I am so glad to hear that some of you are joining in on this journey. I can’t stress enough that THE single most important thing, as I mentioned yesterday, will be for you to go to the Lord. Listen to what He says to you personally in His Word. Pray things through.

I have set a timer on my watch to beep at intervals. It reminds me to reconnect with Him and it has been incredibly helpful for reminding me that I am soooo dependent on Him. I believe that when someone starts this journey, it isn’t so much about losing weight as it is about gaining something so much more permanent…a heart that is intertwined with God Almighty. Yes, we have a relationship with him already (most of us), but as we take something so mundane as eating and the frequency with which we experience a desire or need to eat and use it to help us learn to lean on him…wow…it will revolutionize anyone’s life!

So, though it may not be what you are after, trust me a bit. 🙂 Let’s use scripture right now and for the next three days (at least?) to help us get our bearings of what might be good for a beginning. I wish we were sitting together in my living room, opening the Word. This will have to do for now! 🙂 You might want to look at Hebrews 12:1-3 in your own bible. Let’s have a mini bible study!

Part 1 of this Mini Bible Study is below. You may want to jot down your thoughts in a journal or in the margin of your bible. Before reading the verses that are in chapter 12, however, for context, chapter 11 is the list of many great people who have demonstrated a ton of faith over the years. The writer of the book of Hebrews has given an impressive list of how faith has been demonstrated in the lives of people who have endured amazing difficulties. It is with the list of these well-known characters in mind, that the words below were penned:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders 
and the sin that so easily entangles, 
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, 
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, 
scorning its shame, 
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, 
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
Hebrews 12:1-3

Let’s observe what is in this passage.We will only get through verse 1 today!

I am approaching this passage with this question…”What am I called to DO?”

Action #1: (vs. 1) Throw Off or “lay aside.”

What do we “throw off” according to this verse? “Everything that hinders”  and  the “sin that so easily entangles.” When I look up these words in Strong’s online concordance, I see that “sin” can be any path that leads away from God’s righteous ways or anything that misses the mark.

Consider, too, trying to run a race with a big backpack on your back or in huge steel-toed boots. Or, worse, something wrapped around your legs, flapping and twisting as you run. This is the way burdens and sin that God doesn’t intend for us to carry with us can affect us.

Apply: As you consider your life prayerfully, what are things that hinder you from being/doing what you sense God is calling you to be/do?
Apply: What beliefs, thoughts, words, acts is the Lord leading you to throw off that might be sin according to the definition above? 
Consider: God doesn’t call us to do this in our own strength. In His grace, He supplies the conviction and the ability to do the tossing off of hindrances, burdens, excess weights and sins!

Returning to the passage, asking the question of “What am I to do?”

Action #2: (vs 1) Run

How is the action to be performed? With perseverance. Click on this link to see what this word means in the original language.

What do we “run?” The race marked out for us. Again, using Strongs, the word translated “race” can mean: “the place of contest, the arena or stadium.”

Apply: As you consider the definition of perseverance, what images does this bring to your mind? In what ways are you willing to demonstrate “the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” How do you imagine this will be challenged in the days ahead with regard to food, eating, and your view of yourself and God? What can you do to continue to continue during these trials and sufferings?

Consider: The Lord will enable YOU to hang in there. For me, a vital part of my life’s journey is to realize that he doesn’t ask me to win the entire battle or run the entire race in one moment. He asks me only to put one foot in front of the other right now. One foot in front of the other in this moment again and again is what causes me to make it from one end of the course to the other.

I would love to hear from you if the Lord uses this passage to speak to you at all.

Practical: What can I DO? Whatever God calls me to set aside or toss off. He is calling me to do it now…just this moment. Not for the next 6 months, but right now. Will I? Will I commit to running? It may not be easy, but I can lean on him.

What am I willing to do to really grow and be changed? What am I willing to sacrifice in order to experience God’s best for me?