Click above to read Joan's post. She's using some Proverbs this week to help her to press on in her weigh-loss journey. Wisdom - that's what we need to help us make the right choices!
I would like to talk today about the idea of commitment versus surrender. I've been reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss's Trilogy - Brokenness/Surrender/Holiness - and it's so good. She mentioned something that I'd never thought about before. She said that in our country, the idea of "surrender" to the Lord at some point started to get sort of unpopular, and in the church people wanted something more palatable, and came up with the idea of committing yourself to God instead.
If we say we commit ourselves to the Lord, it still sort of leaves us with the feeling that we are in control. We are the one who controls our own commitment level, intensity, etc. But the idea of surrender is different. When we surrender ourselves to the Lord, we are saying, "I belong to YOU, Lord! I am not my own. I am your bondslave. I give up all my rights, and I submit myself to YOUR authority to do as You will in my life."
I think that is a very important distinction to make in our relationship with Christ. Are you committed to the Lord? Or do you surrender yourself to Him? Your life, your heart, your mind, your thoughts, your words, your choices, your desires, your behavior.
Surrendering to the Lord is like giving God $1,000. You can give it to Him all at once, and lay that $1,000 bill on the table and say, "There! I give this to you Lord!" It's a one-time surrender. Or, you can give Him a little everyday. 25 cents here, 50 cents there. $2.00 here, $10.00 there.
Which is easier? Which is better?? The kind of surrender God is commanding us is a daily surrender of our choices in life. Today, you may need to surrender by not saying that nagging word to your husband. Tomorrow, there may be a single mom who needs gas money to get to church. Next week, you may need to stay off the computer, and spend some time in God's Word!
Whatever it is, think of your relationship to Christ as one in which He is the Master, and you are the bondslave. And when you do His bidding, He has nothing but blessing, love, comfort and peace to pour out on you!
What area of your life do you need to surrender to the Lord? If you say, "My eating and exercise habits" then, my question is more specific to you, "What area of your eating and exercise habits do you need to surrender to the Lord?" Do you need to surrender to God by asking your friend to be your accountability partner, even though you do not relish the thought of allowing someone into that area of your life? Or, the next time you get into an argument with your husband, do you need to surrender yourself to the Lord instead of running to the refrigerator?
Whatever it is, think really hard about it. Take some time to write it down. Blog about it. Ask someone to help you. And when that situation comes up, STOP, and say, "I am Yours, Lord! I give myself to You in this moment. I have no right to go and do what my flesh wants to do! I will do YOUR will, no matter what it costs me."
That is surrender. Don't make "commitments" to God. Surrender to Him. Offer your body and mind to Him. Day by day, moment by moment. Surrender to Him, and get ready to experience His blessing!
Today was another great day with the Lord. He is so amazing and filling. I always underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit. And that is knowing the very little amount that I understand, I even underestimate that. After reading more of His word today, I am always and truly amazed how it is LIVING. The Word is sharper than a double edge sword and pierces. He is constantly revealing Himself, if we are willing to open ourselves to Him. Claudia and I discussed how on this journey with Lord, He has opened some many other areas in our lives that He wants to change. This is so much more than just a "diet" and a "weight loss" adventure. Yes, an adventure. I am sensing that God doesn't really care how I look on the outside, but where my heart is. He wants to refine my faith. As I realize how much my sin of gluttony separates me from my Savior and how He desires me to move forward with Him. To move onward to fulfill His will for my life. To move away from my self-centered ideas, and to be more Christ-centered. To experience His delights and steadfast love, even when I fail.
I am completely using my title from listening to a sermon on the radio this morning by Pastor Greg Laurie. He talked about our choices every day when facing temptations to either be the "victim" or "victor". He used 1 Corinth 10:13," No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." He went on to say that God promises in every temptation to give us a way out. And if we are honest with ourselves, when we look back at those moments, we can see there was a way out. For example, this past weekend, I could have chose to call Claudia. I could have prayed. I actually had to make a choice to go to the fast food restaurant to get food and the grocery store to get junk food. I could have stayed home and ate the right foods. It was actually physically easier to make the right choices, but mentally and spiritually easier to sin. To refuse God's help. Then, this past morning, God revealed another promise in His Word. Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord , when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.
