Yesterday, I was using a set of Barb Raveling’s questions to truth journal. I have challenged myself to do this exercise at least once a day and each session has been insightful and rewarding. At the end of yesterday’s session, I wrote down the words BELIEVE, TRUST, INVITE, SURRENDER. The Lord has been speaking these words to me lately and I knew that they were important in my journey with Him. I looked for a way to help me remember the words daily and then it struck me – BITES! (The Holy Spirit impressed upon me the word for “E” so that I could use this acronym).
Believe – The Lord gave me this word in prayer this month. He wants me to not only believe in Him, but to believe Him. I must believe that He is working in me and through me. I pray that I will believe Him and that He will help my unbelief. I pray to believe what He says about my true identity as His child.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. (1 Thessalonians 23-24).
Invite – I invite Him into all aspects of my life – He is invited to each meal, into this process that deals with eating, into my thoughts and really into all of my choices in my life. In my healing from the dieting mentality and the control of food and exercise, I have learned that much of this is a heart issue. Therefore, I invite Him to change my heart – to remove greed, envy and covetousness and to make it pure and wielded to His way.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and rightspirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
Trust – I trust Him, that in His goodness, mercy and faithfulness, He will set me on the right path. I trust that He uses all things, including our suffering and challenges, for good. He is Abba, the perfect Papa, and He is trustworthy. And, it becomes easier to trust Him as I get to know Him better. I accomplish this by reading His Word, praying, and renewing my mind with His Truth.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Exclaim – praise and truth. I cry out to the Lord – I name who He is, what His character traits are and what He does for His people. My “God list” and praise fests help me to do this.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.(Psalm 100)
I also exclaim His Truth in moments of doubt and temptation. He answers those who call on Him. He will provide a way out of temptation. And the Word of God is the sword in the battle against the enemy and the flesh (Ephesian 6:10-17).
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
Surrender – For me, this really gets to the bottom of it all. Absolute surrender – in all ways and in all things – to the Lord is the path to a life of freedom and peace. If I believe that He created my body intentionally with its particular hunger signal and if I know that He has called me to eat within the boundaries of 0 and 5, I then desire to surrender my eating to Him. I need to submit to His authority on this and all things.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:6-8)
So, I am now thinking about BITES as I take each bite during my meals. It keeps me focused on God (not my flesh) and my goal (freedom from the control of food).
How About You?
How do these words speak to you? Does the Holy Spirit lead you to different verses? Different definitions? Different words?
The ancient mariners used the stars as their guides. Alone on the dark sea, a bright star or blazing constellation told the sailors which way to steer. True North was never hard to find. And if they made a wrong turn, they knew it immediately based on the position of the stars and the boat.
In ThinWithin, however, we often feel as if we’re steering without starlight. Let me explain.
Since my days as a child, I learned how to make choices according to right and wrong. There was moral certainty. There were immediate consequences. If my mother told me not to put my hand on the hot stove, I knew what was expected of me. And if I disobeyed, I immediately felt the pain of my bad choice. I knew my mother was right because I felt pain when I disobeyed. If she told me not to steal a toy from my brother, and I did, I got immediate consequences. So choosing right or wrong was all about avoiding unpleasant consequences.
Now that I am trying to live within 0-5 eating guidelines, however, there is no immediate, obvious consequence for disobedience. If I eat past my Spirit-led boundaries, nothing seems to happen. I don’t feel pain. No one sends me to my room. Likewise, if I skip eating when I am at a 0, nothing seems to happen, either. There are no immediate, obvious, painful consequences.
However, a much more powerful force is already at work, unseen.
In Thin Within, we are learning to be led by the Spirit. We are learning to listen for God’s still, small voice. We aren’t making choices based on consequences….we’re making choices based on listening. And that can be so powerful, because in our adult lives, there are precious few choices that are clearly right or wrong. There is so much uncertainty and opportunity. We make daily, important choices about love, life, career, children…most of which cannot be neatly categorized as right or wrong. Many of our choices don’t even seem to have immediate consequences. But we need to listen if we are to live our best lives, because choices have a cumulative effect.
That is the second, sneaky principle at work….our choices are cumulative. One binge might not change our lives, but a week, a month, a year of binges? They have the power to destroy so much that we hold dear. One slip past 5 might not matter, but a habit of disobedience can steal much more than our peace. (and our God-given weight!)
