“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”
I’ve really never been thin. When I was younger I had lost weight but didn’t know how to keep it off. So I ultimately gained it back, and then some.
Now that I understand the process of the farmer, I am using this process to release my excess weight in addition to being patient with the process.
SO WHAT DOES THIS PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
1) First the farmer cultivates the land and tills the soil. The soil has to be cultivated so it can receive the seed. This involves the hard soil being basically chopped up so that the seed will be able to take root in it. Hard, uncultivated soil will not be able to grow anything, except weeds.
2) He plants good seeds. The farmer finds good quality seeds. Whatever seeds the farmer plants is what he gets. He literally reaps what he sows.
3) He plants in the right season. If he misses the season to plant, he will not get the crop that he is expecting to get. There may be different times or seasons for each type of crop.
4) After that is done and the seeds are planted, he waters the soil in expectation for the harvest.
5) The farmer waits. He is very patient, knowing that time has to unfold because the seed has to germinate, take root, and then eventually sprout through the soil. Only after this, will it be able to produce the crop, be it corn, tomatoes or beans. There are unexpected circumstances that may hinder his crop, like adverse weather conditions, but his goal is still the same.
APPLYING THIS TO WEIGHT AND EATING
Now let’s talk about planting good seed as it relates to weight, body and eating, and in breaking habits.
What happens in the natural realm happens in the spiritual realm as well.
If the goal is to get a good harvest ~ releasing weight ~ and that is my goal to release weight permanently, everything that happens in the natural realm needs to happen in this process, too.
1) CULTIVATING THE SOIL
If we want to be able to receive the good seed God is going to be showing and giving us, our old “soil” ~ our old way of thinking ~ has to go. This is what “renewing the mind” is all about. Out with the old way of thinking (like the diet mentality; doing it on our own, etc.), and in with the new way of thinking that will ultimately produce a good harvest in us. This might feel like we are being “chopped up,” but it is really just God getting rid of old ways of thinking and doing things that have produced far more damage than this cultivating is doing now. Having extra weight on our body has also been part of “tilling the soil.” But God is going to use this sorrow for good.
2) PLANTING GOOD SEEDS
As we begin to give God our body on a daily basis by giving him our “not-eating moments,” we are planting good seed. I am using those seeds every day to get the great harvest of releasing weight and being healthy. , so the season or timing is now!
The time between dinner and breakfast is great “seed” before God. Most people have problems after dinner or getting up in the middle of the night to eat. Honoring God during these times may be a small (or big?) sacrifice, but it’s great seed before God. I started doing that and broke the cycle of binge eating.
My binge eating usually started at 10 pm every night. That was when I did the most damage.
Another way of planting good seed is to give God your cravings. An unexpected circumstance might set these off. You have a taste for something and it usually hits when you are really not hungry. Again, this is great seed before God because you are giving out of your desire. “I want something good to eat. I want it now, and right now. I want more, or I want it all.” All of these situations are ways to sow good seed before God.
3) PLANTING IN THE RIGHT SEASON
This is simple for our analogy, as it is always the right season, or time, to obey the Lord. And if we have just recently failed, His mercies are new every morning! “If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart” ~ which is what led to the hardening of our “soil.” Just repent and come to Him. It’s never too late!
4) WATERING THE SOIL
As we honor God by giving him our body, we have to water the seed. We do this in a few ways.
- One is by faith ~ we wait patiently in expectation for our harvest, knowing that if we give, He will give back to us. He rewards us with our faithfulness.
- Another way to water the seed is to claim out loud our truth. Repeating daily affirmations several times a day about who we are in Christ is a great way to water our seed. Some examples of my affirmations are:
- I desire less food.
- I eat and think like a thin eater.
- I am an overcomer.
- Food has its proper place in my life.
Or you can write your own.
Tonight I wanted dessert after my dinner but I was full. So I honored God by not eating the small dessert I wanted. I became that living sacrifice. I made a decision to not eat again until the morning. This is great seed before God and he will increase my harvest in the form of a smaller body!
Another way to water the soil is to take one of your favorite foods ~ be it a candy bar, piece of cake or pie, or fried chicken ~ in your hand (or just name it if it’s somewhere else and you don’t want to go near it) and tell God:
“God, I love you more than ________ ( name your food out loud), and I honor you by not eating this today!”
If you are temped by a particular food or if someone is cooking and it smells so good, give that smell and food to God.
