Recently I gained an important piece of understanding as to why I over eat at times. In our ThinWithin studies, we read about idols and sacrifices. I looked up some of the words in the verses and boy did I get an eye opener.
2 Chronicles 14 talks about the altar that was in the portico of the temple. The portico was a covered entryway outside the temple in front of the steps. Before one could go inside the temple, one would have to pass through the portico (where we get the word porch) and give a sacrifice upon the altar. It would either be to The Lord or to an idol. Those were, and still are, the only two choices.
The altar was always conspicuous and prominent, for all to see. It was a central place of celebration where others were privy to see one’s sacrifice. In fact, some even boasted for all to see the great sacrifice they made. Perhaps their idol was pride.
The portico is not the temple. It’s not where the Lord resides. It’s the gateway to the Lord, who is in the temple. He chose to save us and reside in our bodies and make his dwelling place within us. He knew how magnificent it would be. He chose to live in a manner that we might have intimate communion with Him at all times.
The altar is the place of sacrifice and celebration that stands erect to guard the entrance of our lives. The scriptures continue by instructing us to repair this altar. It is in disarray. How do we repair it? We start by mourning for our sin. We have worshipped idols in place of the true God. We turn from that practice and honestly admit our wrongs, asking for Gods help. This isn’t a one time event, but rather a daily occurance.
We begin to determine what it is that we have sacrificed so we can over eat? Was it our health, energy, body image, confidence, peace, joy, fellowship, intimacy, growth, trust or …
Here are my idols, Lord; comfort and fear, ease and shame, condemnation fear of rejection. All these I have bowed to and sacrificed to. Forgive me and cleanse me. I want to bow only to You and bring a worthy sacrifice to You, which is my own body.
It reads on to say that the next step is to tear down the idols, with courage. How does that work? How do we tear down comfort? We stop trusting in our own ways to find comfort. We stop looking to those ways to help us. We refuse to go back to our old ways and we turn to God. We bow only to Him from now on. When we falter, we begin again, returning to the altar to presesnt our body as a living sacrifice to God.
When we desire to go into our inner life, that secret place where God dwells with us, first we go into the portico and we make a sacrifice of our own ways, our own strength, our fears, shame and condemnation. We lay all of self on the altar. We celebrate and rejoice for all his mighty deeds and transformation. THEN we enter into the depths of our life in Christ. THEN we receive all God has for us. THEN He communes with us. Because all the idol worship and barriers have been torn down. Worship in spirit and truth has been rebuilt in its place. THEN we overcome. THEN we are changed by grace.
Each of us must go through our own portico to build an altar. It’s the way God made for us.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.”
Perhaps you don’t have the same idols I once did. Perhaps you bring your sacrifice of food to some inner pain, or unfilled dreams, depression, impatience, pride, rejection, hopelessness.. . I suppose the list is endless. Sacrificing food to our idols keeps us in bondage because we aren’t able to reach the Lord. He’s waiting for us just inside the Temple.
We are all learning so much from ThinWithin about communing with God and being transformed. He is available to each of us. But it is imperative that we tear down the idols and enter the secret place in the temple to begin our rebuilding journey with God. He has a perfect plan.
How about you?
Can you identify with any of the idols Cathy mentioned? If yes, did that surprise you? Are you ready and willing to present your body as a sacrifice to God? Have you been able to get beyond the front porch of your own life? Do you have a sincere desire to experience real victory from your disordered eating?