That’s why I am willing to wrestle with my self-will on a daily basis. I may not feel pain if I eat outside of my boundaries; but I can’t make choices based on pain and consequences. I want to make choices based on what I hear: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). I want to listen for the Lord, because He has such stormy waters to lead me through. He has places of beauty and rest ahead, too, and if I make my decisions based on what I feel, instead of what I hear, I might miss them.
And I don’t want to miss the best that God has for me. I don’t want you to miss the best God has for you, either!
What About You?
Are you tempted to “cheat” if you don’t sense any consequences ?
Do you feel pain of any kind if you disobey? Is it easy to ignore, or not?
If you train yourself to make decisions by listening to God’s leading, how would this impact your entire life?
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.
~ Hosea 6:1-3
Have you experienced what you feel is failure since being on this journey? If so, then you are perfectly poised to experience the loving, gracious, total restoration of our God!
Join me in this video as I talk a bit about one man who, after a mountain top victory, plunged deep and hard into depression–and the marvelous way our gracious God met him. (As you watch the video, you may want to open your bible to 1 Kings 18 and 19. Then you can follow along with the story.)
Sometimes, failure comes after the greatest victory we have ever experienced. Elijah is a great example of this.
1. (01:25) Elijah challenges the people to choose between two options. Do you ever feel torn between what God offers you and another option, provided by the world? Is this ambivalence, perhaps, keeping you from clarity? What can you do about it?
2. Consider the part of the story where God consumes the sacrifice. In what way did God do something that was “unlikely” in the eyes of the world? What “unlikely” results are you looking for from God in this approach to eating and weight? What does the world keep saying about what needs to happen in order for you to lose weight? Are you confident that God can do the unlikely thing through unlikely means?
3. Have you ever had a victory that flooded you full of joy and confidence and then, immediately following, you felt depleted of anything and everything…even, depressed?
4. How did Elijah’s focus change during this account, from the time he looked to God to consume the sacrifice to the time he ran out into the desert? Have you struggled with this focus shift, too? What are some practical things you can do to eliminate this tendency from your life?
5. (04:54) In what tender ways did God meet Elijah when he was at his lowest point? What did Elijah need when he was at his lowest point?
6. Has God ever asked you “What are you doing here?” If he were to ask you that now, what could you say about where you are currently…and why you are where you are? What can you do to move further down the path that God has opened up before you?
7. (07:32) What might you need to do in order to experience the restoration that God offers to you?
8. (08:54) What other example does the video point out of an incident where God restores one of his people who had wandered far afield?
Renewing the Mind – Pressing On
Have you created any truth cards yet? Here are some things you can do with your truth cards:
1. Read some of them out loud daily. When we see them, say them, and hear ourselves say them, that is truth being spoken to our souls in three different modalities. It is more likely to sink in!
2. Add a new truth daily. Just the process of thinking of what is true that I want to speak to my soul can help set us on a better path. Doing it first thing in the morning can establish the tone for the day.
3. Record yourself saying all your truth cards and then listen to the recording like you would any song on your device. Most devices these days come with an ability to make an audio recording digitally. Use your device to record yourself. Then the file is typically saved in the same format as songs you would download from Amazon or iTunes (or whatever). Add it to a playlist that has songs that sing truth over you. Then, no matter what you are doing, play your playlist…as you drive, run errands, etc. You can even use your bluetooth with your smartphone to have truth washing over your mind all the time–and no one is the wiser…they will just think you are waiting for a phone call. 🙂
All kinds of photos of truth cards have been posted at the private group Facebook page. Come and have a look.
If you need more ideas for renewing your mind, click on this search here at the Thin Within blog.
Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 10th.
Just to clarify: Our online class is primarily a workbook study group. But because many don’t have the workbook, I provide the study guides as a courtesy to those who have the Thin Within paperback. This is intended for people who choose this option instead of the workbook. Please don’t try to do both at the same time! 🙂 Here is Study Guide Week 5. Please feel free to discuss the material here or in the private Facebook group.
Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 10th.
1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 5, Restoration, on pages C3-C7 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 5 at Sound Cloud. Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.
2. If you don’t have it yet, you might want to download the iTunes app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. There are lots of great tools available in the app and all the videos and Sound Cloud files are accessible directly from the app.