“God I honor you by not eating that food that smells so good!”
(Suggestion: If you cannot handle the smell, breathe through your mouth!)
Another suggestion for watering the good seed you have planted is if you have a trigger food or problem food that you just cannot stop eating, give that food a rest for a while by not eating it. I did that with fried chicken and I’m still doing it. I also gave up potato chips for about a year and a half. I just started eating them again, and it was a small bag. But it took me 3 days to eat that small bag that I would have previously devoured in 5 minutes!
I have wanted a chocolate cake donut now for about 5 months and I keep telling myself you can have it, just not today, and it probably will not taste as good as you think it will. That keeps me from eating it.
All these are watering the good seed God is growing in me.
As we keep honoring God with our body, we break the cycle of disordered eating by not eating, and God takes the seed and increases and multiplies it to produce the harvest that we want.
I believe the hardest part of the process is being patient with the process. But we are told in Galatians 6:9:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest of blessings, if we do not get discouraged and give up.”
And in Hebrews 12:11 it says:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, [after a season of waiting] however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
As hard as this process is, I’m looking forward to seeing and enjoying the outcome ~ that “harvest of blessing”!
(See her bio below.)
A few years ago, I got to do something that had been on my Bucket List. My family and I went to the Grand Canyon while on a long tour out west.
I was so sure that my children would be as mesmerized and in awe of it as I knew I would be. And I WAS!
But one of my teenagers was NOT!
He complained, and complained, and wanted to leave the moment we arrived.
Boy, did that rain on my parade. I didn’t get to really take the time I wanted to inhale the experience. And what time we did spend there was overshadowed by his griping.
What was clashing was our very different perspectives. Mine was wonder of God’s creation and power; my son’s was boredom of caverns with dry dusty rocks.
The way we see ourselves and how God sees us is kind of like that trip. We look at ourselves and see the lumps and bumps and cellulite, and we think we just aren’t that exciting to our Father, ourselves, or our friends and family.
However, God looks at us ~ at what He has made ~ in awe and wonder, and says:
It is VERY good.”
Do you believe that? I sure don’t, if I’m being honest. Sadly, our society makes us think that we need to perform to be precious or valuable to God.
The teacher’s pet gets the privileges, right?
But God’s perspective is very different from ours.
It would be good to go deeper with this, to where our hearts might need a little (or a lot) of loving on…
Take some time to consider…
What are your thoughts about how God sees YOU?
Do you struggle with believing God sees you as a “Mighty warrior” in this battle of overweight and food issues?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this in a comment.
It blesses my heart to know that how ever I view myself, God has a very different, a better view and perspective. Especially, if my view is negative.
Now, if only I could believe that in the battle!
I’ve never known that, when you do wrong, it breeds more wrong-doing. After all of the progress I’ve had, I overate early this morning and completely fell off the rails.
Just one misstep, and I was back wanting to do wrong today. I want to eat everything in sight.
Now this is where the choice comes in. What are my choices? I have two:
- One is to turn off of the TV and reset myself by getting into the Word as much as I can all day. Today will turn out to be a great day if I do that.
- My other choice is to eat all day, receiving condemnation from the enemy. He’ll be accusing me and telling me that nothing has changed. He’ll taunt me saying “It’s no use doing Thin Within! I told you, you haven’t changed! It really doesn’t matter. Mind renewal is just hogwash! Just go ahead and eat!”
But I want to tell you the outcome of the day!
I finished well today!
I did not let the enemy get the best of me!
What a huge victory for me. Yes, I fell off of the rails, but only for a short while.
This time was different from all of the other times! I finished by eating a modest portion only two meals after I had blown it!
Had I had this fall in my bingeing days, it would have been a disaster!
But guess what? The mind renewal is working! It’s actually changing me from the inside out!
There are a few words that I have now banned from my thinking vocabulary. These are:
I’ll start tomorrow.
You might as well.
The word less is good; not more.
I still use the word tomorrow, but it has a new meaning and use…
Instead of saying “Well, you’ve blown it, so you might as well go ahead and eat now and just start tomorrow,” I tell myself “You can have that food tomorrow, if you want.”
Next time I will not get tripped up with just one bite. But I’m glad that at least I learned a lot from that trip!
(See her bio below.)
Many have found that having a prayer/accountability partner is a huge help on their Thin Within journey. And it only makes scriptural sense: .
