Call it what it is

In my morning readings today, I read a passage from Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” that hit me between the eyes.

It said, “Sin will kill the life of God in us.”

See, I had spent some time in battle with my old self last night. The discussion started at about 8pm, and went something like this:

New self: “I am satisfied after a healthy dinner, and can celebrate a day of good food choices. Victory is within reach!”

Old self: “Yes, but everyone is leaving the house for at least an hour. You could eat whatever you want and no one will know.”

NS: “Bingeing doesn’t even feel good anymore. What’s the point?”

OS: “But it’s what you DO when you have unexpected time alone. Remember?”

Guess who won? Dumb, stupid Old Self.

30 minutes later, after eating ice cream from the container and picking all the sweet pieces out of a bag of trail mix, I felt defeated and frustrated witth myself. I had sabotaged my forward progress with a 2,000-calorie spree and now I felt like cr*p. And, honestly, I felt like I had let God down (as if I could hold Him up).

Really? After so many years of recovery? I still have to wrestle with this?

But I’m in a great place spiritually. I’m a new creation! I’m made in the image of God! I have the Holy Spirit to empower me!

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” -Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭22-24‬

<Sigh.>

I used to think that feeling far from God is what fueled my addictions and compulsions. But I had it backward. What God helped me see in the quiet this morning is that Satan uses those old thought patterns to entice me into sin. And sin is what makes me feel far from God, not the other way around.

Gluttony is a sin. Forgive me, Lord. Thank you for the gift of this new day and the “do over” that it brings. Please grant me strength to make good choices and resist temptation. Just for today. I’ll be back here at Your feet again tomorrow to ask for another portion. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

picture-421

The object of my obsession

I’m on my second time through the Bible study “Made to Crave” by Lysa Terkeurst. (If you haven’t read the book or done the study, and food is an issue for you — DO IT.)

God has spoken to me powerfully through this study. Here’s the first a-ha: We consume what we think about.picture-421

For me, my craving was a vanilla crunch cone from Dairy Queen. At first, it was a special treat; a reward at the end of a couple weeks of eating healthy and working out. After a while, I found myself stopping a little more frequently: after all, it had been a long day, and I just HAPPENED to be driving down the street past DQ. And I just HAPPENED to have $2.09 in change saved on the dash of my car in case of an (ice cream cone) emergency.

After a couple weeks of this mind game, that darn ice cream cone became all I thought about as the end of my day rolled around, and I found myself stopping almost every evening.

Now, what damage can one ice cream cone a day do (and did I mention it was a SMALL one)?

A lot.

Here’s the problem. I was obsessing, spending time thinking about an inanimate object that I could consume because it tasted good and felt oh-so-good going down. My healthy options became harder and harder to choose. And my forward progress was sabotaged as the weight loss first slowed, then reversed completely.

I now know that Satan chooses his tactics intentionally. He knows where we are weak. And he wants to lure us away from God. In my case, he knows that what has worked in the past is something sweet, creamy, crunchy and just a bit salty.

Lysa says in Made to Crave: “We consume what we think about, and what we think about can consume us if we’re not careful.” Amen to that.

Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

My prayer for today:

God, I want to crave You, not food. I know it’s Your will that I consume food as fuel, not that I let food consume me. You’ve already shown your faithfulness by removing other obsessions in my life. I choose to trust you with this one as well. Amen.