3. Complete the exercises for Lesson 5 on pages C8-C14. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C15.
4. We are heading into Phase 2 of Thin Within. Begin to notice what foods sustain you, which foods make you feel cruddy or deplete your energy in some way (even when eaten 0 to 5) and which foods sort of “tease” your hunger a bit, rather than satisfy it.
5. Continue to add to your “God List.” Try having a Praise Fest once this week when you are struggling with temptation. Share about it here or at the Facebook group.
6. Use the entries for Day 29 through Day 35 in the Temple Toolkit. What are some of the insights that you are recording in your Toolkit? Consider sharing “What God is Teaching Me Today” with us here or at the Facebook group.
7. Memorize Titus 2:11-12 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards. What might living a self-controlled, upright, and godly life look like for you? Can you be specific?
How About You?
Do you need restoration? What do the Scriptures say about God’s desire to reach out to you and meet you in your need? Psalm 3:3; Psalm 27:1b, 5; Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 147:2-3; Jeremiah 31:3-4; Philippians 1:6;
The recording of our webinar wrapping up Lesson 4 can be found here.
I will share the discussion questions for the webinar as soon as they are available.
Recently I gained an important piece of understanding as to why I over eat at times. In our ThinWithin studies, we read about idols and sacrifices. I looked up some of the words in the verses and boy did I get an eye opener.
2 Chronicles 14 talks about the altar that was in the portico of the temple. The portico was a covered entryway outside the temple in front of the steps. Before one could go inside the temple, one would have to pass through the portico (where we get the word porch) and give a sacrifice upon the altar. It would either be to The Lord or to an idol. Those were, and still are, the only two choices.
The altar was always conspicuous and prominent, for all to see. It was a central place of celebration where others were privy to see one’s sacrifice. In fact, some even boasted for all to see the great sacrifice they made. Perhaps their idol was pride.
The portico is not the temple. It’s not where the Lord resides. It’s the gateway to the Lord, who is in the temple. He chose to save us and reside in our bodies and make his dwelling place within us. He knew how magnificent it would be. He chose to live in a manner that we might have intimate communion with Him at all times.
The altar is the place of sacrifice and celebration that stands erect to guard the entrance of our lives. The scriptures continue by instructing us to repair this altar. It is in disarray. How do we repair it? We start by mourning for our sin. We have worshipped idols in place of the true God. We turn from that practice and honestly admit our wrongs, asking for Gods help. This isn’t a one time event, but rather a daily occurance.
We begin to determine what it is that we have sacrificed so we can over eat? Was it our health, energy, body image, confidence, peace, joy, fellowship, intimacy, growth, trust or …
Here are my idols, Lord; comfort and fear, ease and shame, condemnation fear of rejection. All these I have bowed to and sacrificed to. Forgive me and cleanse me. I want to bow only to You and bring a worthy sacrifice to You, which is my own body.
It reads on to say that the next step is to tear down the idols, with courage. How does that work? How do we tear down comfort? We stop trusting in our own ways to find comfort. We stop looking to those ways to help us. We refuse to go back to our old ways and we turn to God. We bow only to Him from now on. When we falter, we begin again, returning to the altar to presesnt our body as a living sacrifice to God.
When we desire to go into our inner life, that secret place where God dwells with us, first we go into the portico and we make a sacrifice of our own ways, our own strength, our fears, shame and condemnation. We lay all of self on the altar. We celebrate and rejoice for all his mighty deeds and transformation. THEN we enter into the depths of our life in Christ. THEN we receive all God has for us. THEN He communes with us. Because all the idol worship and barriers have been torn down. Worship in spirit and truth has been rebuilt in its place. THEN we overcome. THEN we are changed by grace.
Each of us must go through our own portico to build an altar. It’s the way God made for us.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.”
Perhaps you don’t have the same idols I once did. Perhaps you bring your sacrifice of food to some inner pain, or unfilled dreams, depression, impatience, pride, rejection, hopelessness.. . I suppose the list is endless. Sacrificing food to our idols keeps us in bondage because we aren’t able to reach the Lord. He’s waiting for us just inside the Temple.
We are all learning so much from ThinWithin about communing with God and being transformed. He is available to each of us. But it is imperative that we tear down the idols and enter the secret place in the temple to begin our rebuilding journey with God. He has a perfect plan.
