Rather than give a detailed summary of what is in the TLT workbook today, I am going to flesh it out.
Three things in this lesson:
1.) Take captive every thought and let Christ be the judge of whether or not the thought should be allowed entrance into the mind and heart. If Christ says no, reject the thought…but this must be done to see if CHRIST wants the thought in there. I can either take the thought captive or be taken captive by the thought. The passage is 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
2.) It isn’t enough to just reject negative thoughts. We must also embrace thoughts that are godly. This principle is found in Philippians 4:8. Do my thoughts (or what I am reading, watching, etc…) pass the “Philippians 4:8 Test?” The idea being I will only dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy. When it comes to rejecting negative thoughts, we have to also have something positive to think about…God’s Word provides that.
3.) Philippians 4:9 takes it a step further. Whatever we know to do, we are to DO it. This connects with the previous lessons.
This three step process will enable us to not be taken captive by lustful or greedy thoughts about food when we aren’t hungry. Or to allow ourselves be beaten up by the enemy when he accuses us.
And this is what I want to hash out here today…
This is very hard for me. Only a week ago (it feels like forever…) I obeyed what I felt the Lord wanted me to do and put the scale away “forever.” But this came at the tail end of a fasting of sweets which was in response to my reaction to having given up diet soda drinking (which I drank verrrry excessively).
But rather than throwing other “must dos” at myself in response to removing aspartame from my life, I should have *processed* what was going on in me when I removed the diet coke. That would have been a grace-filled thing to do.
While the caffeine withdrawals likely took only a few short days to weather through, the psychological and spiritual withdrawals from diet soda were much more severe and intense. I found myself gravitating toward sweet foods again.
So I fasted sweet foods. While I fasted sweets for about 10 days, I was at such peace…but when I allowed them in my life again, I found that a “dieting mentality” had crept back into my mind and heart. Subtly, my thinking had shifted from “all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial…I will not be mastered by anything…” to THESE ARE NOT permissible! THIS IS NAUGHTY! I am BAD! Followed by desperately rebelling against that rigidity…
At the same time, I knew there was one more stronghold in my life…that of depending on the bathroom scale. So I decided to remove it from my life. Do you see the desperation? I was throwing band-aids everywhere. Likely what I needed to do was *process* the removal of a significant thing from my life…diet soda. I missed that.
All of this was taking on a lot emotionally at one time. (This sounds so whiny and ridiculous to me…) I am not sure all of this at the same time was from the Lord. Certainly, I think he would have wanted me to process what was going on in my reaction as I came off of nutrasweet. I deflected really doing that. Instead I treated symptoms…fasted sugar. Adding more angst and emotional baggage, perhaps, to things that needed to be brought before the throne of God.
Ok, so where does that leave me today?
Today I pulled out the scale. (The voice says “Another failure…”) It reflected what I knew to be true. My eating is off kilter. I didn’t need the scale to tell me that, but I began to feel like NOT having a man-made number to attach to it at this stage of my journey was to be in denial.
I share this with such struggle…the accusations of the enemy have come to fruition. He laughs with glee. The scale actually says SIX POUNDS up. I need to confess this here…by way of keeping a lid on pride and by way of accountability. Given my accountability reports to my accountability partner, there must also have been a LOT of deception going on too!
This is where today’s lesson really comes home, though.
My response to this man-made arbitrary number (and the rest that goes with it) is deep sadness. Truthfully, it isn’t the number alone that makes me sad. It is the truth that my greed and DECEPTION has put me in the place that it shows up so quickly on the scale.
The thoughts that are now bombarding me for entrance into my life are all the same voices that the enemy has thrown at me for a couple of years now… “See? You ARE a fraud!” “You may think you have everyone fooled, but WE know the truth! The scale is finally proving it!” “You *are* a glutton! You ARE forever going to be a fat person trying to pretend she is someone else!” “Admit it! Give it up! You are a fake!”
These are the thoughts that are demanding entrance this morning.
The bottom line is this…the TRUTHS in my life are:
1.) I have been eating more than my body needs to be sustained
2.) Most of my eating outside of my godly boundaries has been sweet foods
3.) My physical body is beginning to carry the excess energy (By the way…before I got on the scale I knew this from the way my jeans were fitting…just a bit more snug…I didn’t really need the number to tell me anything!)
These are the TRUTHS.
In addition the following are truths as well:
4.) God is still God.
5.) I am still the Lord’s
6.) He is STILL doing a NEW thing in me right now!
7.) That which He has begun he WILL complete — His Word promises!
Going back to the steps outlined in today’s lesson in The Lord’s Table, then, step one is to surrender my thoughts to obedience to Christ. In this case, I must recognize that all the things that the enemy is whispering in my ear…they are LIES. So I will take captive each thought and bring it to God. He says “No…REJECT IT.” I will reject the enemy’s lies.
Step 2 then is to submit my thoughts to the Philippians 4:8 test. What is TRUE is vital here…so the list above is what I will rehearse in my mind today. Especially items 4-7 and related thoughts.
However, the truth is also that I have work to do relative to this whole nutrasweet dependency. Just because it is out of my life doesn’t mean I don’t have issues to deal with. It reminds me of addiction…often when you take the substance that is being abused out of a person’s life, they maintain the same behaviors, but with a different substance. Thus, the true issues aren’t dealt with.
God wants to deal with the underlying issues that motivate me to grab a hold of whatever it may be. He wants me to grab a hold of him no matter what! The only “substance” that I am to lean on is HIM.
Then thirdly, if I follow the lesson in TLT, I will DO what I know is best and right. For me, this has to include some ways of fighting negative thoughts today. So here is my battle plan:
1.) Gratitude blog today…I will write in it later today, but practice gratitude throughout the day
2.) I will get out my spiral cards and keep them with me today…bible verses are on them. I will work on memorizing a new one and review old ones I have memorized. I will pray the scriptures on them
3.) I will continue to pray every 60 minutes to reconnect with God (Soul Revolution the 60-60 experiment)
4.) I will keep praise music playing
5.) I will spend some time prayer journaling today…
I do plan on attacking the deeper issues as soon as TLT study is completed. My accountability partner and I will be going through the Hallidays’ Get Thin Stay Thin book together. (This book used to be called Thin Again and before that it was called Silent Hunger. It is a challenging book that looks at the underlying causes of our overeating (and other things)…it is what I need right now, even though I went through it some years ago…).
If I have a thought of “You weigh _____! You are a FRAUD!” I will combat that with, “I am more than a conqueror in Christ. God IS doing a new thing in me! I perceive it! I will fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of my faith…” and so on.
So…how about you? Do you have a battle of the mind going on today too? What can you do to apply these three things:
1.) Take captive thoughts to obedience to Christ?
2.) Submit your thinking, your doing, reading, watching to the Philippians 4:8 test?
3.) DO something that will be a response to what you KNOW? (Phil 4:9)?
Join me, ok? I am praying for you and for me…