I'm not going to be saying anything that you haven't heard before, but will you read any way? Maybe something that you have heard countless times will strike a new cord and be fresh revelation to you today.
Lets begin by making sure that we are all on talking in the same terms. What God is after is His glory. He receives glory when our heart is fully surrendered to Him. He desires us to have a healthy, balanced view of our body, identity, weight, food, and exercise. That means that we're not given to extremes and consumed SO THAT our minds, thoughts, attention, and energy can be given to fully surrender our bodies to be vessels for God to freely use.
The pendalum can swing both ways. We can be given to apathy that leads to slothfulness and poor stewardship which I have guilty of. We can also give ourselves to worship our how we look by being consumed with what we eat, what we look like, a number on the scale, a pant size, and the list could go on, of which I am also intimately acquainted. These lesser loves can manifest in literally thousands of ways in us.
Would you prayerfully search your heart...
Do you have an unhealthy relationship with food? Do you eat emotionally or when you are stressed? Do you spend an inordinant amount of time thinking about food or exercise? Do you compare your body to others? When you see a friend, is the first thing you notice is their weight/body? Does your life revolve around "being skinny"? When you look at the mirror, do you automatically rehearse the parts you want to change or don't like?
This bondage is so prevalent. Especially in the church.
God is not after perfection in us but hearts that are quick to ask forgiveness and believe in His empowering grace. He is after true, authentic repentance. I love how the amplified describes it..."to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins." As we fall short, we must do it again and again. Hour upon hour. Thought upon thought. Bite by bite.
So many times its just become so common place that we don't even recognize it as sin. Or we repent for other areas and sins in our life, but somehow we leave this area out. If we will call it what it is, lay it humbly before the cross, then God can lavish His abundant grace.
Not more rules.
Not begin "Monday."
Not more apathy.
Just being. His spirit powerfully working in us.
I was talking with a precious girl about this subject who is in the depths of the pit and she had the hopeless look in her eyes. My insides were shouting "If the church can't point to the the answer, then who can?" God is asking us to believe that He is big enough, believe that He is strong enough, and that it is He who rescued us from eternal torment can surely deliver us from the grips of this bondage.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me- Psalm 18
Though the enemy may be tenacious. There is hope. God has overcome. There is more to life. He is the answer.
I'm asking him for His heart for our sin. Will you?
This my prayer for each one of you...
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14
If you have any questions or thoughts I would love to hear from you melissa (at) heartlinesranch.com Thank you for those of you who have emailed me. Your encouragement has really been a blessing to me. Writing all of this has been a step of faith and your encouragement has spurred me on.