How about you?
Can you identify with any of the idols Cathy mentioned? If yes, did that surprise you? Are you ready and willing to present your body as a sacrifice to God? Have you been able to get beyond the front porch of your own life? Do you have a sincere desire to experience real victory from your disordered eating?
Cathy lives in Lakemoor, IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL. She and her husband, Joe are empty nesters, not counting the three cats they adopted. They have a total of six children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys prayer walks and great fellowship. Reading and writing are still her favorite subjects.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you’ve been following the blog in the past 10 months (or even longer) or you are participating in the 2014 Thin Within Workbook Class, you have probably read or heard a lot about the importance of renewing our mind when it comes to changing the way we have been eating. And this week the workbook study is talking about God’s grace. Recently, the Lord has shown me something spectacular that I wanted to share.
I understood the importance of renewing my mind, which for me has meant taking time each day (at least once a day, if not twice), to read my truth cards. I’ve also been very slowly going through Barb Raveling’s book, Taste For Truth, which is all about renewing our minds when it comes to our weight loss journey. I understood why I needed to renew my mind in a proactive way (before the temptation to overeat), but what I was having a hard time understanding was how to renew my mind after I’ve overeaten.
And then one night last week I had one of those moments of eating way more than my body needed. I stopped immediately after the incident and sat down with my journal, truth cards, and my iPhone that has Barb Raveling’s app ‘I Deserve a Donut’ and also the new Thin Within app. The first thing I did was I wrote to the Lord in my journal, telling Him about what happened, asking Him to forgive me, and asking Him for help. I also wrote down how my body felt after eating too much. I also noted that I hadn’t spent time earlier that day renewing my mind. Then I wrote down the reason I don’t like overeating. I opened the section on Barb’s app about regret, which I hadn’t noticed before. It fit perfectly to how I was feeling and what I was thinking. I answered the questions in my head and read through the scriptures. And then I went to the Thin Within app and wrote down some of the scriptures in my journal that were under ‘failure’. Those scriptures were:
The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. Psalm 25:8
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
After I spent time renewing my mind after I felt like I had failed, I no longer felt like a failure, and I no longer carried this regret or condemnation. I felt renewed in my mind and like I was back right where I needed to be. Praise the Lord! It was such an encouragement to see how God worked in all of that, and all I had to do was take the time to sit in His presence. I’m so thankful for His mercy and grace!
I believe it was a day or two after that incident that I read something really refreshing from Barb’s Taste for Truth book. She said, “You are not set free by following your boundaries perfectly. You’re set free by the renewing of your mind. Failure is an opportunity to renew your mind once again.” That REALLY spoke to me! I even wrote it in my truth cards. And in my own words I wrote this:
I am set free because of what God does when I renew my mind.
I am set free because I renew my mind.
I follow my boundaries because I renew my mind.
This has given me a whole new outlook on failure. I don’t have to look at failure as an “oh well, I failed, I guess I might as well eat” or beat myself over the head with the club of condemnation. I can now look at failure as yet another reason I can renew my mind! I will overcome by going to God each time I fail. I come to Him, He helps me, I am set free, and then I can move forward.
I had a moment today and after I sat down and renewed my mind. The Lord met me and again, I was able to move forward with no regrets and with His amazing peace. I feel like I’ve found this key to overcoming and I’m just so excited! I will renew my mind about this as long as it needs to take, even if I have to fill journal upon journal. I am not going to give up! I know there is power in the Word of God! I will stand upon the Rock of Christ Jesus! He is helping me and through Him I am victorious! Amen!
How about you?
What do you think would happen if you spent time renewing your mind after you feel like you’ve failed? I truly believe that each time we go to God and renew our mind after we’ve eaten outside of our boundaries that we are going to one day find that we are no longer going to give in to the temptation to overeat. It won’t even be an issue anymore. I look at taking the time to renew my mind as part of the victory! The Lord wants us to come to Him after we’ve had a “moment”; He wants to meet with us and fill us with His truth and love!
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Eating is the main issue in my life that I have to be very heavily reliant on God with because of the struggle I have had with food. I have to rely on God for strength to overcome these issues. The key is surrender and to keep renewing my mind.
I have to be honest and say that when I “want” to and when I “choose” to be out of control with my eating, I back off from my relationship with God. YIKES! That is scary. That causes serious issues with complacency in my walk with God.