Hello, it has been awhile since I posted. I have been not too good this weekend. After spending the whole Christmas season without touching anything that was not of a nutritional value, I started eating junk food again this weekend. What started it? My own selfishness, my own desires and my own pity party. After weighing in on Friday with a plus two, Claudia gave me a very encouraging talk. Sometime that evening, I decided,"What is the point of eating well, asking God for strength and exercising if the scale was going to not reflect in my favor. Never mind that I was offering my food choices and time to God, I decided I need to take control again. HORRIBLE MISTAKE. I have been out in the wilderness here eating whatever and whenever I want. I am depressed, no desire to talk to God or to read His Word. Tonight, I opened the blog up and read our memory verse. It was like water to my soul, I have asked God to forgive me and am humbling myself to write about my pride. God promises new mercies everyday. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.
Natasha and I decided to have a memory verse to work on each week. This past week we memorized Galatians 6:8-9....let's see if I can do this from memory....
the one who sows to the flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.
Is that right? Let me check.... I messed up a little, here are the corrections:
"The one who sows to *his own* flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. *And* let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up."
So, Natsha and I failed to pick another verse to memorize, so I am proposing this one that I found in the Psalms:
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. Psalm 36:7-8
I love verses that use food and drink as an analogy of our relationship with God. The Bible is replete with them, Old Testament and New. And how fitting, since we struggle so much with food. It shows me 2 things: 1-God did give us food to enjoy, and we can glorify God by actually enjoying our food! 2-the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from food is NOTHING compared to the enjoyment and satisfaction that I get from Jesus Christ!
So, would you like to join with us in memorizing God's Word? As I said in an earlier post, that's the only way we're going to be able to fight temptation and gain victory in this area of our lives.
Please comment and let us know if you'd like to memorize this verse with us!!
Well, I haven't weighed in for 2 weeks now. I have not been doing too well. Just being lazy and laxidasical. I don't have near the determination that Natasha has!! She has just been so awesome.
I stayed the same last week, but gained 1 pound this week. Natasha's got me on a new diet, one that has worked for her this whole time, but I've been puttering around with other diets. So, I think it will help for us both to be on the same one. I need to get back on the exercise bandwagon too!!
Here is Joan's post for this week's Anchor Friday:
On a dark night at sea, two lights were approaching each other. As they continued to get closer, the captain of a ship sent out a message: "Recommend you change course." The immediate reply came back: "Recommend you change course!" The captain, being somewhat miffed, signaled again: "This is CAPTAIN Smith. Again, I recommend you change course!" The reply came back just as quickly: "This is SEAMAN Jones; I recommend you change course!" By this time the captain was reaching the limits of his patience. He ordered an immediate, uncompromising message: "I am on a U.S. battleship. I order you to change course!!" to which the reply came back: "I am on a lighthouse. I recommend you change course."
Resolved! I can be pretty stubborn in my sin. Sometimes so stubborn that I can't change course even when I know I'm headed for danger.A new year is a time to set your course and look back where you've been and to look forward to where you want to go. I can see the horizon ahead and it holds promise and possibility. I know that storms await me and I know that I am stronger now. I am ready to make the journey. I am resolved.I am resolved to make my goal weight this year. I am resolved to spend more time in the word, more time praying and less time obsessing about food. I am resolved to share what I learn with others and to encourage others. I am resolved to hang on to the Anchor!The new year is full of promise. A clean slate. What will you do in 2009? What changes do you want to make? Do you need to change course?
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10: 23-25 (New Living Translation)
Almighty God, I confess that without you I cannot make this journey. I need your guidance, strength and perseverance. Fill my sail with your Spirit and keep me in your will. Help me to discern what is danger and what is the lighthouse. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Thanks Joan for that great post. Here is Martyn Lloyd Jones from Spiritual Depression. Let's put 2008 behind us, and look forward to an awesome 2009 with Christ!
"Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ’. That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you. What you need is not to make resolutions to live a better life, to start fasting and sweating and praying. No! You just begin to say:
I rest my faith on Him alone Who died for my transgressions to atone. (35)
Hey, I am sending a shout-out for the DesiringGod.org Blog. It has Bible Reading plans for the new year, AND the Crazy Idea of FASTING in '09! Wow, if that wasn't written for us, I don't know what was. Check it out!! (Esp. you, Natasha!)
