So often we think what we need to do is figure out HOW to…HOW to “do” Thin Within. HOW to stop eating so much. HOW to say no to self.
The truth is, life needs to stop being a “how to…” and start being a “Who to…”
Instead of the HOW…we have to be willing to set aside our steps, strategies, devices…and turn TO the Lord. So often we run from him and then we dive face first into food.
Or we go to the other extreme and run from him as we diet our way into a legalistic, self-sufficient, arrogant, self-righteousness.
So, instead of the HOW to, I think Judy Halliday is right. We need to shift to a “WHO to”…WHO do we run to? The Lord, our strong tower, our stronghold, our Rock, our fortress, our deliverer.We take captive one moment at a time and nest ourselves safely in Him…rest in the shadow of his wings for this moment. One moment at a time, we run TO him, look TO him, be IN Him…
So, the question of HOW to pull this off…HOW to start eating 0 to 5 faithfully….it still comes back to the same song I have been singing for a long time. It comes back to this for me and for you, perhaps.
You have to make the choice to say NO to the flesh in the moment. You have to choose in the moment to run TO the Lord.
If you look at the big picture (“I have 100 pounds to lose!” or “It will take SO long!” or “Will I EVER stop wanting food!?”) you may end up feeling overwhelmed and like you have to write the entire thing off.
But if you look at THIS moment and reject self-indulgence in THIS moment and turn TO the Lord, then you are on your way. It may never be easy. It may always require us to actively choose to die to SELF and lean heavily on the Lord. Then, there may be times when it IS easy.
I have found that the thing that is turning around the moment by moment choice for me is to choose to delight in God’s provision. In Numbers 11, we read a sobering account about discontentment of the Israelites. They craved that which was outside of God’s provision for them. It wasn’t the meat they wanted that was the problem. It was their rejection of God’s best and loving provision. I have found myself like this. God has ordained that my body need only a little bit of food in order to manage life. Really, it is quite astounding. If it were anything other than my body and my food, I would be delighted at how “frugal” I can be!
If my Yukon XL gas tank appeared to be on empty and I pulled up to the gas station to fill it up and $5 was enough to FILL the gas tank full, I would be THRILLED. So little to accomplish so much!
Or if I wanted a hay shed full of hay and it only cost $50 to fill it…well, again, I would be thrilled that so much could be accomplished with so little.
My reaction, which is one of frustration and, even, anger, at times is proof that this isn’t about what I need. It is still about what I want. So the problem is that I must learn to be content.
There are things I can *do* practically to develop a heart of gratitude. I can take captive my discontented thoughts, reject them and replace them with scripture declaring God’s glory. Today I have found myself rejecting moping about how little food I “get” to eat and intentionally praising God outloud for who He is, his attributes. It is transforming not just how I feel about eating, but how I feel about life.
When I am all about my performance, it is my food, my will, my weight, my my my, me me me.
When I change my focus to God, everything changes. It really does.
I know this sounds like pie in the sky, but a person has to try it…I mean really try it. Reject the thought of “I want more.” or “Nuts, I am already at 5.” And instead say, “Lord, by your power, I reject thoughts of discontentment right now. I choose to praise you for your provision. Thank you for all the food that I have, the variety, the textures, the opportunities I have to eat EACH time I am hungry. Thank you that you are Sovereign. King, Lord and that you have chosen to use food to draw me closer to you…that each time I want food when I am hungry, it is really about my heart calling out for something else…for you, Lord. I choose to cling to you right now when my heart wants to go to the food. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for the example of the Israelites in Numbers 11…and the hard lesson that is found in that account. A discontented heart will *always* crave *something*. Given all the food I need that still wouldn’t be enough, Lord…thank you for showing me that…”
Ok…this came from my heart just now. You would, obviously, want to pray from your own heart.
But I can’t ever look at the big picture. I see now that I may never be totally free from wanting food outside of God-given parameters. Ever.
Sure, I have released all my weight, but I see that God wants to use this thorn in my flesh to cause me to cling in humble dependence on Him. To teach me to run TO Him…constantly. Even that, I will learn to thank him and praise him for….