For seven years, I struggled to maintain consistent progress in my Thin Within journey. I would start and stop, start and stop. Close to 2 dozen times I repeated this pattern. Often, I would experience 4-6 weeks of success, only to fall off the horse and gain the weight back and then some. It took me about 4 years to finally recognize a pattern in my journey and learn why I was not experiencing sustained success. And it all had to do with the prideful refusal to surrender my will.
I would start Thin Within like most people do. Paying attention to my hunger signals, praying, renewing my mind, focusing on 0-5 eating and staying within my godly boundaries. As I did those things, I would begin to experience success. The weight would begin to come off and I could feel the obsessive thoughts about food and weight lessen. Along with the victory, came pride. “Look at me go! I’ve totally got this. I can do this all by myself.” And before I knew it, I was relying on my own power and not the power of my God. Proverbs 16:18 became the theme verse of my life: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Needless to say, that mentality didn’t get me very far. I would always regain the weight I had released (plus an extra 5 pounds). I would run back to God crying “why can’t I do this?!” To which the Lord eventually replied, “Exactly. You can’t do this because this journey isn’t about your effort. This journey is about surrendering your will to me and allowing my power to work through you.“
My experience felt very similar to when Paul is pleading with God to take away the thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
God’s power is most beautifully displayed when we are humbled, surrendered and at the end of ourselves. It is when we come to the end of our will, our pride, our desires, our frustrations, our efforts and our entitlement, that God can come through and allow His power to work through us. And the power that is available to us is extraordinary power! It is the same power that was used to raise Christ from the dead (Eph 1:19-20)! All we need to do to gain access to this power is humble ourselves before Him, surrender our pride and declare “thy will Lord, not my will.” And as we yield our will to His power, we will begin to see amazing results, not only in our bodies but in our hearts and minds as well.
For me, this is not just a simple prayer I prayed one time. This is something I pray about every single day. Every day I ask the Lord to create in me a humble heart and to help me surrender my prideful will and entitled desires to His perfect will. Every day I take my entitled thoughts captive. Every day I ask for more of Him and less of me. And God has been so faithful! As I write this, I am about to enter my 8th month of sustained success in my Thin Within journey (quite a bit longer than my typical 6 weeks!).
How about you? Have you ever tried to do Thin Within in your own power? Have you felt God calling you to let go of your own efforts and allow Him to take the reigns? Have you found the power available to you in surrendering your will to His will?