Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

God is leading us into battle. He is our Conquering Hero and he leads us in a triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads EVERYwhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him (2 Corinthians 2:14). Let’s put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We are perfectly prepared for this. We have had four weeks of laying the ground work. We have our boundaries in place. We have a plan for renewing our minds. We have exposed the subtle deceptions involved in “Justification Eating” and “Entitlement Eating.”

This week, we are going to plunge even deeper smack  into the heart of the overeating issue. We do this, even though this is the time when many of us might be tempted to take a break.

Rather than head for the hills, the swimming pool, or a good fiction book, let’s GO AFTER THIS THING. Let’s go for the jugular and deal the DEATH BLOW so that the rest of our study is just icing on the cake (so to speak!).

Unlike Saul against the Amalekites, we are going to obey our God and take NO prisoners. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). will utterly destroy anything that condones apathy, overeating, associating copious quantities of food with “fun,” “fellowship,” and mood management.

We are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37). Like Gideon hiding out in a wine press, though it may seem unlikely, we are mighty warriors in Christ (Judges 6:12). We can scale any wall. We can stand on the heights! (See Psalm 18:29-36) It is time for us to put on who we are in Christ — who He has made us to be — and totally, 100% act like who we were born in Christ to be!

To do this, we need two things:

1.) To be honest. I know you already have been and I celebrate that! This week, we may peel back some of those “layers of the onion” and discover there is more to face into.

2.) To work hard. Again, I know you have been working hard. Thank you for that! Many of you are experiencing the NEW THING that we are promised God is DOING! Sometimes we don’t perceive it, but he IS DOING a new thing–right now. Let’s not lose any momentum right now. Let’s resolve to PRESS ON THROUGH!

As we have continued in our study, I realized that one VITAL thing we have to deal with is:

Why has overeating/food/body image been a stronghold in our lives for so long?

Why is it so stubborn?

No matter how extreme the measures are we take, we often continue to have a challenge at one level or another.

This week–if we persevere and do the work involved–will be transformative. So I apologize in advance. This week has probably the heaviest amount of homework of all the weeks (I didn’t see this coming, but sense God’s leadership in this). If you can carve out the time to do it, I believe it will be worth it!

First, to lay the groundwork for this week’s assignment, here is this week’s video. It is sort of a broad overview and, in it, I mention (again) the value of 1.) Creating a God List 2.) Using your God List for a Praise Fest regularly 3.) Building an attitude of gratitude and 4.) Creating and using Truth Cards. So if you haven’t already, you may feel nagged in this video. Here it is:

The video this week is a bit different in that it doesn’t directly hit on the material I cover in the assignment. In a broad sense it does, but not specifically.

So, without further ado, Let’s DO IT! I want to ask a question:

What is it that is the issue here?

When we boil it down, why is having a tiny little portion of food–which is really all we need to be sustained–not enough?

Why is it that we want *more*?

What is it that is true when we want *more*?

Think with me about this…cookies come out of the oven. I am free to eat them when I am hungry. Why is it that two cookies isn’t enough? Is it because I am hungry? Or is it just because I want the taste of… more? 

Out to eat at the Mexican restaurant…do I really need a second basket of chips before my meal is served? Why isn’t one basket enough? Or 5 chips enough (when followed by the entrée, rice and beans)? Do I really need more?

Why isn’t a coffee cup full of ice cream enough? Why do I reach for seconds? What am I looking for? More…

The Myth of MORE

I believe that The Myth of More is the heart of this issue. I want more food. More fun. More time. More money. But since we are in the context of food, overeating, body image, let’s address the More Myth relative to food.

But more is never enough.

The last bite still happens. And I still grieve. I want more.

Is it fair to say that this is greed?

The definition of greed is, simply, excessive desire. I don’t know about you, but I think that fits what I struggle with relative to food. While I have definitely begun dealing with this much better in the years since 2006, it continues to be an insistent “whine” in my life. Always there. Buzzing in my ear. Harassing me. More. I need more.

