the glory for being such a “wonderful and worthy leader”? (well, deep down…yeah, I guess….pride is always lurking it’s ugliness somewhere!) But really, NO!  I want GOD to get all the glory!

And Ladies, that is how it is with all of us wherever we are in this Thin Within/Hunger Within journey.  When we follow Him and surrender to Him, HE is the one who will get the glory!

Make no mistake.

HE HAS CALLED YOU HERE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.

He brought you to this blog today.  He wants your heart and mind surrendered to HIM, including (as my dear friend Deanna Burris has said) in the pantry and the ‘frig!

And so, when we feel insecure thinking we can’t do this, we aren’t good enough, we aren’t strong enough, we aren’t ….. remember…HE IS!

 

Philippians 4:13

I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me strength

 

1 Chronicles 16:11  

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

…NOW…

Look up.14064-woman-sunset-girl-arms-blue-sky-clouds-silhouette.1200w.tn

Reach up.

…..

Let HIM lift you out of your insecurity.

…..

Let HIM lead you.
All we have to do is follow.  One step at a time.
Releasing “weight”

Releasing “weight”

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Thin Within journey hasn’t been so much about the physical weight, but more about the mental “weight”.  The weight of worrying about my body image, obsessing about food, fighting the diet mentality and temptation of going back to a diet, and bowing down to the skinny idol.  I’ve had people ask me why I’m so interested in this subject.  Like, why do I feel compelled to encourage others in their journey toward freedom when I *look* fine?  And my response is this: We all deal with the same lies, whether you are overweight, underweight, or even at your ideal weight.  The enemy is right there saying that you are too much or not enough.  So my journey has been more about releasing the”weight” of my thoughts and surrendering the obsession.  If I could weigh my thoughts, obsessions, struggles, and lies I have dealt with over the years, they would be considerably very heavy.

I did, at one time, have physical weight to release.  I’ve been 25-30 pounds overweight.  I’ve dealt with emotional eating.  I’ve dieted and then sought freedom from counting, weighing, measuring.  I’ve dealt with fears about food.  I know what it feels like to never feel good enough and to keep on reaching toward those temptations.  I know what it’s like to eat when I’m not hungry and then to keep on eating because of guilt and shame.  And I know what it’s like to have God’s peace in this journey, to taste the freedom He has offered.  I know what it’s like to be free from worrying about food and to no longer overeat.

But I still struggle.  I still find myself tempted to research about diets.  I still think I need to be a certain size and look a certain way.  I still worry about the unknown.  I compare past success on a diet program with success while eating 0-5.  I want the guarantee that this works.  And I compare myself with others.

Sometimes, for encouragement, I will skim through parts of Hunger Within.  Recently, I found myself in Chapter 6: Dependence Not Addiction.  And even though it’s a hard truth to swallow, I realize I have been dealing with addiction in this.  As stated in the chapter, addiction means to “give assent–to give up or to give over”.  Somewhere along the line, I had surrendered myself to body image worries, to comparison, the researching diets, etc.

If we give ourselves over to food, performance, relationships, or other compulsive behaviors, we may experience initial relief, so then we cling to them, making them the objects of our desire.

I have done that.  And it’s crazy to think I have found “relief” in researching and obsessing over my body, but I have.

As these objects grow in importance, our behavior becomes habitual and we can no longer satisfy or relieve our needs in healthy ways.  Even if we want to break free, we find ourselves enslaved.  Herein lies the greatest risk to our relationship with God: the addiction itself, rather than God, becomes the driving force or focus of our life.

That statement right there is an eye-opener to me.  I have looked to something outside of the Lord to try to satisfy my needs.  Some of us do this with food: we eat outside of our physical hunger because there is a need–but only God can reach that need.  Wow!  I really want to redirect myself (change my habits) so that I’m not reaching toward the avenues of addiction, but instead, I’m reaching toward my Lord and Savior and His Word!

The objects of our addictions become our false gods.  These are what we attend to, where we give our time and energy, instead of love.  Addiction, then, displaces and supplants God’s love as the source and object of our deepest true desire. (Gerald May, as quoted in Hunger Within)

I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of going back to the same old behavior.  It’s that old rut of thinking.  But God wants us to get on His path of righteousness.  His WORD is a light unto our path!  He wants to pull us out of that old rut and onto His path of life.  I want to release this “weight” over to the Lord so I can be free!  And I know that will happen as I continue to press into Him and seek His truth.  HE is the one Who will change me from the inside out.  I want to press into HIM, not into the diet books and lies that I’ve believed for so long.  I want to go to Him instead of putting hope in something false.  I know it starts in my mind.  That’s why it’s so important to renew my mind.  That’s where the change starts.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5

I cannot tell you how many hours I’ve prayed or how many journals I’ve filled (at least a few), asking the Lord for help, digging into His Word, seeking His truth as He dissolved lies.  But I do know this–GOD is the One Who will change you.  Your part is to go to Him, and HE does the transformation work!  I cannot emphasize that enough.  Renewing your mind is a vital part of this journey!  Take those lies to Him.  Lay them before Him and trust that He will reveal truth!  Don’t give up!  He will change you and one day you will realize that you aren’t struggling with certain things anymore.  You will release “weight” and the physical weight.  He will change you from within and it will not only be evident on the outside, but we will think and live changed.  Praise God!

My journey isn’t over yet, in fact, recently it’s turned a corner and I’m so excited to share about that…but you will have to wait until next week.  Stay tuned!