Of course, we want the “third party” in that triple-braided cord to be the Lord Himself. As we all know, if He’s not in this with us, undergirding us, transforming us, drawing us to Himself, motivating us (with His motivations, not ours), and empowering us, then we may as well not even embark on this journey.
The Ecclesiastes author was speaking in general principles, but we can be more specific now that we have Jesus who has opened the way to the Father! So, before connecting with a prayer/accountability partner, we need to take care of that – as in get our hearts connected and our lives submitted to Him.
A prayer/accountability partner helps us stay connected to the Lord and encourages us to keep remembering that our help comes from Him, nudging (or maybe downright pushing) us toward Him!
And there are many ways we can do this! There are no rules; you can do it any way you like!
I prefer to do this thinking in terms of not receiving anything back; just in how to bless them. But see the very end of this article for a thought on that!
Here are a dozen quick, easy, and simple ideas to help you connect with your prayer/accountability partner. I share lots of pictures, each of which speaks 1,000 words! – making this a 22,000-plus-word article with very little actual reading!
1) Share a Scripture that blessed you.
Here are three options:
- Type it out on your phone or computer.
- Go to a Bible app and copy and paste it from there.
- Take a picture of the highlighted verse in your Bible…
2) Share a victory.
Big, little ~ doesn’t matter! And maybe add why it was so significant ~ or so challenging ~ for you.
3) Share an accountability form you completed.
This is one of Emily’s, used with her permission. (These forms are at the back of the Thin Within Rebuilding the Temple workbook.)
4) Share an overhead slide that spoke to you.
These can be from a sermon at church or a workshop or conference you attended.
5) Share a devotional that ministered to you.
This one’s in one of my favorite devotional books, Jesus Calling.
6) Share a plaque or wall hanging you saw at a store that spoke to you.
7) Share a link to a blog article…
…or share a podcast that you know will encourage and bless your prayer/accountability partner…
8) Share a truth card you made or found.
I made all of these… (Even though you and I are not prayer partners, I hope they encourage you today anyway!)
(Bonus points if you use a photo they took and sent you ~ which this is! Debbie sent me this picture of the snowy scenery on her trip home!)
Here’s an article called Truth Cards 101 for more on how to make your own! It’s actually FUN! And there are LOTS of ways to do them and many sources for ideas – all of which I share in this blog article!
9) Ask: “How can I pray for you today?”
Another way to word this is: “Do you have any challenging situations coming up that you’d like to have me pray for you about?” I like that because I may not think of any prayer needs, per say, but, when asked if I have any challenges coming up, of course I do!
10) Share a challenging situation that you have coming up today.
I know I said this is all about blessing them, but most people enjoy knowing they are helping and blessing someone else. “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”
11) Share a truth you wrote in your journal.
It might seem simple and unprofound to you, but it could encourage and inspire your prayer partner – like Emily’s blessed me…
12) Share an audio recording of yourself talking.
…about any of the above things… a scripture, an excerpt out of a book you’re reading, a truth card that impacted you, a prayer need or a situation you have coming up, etc.
Most people don’t like hearing their own voice, but remember that you’re not doing this for you; you’re doing it for your prayer partner!
You will need to find the audio recording – or maybe it’s called voice memo – feature on your phone. If you don’t know where it is, ask a friend who has a phone like yours if they can help you find it.
(This is just a picture of the prompt to access the one Emily sent me. I have not figured out how to get her recording into this article. If anyone knows, please let me know! Emily gave me permission to share hers!)
You can do as many of the above ideas as you want – or even just one – on any given day! Again, no rules. Just jump in and do something. And “any and all the above” give you a place to start.
Don’t get hung up or slowed down on doing it perfectly! Or on how much or how little you’re doing. Or on how consistently you’re connecting. Just DO it! And have FUN!!!
One last bit of encouragement… Even if you have a prayer partner who’s not able to bless you back as much as you would like, you’ll still be blessed because….
I had a pretty good day today. I’m just working to get my head back into the game. It seems like emotionally I’m a little off, like I got kicked in the gut and I’m trying to recover.
I guess that comes with forgiving myself once again, which I have to say I haven’t done yet.
It might be a good time to just write a letter to myself and then burn it up. I have to get this out.
I feel a lot of regret from my actions simply because I didn’t know that they were going to affect me this way. It is a huge price to pay and I am paying it and, of course, asking God to help me with reversing the decisions or consequences I made by choosing to do different actions now.