Ok, now comes the gut-punch. Ready? Before I share it, let’s remember some truth:

God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17)

God demonstrates His own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us–the ungodly! (Romans 5:8)

There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

He chose you and me before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us…even before we did a single, solitary godly thing! (Ephesians 1…all of it!)

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9)

So now I hope you are ready for the gut-punch. Don’t let Satan stand and accuse you. Send him packing. Right now.

Greed is idolatry (Colossians 3:5b).

That’s right…the Myth of More is just a nice way of being idolaters. OUCH, right? I know! Seems so harsh.

But if our eating is at all indicative of greed and if greed is idolatry…well, the old if a = b and b = c, then a = c has to be true, right? Maybe? So our eating aside from physical need seems to come from the Myth of More…greed…hmmmm….

I will leave you with that and Barb’s material to chew on this week. I do hope you will talk about this here in the comments. I am sure we have a lot to talk about relative to this!

ASSIGNMENT broken down for you by days because it is so much. SORRY! I think this is important!

1. TODAY (Monday): Read and do Barb’s quiz to evaluate if you do, in fact, have an idol operating in your life. Try to do it with food, overeating, dieting, “thin” in mind. If you feel so inclined, share with us what you discover here in the comments. I know that is a bold move, but I do believe there is something powerful about facing our truth and stepping into the light with it–talking about it. It loses it’s power when we do that. Or it is weakened considerably.

2. Tuesday: Read and do the activities in Barb’s post on “How to Break Free from Idolatry.” You will have already done her steps under How to Break Free From Idolatry #1, 4, 5 and maybe even 6, getting an accountability partner. If you haven’t yet gotten an accountability partner, you may want to do that this week. Post at the Accountability page. Don’t worry about #s 2 and 3 as you will do them this week in another part of the assignment. Journal your responses to Barb’s question: How is idolatry like adultery? How is it different? How would you get over idolatry in a way that would be similar with getting over adultery?

3. Wednesday: Read and do the activities in Barb’s post on “How to Break Free from Idolatry Part 2.” Respond to her questions for your journal. Respond here to her question: “How do you convince yourself your idol needs to go?” I want to add…REALLY go? I mean, you are participating in this study because you want to see some changes happen. YAY! Let’s celebrate that. But I know some of us struggle with cherishing some little aspect of our idol that keeps us from totally letting it go. It can be in the form of that final sweet in the evening no matter what. Or it might be in that but I am entitled feeling we have when the kids go to bed. We may even plan for what we will do after they are in bed without the thought of 0 and 5. Do you see what I mean? Do you cherish any little aspect of eating outside of physical need, even just a bit?

4. Thursday: Two of Barb’s studies are on tap for today or, you can save part of this for the weekend.  Read and respond to When You Don’t Feel Close To God. This post probably feels familiar as I covered some of the material in it last Friday here. It is worth considering again, certainly. Consider her journal/prayer activity in this post, too. What might be reasonable for you to do to take some focused time to work on this? Try to squeeze in time to read and journal through Barb’s post on Idolatry in the Bible. I was very convicted over this statement…in reference to some things not looking like idols, Barb said, “…but if we’re consistently turning to them for comfort, protection, fulfillment, and deliverance from life’s problems, they’re probably idols.”  When you consider her last question “Do you think idolatry is accepted in the church today?” you might want to consider church potlucks, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts, spaghetti feeds and the like. What would happen if we stopped chowing down at church? Have we been trained by our church involvement that “fellowship” and food are synonymous?

5. Friday: Read and complete the activities in Barb’s Post on “How to Set Boundaries to Break Free From Idolatry.” Much of this material will be familiar to you. You might use this as an opportunity to evaluate your secondary boundaries to see if there aren’t any that you have been “overlooking” using 🙂 to help you to be more aware of your primary boundary of eating within physical hunger and satisfaction.

6. Here is the recording from this week’s online class.