Day 728: I Have Learned The Secret

Okay, whew…  my kids are back in school so I have a bit of time to write again! I sure do love public education (and the private preschool my youngest goes to as well)!

Last week on Day 720: Remember That Time I Had A Diet Blog And Then Gained Weight???, I mentioned at the very end that I had some upcoming posts… I had hoped to get to them last week but it just didn’t happen so today, we begin! The three things that I wanted to talk about this week were: changing the way we change (a la Steven Furtik), systems in our life, and getting in daily doses of Jesus. When I looked at those three things I knew that we needed to cover first things first: JESUS.

I have been doing quite a bit of self-reflection over the past few weeks (well, actually over the past YEAR), but I really asked myself a question that helped me get to the quick of what was going on with me. In 2012, I felt so great about life… so content. Gain weight, lose weight, money issues, money blessings… it didn’t matter I was just ALLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOD. And then 2013 hit like a wrecking ball (sorry, couldn’t help myself with that one – hehe) and it was like struggle, struggle, struggle. So, I had to ask myself,

What changed?

I know that’s not some super deep, life changing question for most people… but for me it was. Cause I’ll tell you right now what changed. Him. I wasn’t interacting with Jesus every.single.day. in 2013 whereas I had been in 2012. And it wasn’t so much about my circumstances being worse but it was about the fact that I just didn’t feel…

contentment.

And feeling content, no matter the situation (like in Philippians 4:12), is one of the most blessed feelings you’ll ever experience. It’s like true peace and true joy combined into one feeling.

So, I decided if anything was going to be different in 2014, that was going to be it. I was going to read the bible every day, pray every day, meditate on Him every day.

And, friends…. oh friends…. I can already tell you: HE has made all the difference. So I can tell you now, I have learned the secret. And it’s

JESUS.

The Covenant Diet - I have learned the secret

Day 449: Blame It On Beth Moore

Beth Moore Patriarchs Best Verses Ever

No sugar for five years.

Really, January? Really???

Hey. That’s what God said… don’t look at ME.

One year is cute… five years is getting wayyyyyyy closer to real sacrifice.

What can I say? Blame it on Beth Moore.

She was the one who wrote The Patriarchs. She was the one that was open and honest on page 62. She was the one that put those three, little, almost insignificant verses in between those little, almost insignificant parenthesis.

You know. The kind of verses that you read at just the right time. when you are in just the right attitude. when you have just the right heart to receive them. The kind of verses that you have read a gazillion times before, but this time… this time you are seeking God so fervently. you want to meet with Him so much. you need a word from Him. a vision. a Hope. And then someone like Beth Moore goes and throws them all together…

I was done for.

Here are the three verse chunks… first I’ll put the plain on scripture and then I’m going to do some verse interrupting because I think it’s just as important to know what was simultaneously going through my mind as I read them.

Give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

 Give your bodies to God {Let go of the need to control this experience with your body… give your body’s control over to Him} because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice {Hmmmmm, he’s repeating this whole “give up” mentality} —the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world {Like diets, balance, gluttony, doing things my way}, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then {Give up and THEN He’ll show you the way to do it} you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect {That’s what I want… the PERFECT diet that’s not a diet!}. Romans 12:1-2

Honestly, after these verses, I was already feeling His pull. I knew that I had tried to do it “my way” with the slackened covenant, and I knew that it wasn’t going to work unless I did things His way… which might not look normal to the outside world. But after reading those, I was so terribly curious about the other two verses. I mean, could they say anything more???

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. {Oh and this fight with food is a battle, a war!} We use God’s mighty weapons {the Word, faith, truth, His righteousness, prayer}, not worldly weapons {like typical diets}, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments {My OWN arguments}. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. {This obstacle of food drains so much of my thoughts and life that it does keep me from spending that time focused on God, so it must be destroyed! Mwah ha ha ha!} 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

And even though the next verses only called for verse 23, I was struck by a few more verses.

