Day 210: THE Force

Day 7 of my hard-core Daniel Fast!

So, my pastor said something on Sunday that has been sticking in my mind…

“You’ll never know the full force of temptation until you are able to resist it.”

I’ve been really thinking on that. It took me a second… okay, a few seconds… to really grasp what it was that he was saying. Here’s my reworking of it… I feel the force of temptation when I am trying to not eat a chocolate chip cookie from, say, Chick Fil A (cause holy moly… have you SEEN those things?!?! They are beastly awesome looking!). But, if I “give in” and eat the cookie then I really might only feel 30% of the force of temptation if I give in quickly. Maybe if I wait a while I might feel 90% of the force of temptation. Maybe even 99.9% of the temptation. But… if I’m giving in to the temptation… if I eat the proverbial Chick Fil A cookie, then I never have the “opportunity” to feel a full 100% of the force of temptation.

I almost felt like I was writing a Star Wars blog post there for a second… with all the times I wrote “the force”.

But, gosh… it is so accurate. It totally makes sense.

And at the same time… I think that there is a second part to that statement:

And until you are able to resist temptation, you’ll not know the full force of freedom in Christ.

Cause peeps… dizang. Once I finally started to tap into the Power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptation in my life, and once those temptations were so easily squelched and resisted: WOW. Then, I felt this freedom like I have never felt in my life. And I felt powerful. I felt like I had been infused with some kind of supersonic supernatural elixir to stand up to anything, and that’s because I HAD been infused with it!

I mean, let me break it down for you… for yearrrrrrrs I had been unable to resist that Chick Fil A cookie (well, maybe not necessarily THAT cookie cause honestly I have only just seen their cookie today… but you get my point)… so for years, I have warred against that cookie. loathed it. resented it. desired it. lamented it. lusted for it. and then eventually, ate it. I have almost always given in. And if I didn’t give in one day, I was sure to give in the next. or the next.

And so once I finally allowed God to become my motivation for NOT eating that cookie instead of my health being my motivation, or my weight, or my cravings, etc. Once I made that change, then I was able to hurdle over that line of not-resisting temptation into the realm of resisting temptation. And oh what a freeing feeling that is. And it continues to be freeing. I still feel a bit of a triumph like I did today watching both of my boys chowing down into those CFA cookies while I just… looked on.

It was just one of those moments where I truly felt… truly knew… that The Force was with me.

Day Twenty-Nine: Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

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We’ve almost finished off my homemade cookie-like granola bars. They have been great to have around for me at least (my oldest won’t eat them because they have walnuts in them) for when I’m running late or don’t have time to eat or when I’m just hungry but not in the mood to think about what to eat or what to make.

But they are also reallllllly yummy. Essentially they are like an oatmeal raisin cookie minus the sugar. And this morning as I was going to snag one, I looked in and moved the granola bar on top out of the way so that I could get the biggest one on the bottom.

Oh how I am a creature of habit.

And once again, grabbing the biggest one isn’t a huge deal in and of itself, but here I am dealing with matters of the heart. And, for me, grabbing the biggest one means more than just “I’m really hungry.”

At the deepest level it is me being selfish and self-centered. I want it for me. I don’t want someone else to get the big granola bar. It is greed. It is the act of gluttony.

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

I need to have a conversation with myself when I come across the biggest piece of food. In essence, it can be an opportunity to practice putting others before me.

If I can switch my thinking from “I want the biggest granola bar for me!” into “I wonder if Pasco would like the biggest one since he is so hungry when he comes home?” or “Perhaps we will have a guest sometime today and if I leave the largest one there then I can serve them that one.”

It’s not that I wasn’t hungry enough for the largest piece but it is all about an opportunity to change my heart from one of gluttony to one that gives glory to God.