Food is the issue that I need His help the most with, but when I am not willing to change, I try to keep it hidden from God which is completely crazy! My track record shows that to be the case though. It reminds me of Adam and Eve covering their nakedness from God when they had eaten the forbidden fruit.
Genesis 3: 10 (NIV) He answered,
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
YEP that’s me to a tee…hiding from God when I choose to be out of boundaries with my food. (Out of boundaries for me is out of control, eating what I want when I want it and you can’t tell me NO or I might just throw a grown up temper tantrum! And of course binge eating…yuck..sad but true).
Have you seen this paragraph from Thin Within Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Series, page B-4?
“Our God is unchanging. He has always dealt with His people with mercy and grace. Even in the garden when Adam and Eve were given only one directive, which they broke, God Himself provided the first ‘sacrifice’ by slaying the animals for the skins which their clothing would be made.”
So basically this tells me that I need to STOP! Go to God! He is not mean!!! (Note: Making a God List will really help you see God the way He should be seen.)
I am ready for a LIFELONG CHANGE!
This is what I want:
INTIMACY WITH GOD & Peace with Food and my body (His temple), and to be at my natural God-given intended size;
To see God for who He is (absolutely awesome!) and to see myself how He sees me.
When I stay in 0 to 5, hunger to satisfaction, eating and spend/invest time in prayer and renewing my mind with the Word and various, reputable resources (i.e. Soundcloud, here at the blog, Thin Within materials, Barb Raveling’s “I Deserve a Donut” and “Taste for Truth”), I feel like a person who has been set free from prison or captivity.
I knew how to do this 0 to 5 thing. I knew exactly how to do it and had fantastic intentions for this past year, BUT I just couldn’t bring myself to follow through, to renew my mind or to stay between hunger and satisfaction. I even knew, based on my past experiences, that I had the key to remove the shackles, but I just could not/would not do it! Why? It reminds me of Romans 7:15 that states:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
I really wanted change, but not badly enough to put any REAL, LASTING effort into it. I wasn’t ready to lay my lover of food down. Boy does that sound bad! It reminds me of Hosea.
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him,
“Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her,
for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”
I was promiscuous with my idol of food and I didn’t really want to let it go even though I knew that I would feel better, look better, and ultimately have the peace and joy that comes from eating that way and drawing close to God. But look at this. God is my Redeemer!
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels[a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” Hosea 3:1-3
Thank God for being my Redeemer. I didn’t feel worth redeeming, but do you think Hosea’s wife was “worthy” of being redeemed or that she felt worthy? Maybe it is hard for us to understand, but God sees us so differently than we see ourselves.
Hosea 14: 4 says “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.”
In the Thin Within Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Series, page B-5, it says:
“As we cease from running and respond to God’s outstretched arms, we experience the joy of His presence as we choose to say yes to His will for us. He brings the captive out of captivity and restores us to a “land” of hope and promise. We are transformed from within by the renewing of our mind according to the Word of God.”
DO YOU WANT THE MAJOR KEY TO LASTING CHANGE?
Here it is.
RENEW YOUR MIND!
It is so vital to renew your mind. Not only should 0 to 5 eating be our weight release/maintenance tool, but renewing of the mind should be our maintenance tool too.
Hosea 13:6 says “When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.”
God is satisfying me with 0 to 5, but I don’t want to get prideful or cocky about that. I have before! I stopped renewing my mind before and the end result was not a good one. BUT THERE IS HOPE! God is doing a new thing. I have laid the shackles down. I feel so free! I have over 100 lbs to get rid of, but I am not focused on that. I long for intimacy with God and to be restored to a healthy relationship with food and my body.
SURRENDER – that was my 1st step. Will you surrender today? Trust me…it’s worth it!
What About You?
Do you ever struggle with being willing to change? Are you ready to make a lifelong commitment to not only 0 to 5 eating, but also to renewing your mind? If not, what is stopping you? Have you surrendered to God instead of using your own strength? Let’s start today walking out a life of surrender to God, committing to eating 0 to 5, and renewing your mind. We can do this!
Adriane lives in NC with her husband, Shawn, and 3 kids, Marissa (10), Allie (8) and Judah (2). Adriane is involved in children’s ministry and also loves to co-lead worship with her husband.