How interesting it is to be plunging myself into this chapter of Get Thin Stay Thin at this time. I feel like the Lord is dialoguing with me so specifically.
NOTE: For those joining me on the “Key #1 – Eat Only When My Body is Hungry” Challenge, I will continue today and I urge you to do so as well. Please continue to note how you *feel* in response to this challenge. Please, please continue to take these deeper feelings to the Lord and to allow Him to process them with you. I think you will see why as I share notes from Chapter 3 of Get Thin Stay Thin.
Grace is freedom that conforms us from within; legalism is bondage that constrains us from without. GTST, p. 58
Legalism says we must shape up by adhering to fixed formulas or a rigid set of laws or codes. This is a deception, however, because no external constraint (legalism) can satisfy our need for love and intimacy, nor can it create a pure heart. GTST, p. 58
why, as though you still belonged to it,
do you submit to its rules:
21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?
22These are all destined to perish with use,
because they are based on human commands and teachings.
23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom,
with their self-imposed worship,
their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body,
but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
No matter how much I may turn to externals (even the Keys to Conscious Eating!), I have a heart issue that is much deeper than my weight, body, and food issues. In fact, as I have attempted this week to “Eat Only When Hungry,” it has been easy to see these surface for me. There has been, on the one hand, this frustrating sense that “WHY IS FOOD SO ALLURING when I am NOT HUNGRY?” and the white-knuckle approach in response to this…and on the other hand, this “I am really something aren’t I? I went the entire day–the entire TWO days–eating only when hungry!”
There is condemnation and this pride…both are aspects to my flesh that the Lord wants to sift–to be rid of. Neither serve in becoming more Christ-like.
I don’t want to turn the Keys to Conscious Eating into a set of laws. I have done that before. God allowed a stomach ulcer to change my focus when I couldn’t land at a 0 or a 5 without a lot of pain. He reminded me:
My sheep know my voice and they respond to me.
This is grace! This is intimacy with God fleshed out in my workaday world! The Keys to Conscious Eating are guidelines, but the final say is with God! He decides if right now I should eat or not. Sometimes he asks me to fast a while in prayer–even when I am hungry! I don’t want to cling to “my right” to eat when I am at “0.” I may miss something he wants to do in me, through me or say to me as I wait on HIM in my need.
Because he is so amazing, he has made my body reliable. As Psalm 139 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He never intended food to torment me but established a simple system…hunger–when I should eat…physical satiety–when I should stop eating. Simple! No need to obsess. Just live!
With regard to Ephesians 3:16-19, the authors write:
It is this love, this out pouring of God’s grace, that works the transformation of our innermost being so that we delight in pleasing him–indeed, live to please him. When we love Christ and our desire is to please him in everything, we are released from clinging to rules, regulations, and performance. We experience a profound freedom and at the same time are given power to live out that freedom, for Christ sent the Holy Spirit to enable us to live, not by the letter of the law, but by its spirit, and its spirit is love. GTST, p. 61
for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2because through Christ Jesus
the law of the Spirit of life
set me free from the law of sin and death.
–> How about pride? Have you in some way allowed yourself to feel an ungodly sense of pride that you are abiding by external regulations or rules? Let those of us who struggle with this ask the Lord to help us today to just love him…love him, OH…LOVE HIM! And hearken to HIS voice…and reject performance and the condemnation and pride it can bring.
Below is a song that speaks so much to my heart. I hope it ministers to you. The words are below the video.
By Your Side – Performed by 10th Avenue North
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
Chorus: And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go