I know that doing different actions now will affect my future, so even though I cannot see change, changes are being made.
An example of this: A husband plays a video game for three hours straight, and the wife doesn’t leave him, but if he does that every night? Now there is a problem and it will definitely hurt that relationship.
That’s like eating at night, every night after dinner; eventually it will catch up to you, just like it did me. And the sad part is that you don’t see it happening because it happens moment by moment. That’s how things become strongholds ~ moment by moment.
The good news is it will happen to the good the same way. As we make godly choices moment by moment, we reverse the process and get good results, as well!
The principle works both ways. You cannot see the change either but by doing it consistently, eventually the change will began to take place. You begin to reap what you sow in a good way. The spiritual law is still working, but positively. And then good results will happen.
I kept saying that it’s not happening fast enough. I had to ask myself: Well how long have you been doing godly actions? It will take time to turn it around, and I cannot get weary at the process. It is still a process and will still take time to get the godly results.
That’s where Galatians 6:9 comes into play.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
I know all this in my head, but now I’m asking God to help me get it in my heart. That is where it counts. Listening to others explain it makes perfect sense. It is a difficult concept to grasp.
We all want quick fixes, but this is not the way it works. It’s so easy to get into, and slowly we are crawling out. Moment by moment, little by little.
The best thing to do is embrace the process because you cannot rush this no matter how hard we want it to happen. It happens when it happens! … Just keep moving forward!
(See her bio below.)
Who would’ve thought that my mind needed to be renewed about apples?!?! But God has been speaking to me about them and I am so glad! What started this string of related events was that my grandson, Jonah, came up to me one day with an apple in hand and, because I was actually at a zero, the apple actually looked appealing!
That was a bit surprising to me, because I have never been an apple fan. I might eat a few pieces when Dave slices up an apple, but I’ve just never been wild about them.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find Jonah’s apple looked good to me. I hoped it had nothing to do with Eve’s apple looking good to Adam back in the Garden. No way to know that, so I knocked that off the list as being a possibility.
What it did have to do with was the fact that I was all the way down to a zero ~ the perpetual challenge for me.
When I’m truly hungry, pretty much anything looks good to me at that point. But that’s okay; I’ll take it!
Jonah graciously let me have a few bites, and as I enthusiastically gobbled them down, I thought “Wow! What have I been missing?!?”
Jonah told me I should have one a day. To make sure I didn’t forget (he knows I have occasional memory issues), he fixed up this little set-up on the kitchen counter:
In case you can’t read the sign, it says: “Don’t forget to eat one apple every day, gramma. ~ Jonah.” This was a sweet confirmation ~ and reminder ~ that the apple is something good for me that the Lord had in mind since ~ well, it would appear since He first created Man and Woman, and put them in the Garden. I loved that God was redeeming the apple for me! But He wasn’t done yet!
The next morning, the very first email I opened was from Jeff Reagan who operates Patriot Health Institute (dot com). As one might expect from the name, both patriotic and healthy topics are Jeff’s focus. And I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from him that touted the merits of…
(You’ll never believe it…)
In fact, I will share an excerpt of it with you here…
Apples. They’re just too good for you to pass. Eating apples regularly is associated with a long list of benefits. And it’s a nice combo when something so good for you also tastes good. Apples reduce your risk of diabetes, because they’re chock full of phytonutrients that regulate blood sugar. They’re very rich in antioxidants, and more important they’re tops for “free phenolic compounds.” That means the nutrients aren’t bound to other compounds, so they get into your bloodstream more easily. Apples reduce stroke, fight bad breath, prevent asthma attacks, and can help you maintain your weight. Plus, they drive down C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that, when elevated, means you’re on the road to heart disease. And not to compare apples and oranges, but they’re full of vitamin C too.
My gooooooodness! That’s ELEVEN wonderful benefits right there!!!
I knew the Lord was blessing me by opening up my interest in this wonderful world of apples and even, since I’m a bit dense, hammering it in a bit ~ though lovingly and gently.
But isn’t it just like Him to add a “cherry on top”?!?! Get this!!! ~ In the very next porch chat that Christina put out, she said at the very end: “And YOU are the APPLE of His eye”!
Thank You, Lord, for redeeming this amazing fruit that You created, and then for even using it to let me know how precious I am ~ we all are ~ to YOU!!!!