They (the Gentiles) live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:19-24

They (the Gentiles) live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. {I hate to say it, as miserable as I was, I was EAGERLY eating that chocolate.} But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, {that. right there. that did me in. throw off your former way of life. stop eating sugar.} which is corrupted by lust and deception. {Yep. Those would be the two words I’d use to describe me with sugar.} Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. {Let GOD do this. Go back to the new you that God formed you into.} Ephesians 4:19-24

And well, yeah… I can’t really blame Beth Moore. God put those verses there. For me. For that moment. And, truth be told, I was really far behind in my study, but now I’m actually glad… I needed those verses at just that moment. He really does work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose!!! (Romans 8:28)

So, there ya have it. That’s partially how I came to the conclusion to go back to a sugarless life that I referred to on Day 444.

Oh, and next time I’ll talk about how God told me to give up something else for those five years. It’s almost as shocking as me giving up chocolate!

Day 423: You Ain’t Lion

I went to my Beth Moore Patriarch’s study Wednesday night (each week is so… transformational and so very, very timely) and she talked a bit about how my God is the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The same God has Moses. as Noah. as Daniel.

She brought up that God still does save people from the mouths of lions (and honestly, she does a perfect job of explaining this comparison, so if you ever get a chance to do this study, then grab it)… he saves us from the lion… that roaring lion, Satan.

Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen 1 Peter 5:6-11

And the minute that she brought up that verse 8 (bolded above), I knew exactly what she was talking about. God has used his mighty power to rescue me from the mouth of the roaring lion. And, might I say, he still IS rescuing me from the mouth of the roaring lion.

At first says “humble yourselves”. I think that was the difference between all the other times in my life where Satan has had my head in his vicious gaping mouth of death… this time, I humbled myself. Said, God… I can.not. do this. Said, God… Only. You. can. do. this.

And I’m saying that to Him again now- as that temptation of gluttony and sugar-filled eating stealthily creeps up on me like a lion about to devour its prey, I know that when the lion has me in his reach… just like Daniel… only God can save me.

God, you are The Most High. You are my Shepherd who protects me from the roaring lion for Your Glory. Today God, I feel the lion’s presence. I know he is waiting, hoping, and longing to devour me wholly and completely. Lord God, protect me with your strong arm. Reach down in your mercy and flick that shrewd devil away like the pest that He is and bring me into your Love and Grace. I want to glorify You. I want to bring You Honor. I humble myself under Your Mighty Power. Amen.

Day 404: Rally Tally

tallymarks

Lately, I have been taking a study at church over The Patriarchs by Beth Moore, and in one of the videos she mentions that God isn’t in Heaven tallying up every time we sin; He is up in Heaven tallying up every time that we take an opportunity and do something that honors Him.

(Note: that is a TOTAL paraphrase because I can’t remember exactly what she said! And also, I have no idea if that statement is biblically sound… yet. I’m going to look into it; however, Beth Moore is a biblical scholar, so I tend to default that most of what she says is accurate.)

And I only have like two more minutes to post (cause I’m trying to get to sleep by 10:00 or 10:30 since I’m doing this whole up early thing for Lent), but I really wanted to post this.

Think about the last time you messed up and…

ate a bag of Oreos (or Girl Scout Cookies, since that’s “in season” right now!)
devoured your lunch leftovers even though you weren’t hungry.
hid some food from your husband or roomie so that you could sneak-eat it later.
ate someone else’s food because you couldn’t resist it.

And just remember that as BAD or HORRIBLE or GUILTY or SAD or DEPRESSED that you felt at that moment, God. isn’t. tracking. that.

What He IS looking to mark down is the time that you…

stopped by and visited a widow in the nursing home whose family lives across the country.
defended someone that was being picked on.
told someone that they were important and loved by you.
sent your kid to a less-than-desirable school so that you could reach more people.

It’s just cool to think that God is up there looking, watching, waiting for you to do GOOD. WE are keeping that tally of ourselves that marks down every time that we do BAD. But He IS tallying every time that you do choose to drink a glass of water instead of eating a handful of Thin Mints because you want to honor God by taking care of the body He has given you here on Earth. He IS tallying every time that you think of Him and take a deep breath instead of chewing out your son, your brother, your neighbor, your parents, your boss.

So rally up… be freed of all of those nasty marks of “BAD” and “WRONG”. Instead, start to think, “How can I get a “good-mark” for God? So that I can take that and get a jewel for my crown so that I can offer that crown with lots of jewels to God when I am at the judgment seat in Heaven.”