Day 434: Transparent Testimony

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

I want to be asleep in my bed. Snoozing and skinny.
I want to be free from this struggle with food.
I want to forget chocolate. forget sugar. forget bread. forget food.
I want to do just what I hear God calling me to do.

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

Because it means that I have GOT to start facing up to some things.

I’ve been eating chocolate. sugar. meat. bread.

Lots of it over the past few days. Not just a bite here and there. Not a taster. Not a respectful tiny bite to appease someone else who is feeding me. No. LOTS AND LOTS of chocolate. Anywhere and everywhere I could find it. Sometimes I’d put it off for a few hours, but then I’d give in. The leftover Christmas candy in the gift closet. The remaining chocolate chips in the pantry. The kid’s candy stash. The cake at Nanny’s. The Cool Whip in the fridge drizzled in Hershey’s syrup. The homemade granola bars I made for my son’s lunches.

Me. Eating. Eating. Eating. Eating.

And I have this hole in my soul. And every bite stretches it wider and wider. Until now I feel like I’m about to burst. And so, as I laid in bed tonight… I couldn’t sleep. I mean, who CAN sleep with a huge black hole of sin growing in your chest?

God. What am I doing?!?!? Why can’t I stop?!?!? I’m choking with sin. The sin of gluttony. The sin of dishonoring You. The sin of harming this beautiful temple that you have given me. The sin of wanting to sin instead of wanting to obey and follow you. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, who will save me from this?

And at that, I knew those words were a verse, so I got up and came in here to my couch, revved up my laptop, and found it. My dear comrade through the ages, Paul, so very long ago found the words of my struggling heart…

The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:14-25

And God, I lean on this promise:

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! Jeremiah 17:14

God, I cannot save myself… I cannot heal myself. It must be YOU that does this work in my life. Just as you raised Lazarus out of the grave… out of the pit… raise me out of this pit of sin. out of this grave of deathly living. out of the sludge of denying you.

I’m not even sure what to do from here. where to go. what to think. how to act. what to read. So God, I just lay my sinful soul at your feet. An offering. An incomplete, sinful filthy offering… but one that is covered in righteousness because of your Son. It is a sacrificial offering. And I am the sacrifice. Do what you want with me God. Change me. Ruin me. Build me up. Recreate me. 

Heal me. Save me. My praises are for you alone!

Day 131: We All Need A Job

I love having “nicknames” for my friends that are doing the covenant… ya know, so that I don’t have to worry about them being embarrassed about stories I tell about them, or letting the cat out of the bag if they are “secret-fasting”, or whatever.

You have heard me talk about my friend “Christy” several times… ya know, my spiritual, emotional, and personality clone? Ya know what’s funny… we went to high school together, came up in the same church together, and I remember thinking she was cool and funny but that was sorta… it. For some reason we never really became good friends. Well, after doing a bible study with her at church I very quickly decided she needed to be my friend! (And I think she is one of those “magnetic” type of people that has like 500 people list her as one of their best friends while she would only write down four or five names of her best friends.) But nonetheless, she is certainly on my top 5 list whether I’m on hers or not! Haha!

And I say all of that to give you a little background to understand that I deeply care for my friend Christy… I’m truly elated when she has success, I’m entertained when she has some crazy hilarity in her life, and I am pained when she has sadness or struggle.

And, well, lately she has just had… struggle.

And so, well, lately I have just been pained for her.

So the other day I was praying for her and I got this overwhelming sense of Satan attacking her and then of future blessings for her. Now I know that might seem ridiculous… we all have times in our lives marked out by blessing and times marked out by sadness and struggle. But nonetheless, it was so strong that I stopped chopping the celery I was working on, and I put both hands on the island to rest under the weight of this… this… impression put on me that was nothing short of supernatural.

At this point I’m sure some of you might be wondering why in the world I am telling you all of this. You might be thinking, “Oops, January accidentally put a post up on her covenant blog that was supposed to go somewhere else!” (Now… don’t put that past me… it wouldn’t surprise me as flighty as I can be some times.) But here comes the covenant part!

Ya see, Christy is doing a covenant. And Christy is being attacked. And Satan is trying to bring her down. I told her soon after she started having troubles with being sick, “Oh no- I tell ya what, I shoulda warned everyone… number one guarantee when going on the covenant: Satan WILL attack your health.

And I think that she is a big ol target of Satan’s… cause ya see, Christy is a very vocal woman of God. She loves to talk about God in a real way. In the kind of a way that cuts down to the marrow of your soul and makes you face who Jesus really is. And Christy, during and after this covenant, could do some major damage to Satan’s goals.

So to say that she is having spiritual warfare… honestly, after that wave of Revelation from God… well, I’m afraid calling it “spiritual warfare” doesn’t quite cover what I think is going on.

I think “Christy” is having a Job-attack. (Job as in the guy from the Bible… not the word for occupation.) Has her house fallen in on her entire family? No. Has all of her money and money-making ability been stripped from her? No. Has she been plagued by life-altering illness? Okay, well, yes a little bit of that one.

Here’s why I compare her to Job. I think she is under direct attack by Satan. I don’t think any of his minions are working on her. I think it’s the big dog himself. And he is working in a far more devious way than he did with Job. He is working subtly. quietly. slowly. trying to eat away at her joy. her peace. her love. her resolve.

He is working to make Christy feel… defeated.

And I think there is nothing more devastating to us than feeling defeated. It sucks our life away. It strips us of our joy. our love. our hope. And this just just what Satan was going for when he attacked Job. And I think that’s what he’s going for by attacking Christy.

But here, too, is where I think Christy is like Job. You see, Job, at the core… was stubbornly obedient to God. I’m sure that theologians have come up with a gazillion reasons as to why Job was able to resist cursing God, but ultimately it doesn’t matter: the guy stuck by God. And well, my friend Christy certainly has a bit of a stubborn streak in her as well… and I think it will pay off for her in this: Christy is stubbornly obedient to God. I mean… the girl won’t bend. she won’t break. she is going to obey God.

So… Satan, you might as well give up. Cause you gonna lose this one just like ya lost the one with Job.

And then, God is going to bless Christy. Abundantly.

And so I guess this is a word of encouragement ultimately… for Christy and for anyone else that feels the secret, silent, stealthy, sneaky assault of Satan. But ya gotta have a bit of a Job in ya. A bit of Christy in ya.

Ya gotta be stubborn. Ya gotta wag your finger in Satan’s face and say, “No flippin way. God is mine and I am His. I will follow Him. So, in the name of Jesus Christ… go away.”

Because at the end… Job got to chat with God, and God gave Job a one-on-one lesson in Who He Is. And I love Job’s response:

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. Job 42:5

So here is my prayer for you Christy and for all of your comrades…

God, I pray that Christy would have the same level of integrity that Job had and that you would double her blessings as you did with Job. God, please give her strength to endure Satan’s attacks and to look to You so that she will have the chance to say, I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. In The Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.