Are you battling sin? Do you fear that you will never break free from the cravings and obsessions that follow those of us who struggle with disordered eating? I have good news for you and it is found in Romans 6:8-11. Bask in the truth of this scripture.
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised for the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
So, we are dead to sin according to scripture. Maybe you are sitting there thinking, “Yeah, right. I sure don’t feel dead to my sin.” Maybe you have cried out to God time after time, then became determined that you are just not going to do that thing (overeat, binge, restrict, condemn) anymore, yet to go back to it time and time again. Believe me, dear reader, I have been there.
There are things in this life that I absolutely cannot do for myself. I can’t save myself. It is only by the grace of God through my faith in Jesus Christ that I receive the gift of salvation (Romans 10:9). I can’t forgive my own sins. Only God is faithful and just to forgive my sins (1 John 1:9) because I am His child through Christ Jesus (1 John 2:12). But, when it comes to change, I feel like I have the power and strength to do it myself. Learning at an early age to be self-sufficient has made this lie a tough one for me to lay down.
I was reading about Lazarus the other day. I love this picture from the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 11:1-44). It is made even more real to me in my own life as I continue to work the program of Hunger Within. In Hunger Within we learn about the “grave clothes” that God wants to remove from us in order to bring about healing in our lives in the areas of our disordered eating. The healing of the food issues transfers to all areas of our lives for which I am so grateful. So, picture Lazarus, dead in his tomb. He’s been dead 4 to 6 days before Jesus arrives. Jesus comes and wants God’s glory to shine forth in raising Lazarus from the dead. This is exactly what Jesus wants to do in our lives as we look to Him and His power to heal us (from disordered eating and every other trial). He wants God’s glory to be revealed in our lives. But, what if Lazarus had decided he was too comfortable being dead and didn’t want to be brought back to life? Can you picture it? Jesus says, “Lazarus, come forth!” And Lazarus says, “No Lord, I’m comfortable being dead. I don’t want to be brought back to life.” Can you picture Lazarus saying, “NO” to the power that Jesus was ready to show of God’s glory (this is our Abba Father who loves us!) to those watching and waiting to see what Jesus would do? I can’t imagine saying no to Jesus. But, dear reader, isn’t that what we say when we fail at this way of eating? We find ourselves comfortable in our desires and compulsions. We realize there are things we don’t want to let go of. We feel safe wrapped up in our grave clothes. Don’t we find ourselves saying we can’t eat this way or that we will never change; we are just wired this way? Don’t we find ourselves drawn back into the world of current favorite diets? Don’t we want to be accepted by the crowds around us who are doing just that? Do you tire of people looking at you with strange looks when you say, “I don’t diet anymore. I eat within the boundaries of hunger and fullness…you know 0 to 5 eating?”
Dear reader, if you identify yourself as a true Jesus follower, and by that I mean that you had a time in your life that you admitted you were a sinner and needed a Savior, you have within you the same power that raised Lazarus from the dead. I do, and you do! If you are tired of a sin/repent cycle, grab a hold of the Lord and allow His power to work in you. I am. Day by day I surrender my disordered eating to Him. I surrender the compulsions. I surrender the things I obsessively think about that distract me from the work He is doing in my life. His resurrection power is real. Our Abba Father loves us and He wants to transform us into the image of His Son. After the beloved verse of Romans 8:28 lays Romans 8:29. It says, “For those God fore-knew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” That is us dear reader. God wants to change us. We just need to lay down control and say, “Yes, Lord. Change me. I am dead to sin, and alive in Christ.”
When sin calls my name, I can choose through the power of Christ Jesus to say, “NO. I am dead to you and alive in Christ Jesus!”
Dear reader, let’s be like Lazarus, who upon hearing his Lord’s voice broke forth from death into life, and accept that we cannot heal ourselves, but with the power of Christ Jesus, we can be healed and brought into life.