What a song to start the New Year off with. Resurrection by Nicol Sponberg. Followed by the Robbie Seay Band and "New Day."
The Lord is so good....everyday is a new day, and every year is a new year! So please allow yourself to have a few minutes alone and quiet as you listen to these songs and read the lyrics.....I hope they minister to you the way they do to me.
I'm at a loss for words, there's nothing to say I sit in silence wondering what led me to this place How did my heart become so lifeless and cold Where did the passion go?
When all my efforts seem like chasing wind I've used up all my strength and there's nothing left to give I've lost the feeling and I'm down to the core I can't fake it anymore.
chorus: Here I am at the end I'm in need of resurrection Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead What I've lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again
You speak and all creation falls to its knees You raise Your hand and calm the waves of the raging sea You have a way of turning winter to spring Make something beautiful out of all this suffering
chorus 2: Here I am once again I'm in need of resurrection Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead What I've lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again
You have a way of turning winter to spring Make something beautiful out of all this suffering
New Day by Robbie Seay Band
I'm gonna sing this song To let you know that you're not alone And if you're like me You need hope, coffee, and melody So sit back down Let the world keep spinning ‘round For yesterday's gone and today is waiting on you to show your face
It might not be The prettiest thing that you'll ever see But it’s a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day And it might not look like A beautiful sunrise But it's a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day
I’m a pilgrim soul I've traveled far and come back home This land is hard and cold For those who long to love And I know it might seem That the world is crumbling But it’s me and you dancing in the kitchen at 2 am And we're still alive
It’s the calm of the storm that comes blowing in It’s the springtime saying I'm back again The clouds that roll by Crossing moonlight Me and you love – everything's alright
Standing in the rain with nowhere to go Laughing and we're spinning and I hope that you Remember this day For the rest of your life Me and you love – everything’s gonna be alright
And it just might be The prettiest thing that you'll ever see It’s a new day Oh baby, it’s a new day If you look outside To see a beautiful sunrise It’s a new day
Happy New Year, everyone. Yes, it is the time for resolutions, and I think it's pretty obvious what our resolution is!
I wanted to share a story and a scripture with you to help you start off your New Year with a sense of sobriety.
I heard a story recently of a man who went to a business conference--by himself. He didn't know anybody there. He had a hotel room all to himself. That evening, he got in the elevator to go up to his room, and 2 gorgeous and alluring women were in the elevator. He asked them which floor they needed to go to, and they said, "Whichever one you're going to."
He knew he could get away with this. Nobody would ever find out. And all of a sudden, he saw in his mind something like a white screen, with these words on it:
The one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption... So he said, "Goodnight, ladies" and got off the elevator.
This may not be the kind of temptation that you or I or Natasha are dealing with, but the principle is the same. Every day, every moment, we are faced with the temptation to eat more than we should, to eat food that is bad for us, to be lazy and idle. And probably the #1 reason we are not able to fight these temptations is because we are not using God's word.
Remember, God's Word is a Sword. It is the Sword of the Spirit! It is our only offensive weapon against the enemy. And it is strong, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword. We need to be more proactive in using this powerful weapon God has given us to fight and resist temptation, and win this battle over our flesh, just like the man in the story did.
So, I have decided I am going to use this verse (and others) to the fight the temptation to overeat. Right now, my stomach feels hungry. Even though I ate a decent dinner, and had a snack, I do feel like I could eat right now. But, it's 11:30 pm and I don't need to eat anything.
So, I am going to trust the Lord right now, and believe Him when he says in Eph. 6:17, "Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" and James 4:7, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you," and I am going to quote Gal. 6:8 outloud as I am getting into bed.
"The one who sows to his own flesh, will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." May the Lord help me not to give up! And may He be praised in my heart, my mind and my body today, and everyday during this New Year of 2009!
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Welcome to our weblog! Claudia and Natasha started this blog because we want very much to be an encouragement to you as we share an area of our lives that is consistently a struggle--our eating habits. Both of us have lots of weight to lose, but more importantly than that, we want to show the world how much we treasure our Lord Jesus Christ in the way that we eat and care for our bodies. We invite you to share your stories and struggles with us as well, and we hope that we can benefit mutually from each other!