Our new nature in Christ is liberty: liberty from the bondage to food, eating, and weight; liberty from the shackles of the painful past; and liberty from the grave clothes of our addictions. Through his grace we experience the powerful movement of the Spirit from within us, the consequence of the Spirit’s authority in our lives. As we stop relying on ourselves and start trusting God, we find that, rather than being controlled by our obsessions with food, eating, and weight, our patterns of sin and addiction can be broken. GTST, p. 168
For years, not only have I made FOOD a big focus of my life, but I also have made dieting a big focus. And, even, NON-dieting (Thin Within) a big focus of my life. Everything, it seems, was about food and weight or about “breaking free” from food and weight. God is showing me that this, too, can be a ruse to dealing with the deeper issues.
So, he has been scraping my life clear of these “solutions.” In the big emptiness that remains, God’s grace is moving in and through…There is a mighty desert where the fire of the Spirit has scorched the briars, thistles and weeds of my attempted solutions–all the things I have filled my life with to “fix” myself. But now, the wind of His Spirit blows through as well. I sense His presence mightily. It is, at times, overwhelming. It is astonishingly refreshing and I see clearly…that I have been trying to fix myself, even these past two and a half years. I lay that down. I CHOOSE to trust God with this. To no longer be controlled by obsessions of any kind. Even “I am fixing it” obsessions.
In keeping with the Lazarus theme and this very thing that the Lord is laying on my heart, this passage so summarizes my longing:
I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss
compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them rubbish,
that I may gain Christ
and be found in him,
not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,
but that which is through faith in Christ—
the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection
and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death,
and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Everything a loss? Even the good things!
I am experiencing this freedom as never before, but it is definitely coming through the fellowship of sharing in sufferings.
The tension between the old nature and the new nature may prompt us simply to try harder to control our actions in order to promote a pattern of behavior in accordance with the Spirit. However, the means toward life in the Spirit is not one of trying harder or of perfection attained through legalistic controls–the means toward new life is grace…we observe our behavior and correct it with the compassion of Christ. GTST, p. 169
This is where I have to spout off again WITH JOY– I am deeply loved by God, I am completely forgiven by God. I am fully pleasing to God. I am totally acceptable and accepted by God. I am a new creation, complete in Christ! IS THIS NOT CAUSE TO DO THE HAPPY DANCE? Such JOY there is in embracing these TRUTHS!
Ok, just a reality check here…in light of these TRUTHS, what can food for any reason other than fuel, really offer me? Nothing. What can diet coke offer me? Nothing. This stuff is my real food and drink. It is SO sustaining.
God is feeding my hungry soul.
I pray the same for you. It is a bear letting my soul stay hungry long enough to wait for Him or for me to recognize His presence–to wait and not to feed it something (anything), but waiting for him, he brings home truth to which I have been NUMB for so long. I can’t just partially “numb out.” If I numb myself to pain, I will also be numb to joy, truth, peace…”That ain’t no way to live!”