I’ve been thinking about the excuses I use to keep from doing what God is calling me to do. I know that I will make the time needed to do the things I want to do, but those things that He asks me to do that feel like stepping off a cliff, and I know I will have absolutely no control over the matter or the outcome, I tend to hold back and tell God that surely tomorrow will be early enough to take that jump. Our loving Father is good at asking us to step out of our comfort zones! I know that is where I experience the most growth, but it is still uncomfortable and too easy to put off. I can’t help but remember all the times I have said that I will start my diet tomorrow, or I’ll eat healthier tomorrow, or I’ll start going to the gym or working out or give up this favorite food because it is so bad for me or start eating that non-favorite food just because EVERYONE is saying it is a “super food” and so good for me that I just have to add it to my daily eating plan. Do you get the gist? Do you identify? There is an old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Thank the Lord that I am not on that road, but my good intentions have never gotten me to where I want to be. And if I’m honest with myself, those good intentions are nothing more than excuses. Did you know that in Ecclesiastes 11:4 it tells us that if we wait for the perfect time, we will never get anything done? And, do you know that God’s boundaries of eating within hunger and satisfaction don’t come with all the rules I listed above? Those good intentions leave me in bondage while God’s boundaries lead me into freedom.
So what happens in my life when I constantly say, “I’ll start tomorrow” or “next week” or “after this event or that celebration” (because we cannot possibly start eating “right” when we know we have a huge party or get-together on the horizon!)? When I say these things I am looking forward. The first problem with this is that I am not living in today. I have this terrible habit of playing out scenarios in my mind of “what if…” I can have a whole movie going on in my mind. You may be thinking, what’s wrong with that? Let me tell you. When I do this with planning way ahead, my focus isn’t on today and what needs to be done today. What is playing out in my head may not even happen. I look ahead for roadblocks that will make it impossible to move forward with God’s eating plan. The biggest problem is that there will always be roadblocks. I will always find an excuse to not start today. How sad that I forget God and His promise that He will always give a way out of temptation.
What happens when I say, “I’ll start later”? I never start. Is this your story too? Saying this sets me up for failure no matter what, and what I am really saying is, “If I can’t do it, then I am also not going to allow God to do it.” Ouch!! It hurts to even remember the times I’ve said such things.
Do we think that God would give us permission and grace by telling us, “Yes, eat as much as possible tonight, and tomorrow you can start being good at following the boundaries I have set for you? No, He wouldn’t for He tells us to be holy as He is holy. (All over Leviticus, and my favorite in Hebrews 12:14) Why do we give ourselves permission to do this same thing?
What does God’s Word say to me about putting off doing what His plan is for me? In Romans 13:14 I read that I need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy fleshly desires. So when I keep putting off what I need to do and what God wants me to do, I am doing nothing more or less than planning to satisfy my greedy flesh that in its natural state wants more than its fair share. In 1 Peter 2:11, I am urged to live in this world as an alien and a temporary resident and to abstain from fleshly desires that war against me. Yes, it is a war, and so much of my time has been spent trying to fight it. And I hate to say this, but I wasn’t fighting very hard. My flesh wouldn’t let me.
I want to live the rest of my life with the phrase “I’ll start tomorrow” removed from my vocabulary. I want to live the rest of my life committed to God’s lifelong boundaries. It won’t be easy, but I want to see what my life will look like. I want to see what plans God has in store for me and the only way I will see is with a clear head that is no longer living in a food fog. I know that God wants me to make this commitment because in doing so, I am letting go of the reins and handing them over to the only ONE that can do more than I could ever hope or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
Dear God, my Creator and the Lover of my soul, create in me a pure heart that seeks to honor You above all, with my mind, my heart, my soul, my words and my food. Lord God, break the strongholds of overeating and putting off till later what needs to be done now. Break the idols of food focus and procrastination in my heart. Remove from my lips the words, “I’ll start tomorrow.” I want to live in the now in total surrender to You. I want nothing in my life that is held above You or that I run to instead of You. You are my Strong Tower. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How about you? Are you ready to remove “I’ll start tomorrow” from your vocabulary? Are you willing to pray with me for God’s plan to be worked out in your life? I’ve jumped off that cliff. Will you join me? Our loving Father is there with His arms opened wide to catch us.