So, I have a confession to make. With all my talk about breaking strongholds, one would think I have it all figured out. Well, I don’t. I’ve gained weight every week for a month. Quite frankly, I’m pretty disgusted with myself. I am living proof that talk is cheap. I have no one to blame but myself. My “secret” sin shows up in my clothing size. Sure, I can hide it for a while, but sooner or later my clothes start to get tight. I’m not fooling anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a salvation issue I’m struggling with. This is a long-term battle with a stronghold of sin called gluttony. Alcohol was the biggest challenge, and God took that completely away in a twinkling of an eye. However, he’s teaching me how to conquer my food addiction. I have all the information I need and all the spiritual gifts pre-packaged. The answer is Jesus. My problem is that I start to think I can cheat the system a little here and there. Soon, I end up in trouble – I find that I am being sucked back in to the old patterns of behavior. Snacking between meals. Eating large portions. Extra-large portions. More between-meal snacks. Avoiding the scale. Justifying my actions. Laughing it off. Hiding it. Making vows. Dreading the scale. All the while feeling completely helpless as I fill my face when I know I shouldn’t.
My willful disobedience amazes me. Who do I think I’m kidding, anyway? God knows every act I make as well as the intention behind it. He knows that I know better and do it anyway. I know that he knows. Honestly, I don’t know what he hasn’t smoked me for my absolute rebellion. In fact, sometimes I wish I wore a training collar that hunters use for dogs. When a dog is disobedient, they get a bump. I might need a good blast at times to knock food out of my hand. I suppose God could do that without a collar, but he doesn’t. He lets me have my way.
The one thing about this go-around with my weight is that I am extremely bothered about gain very early on. Other times, I would lose weight, bottom out, and then march right back up. It wasn’t until I had gained it all back that I was really troubled by it. Now, however, I am extremely troubled right away. And called into action through it. This isn’t my own self-examination that’s putting the pressure on my behavior; this is the Hound of Heaven. That’s the Holy Spirit, for those who have never heard me refer to him that way. Like a hound on a coon, the Holy Spirit will not leave me alone. Apparently, He is serious about me treating my body like his temple. That’s why I am so disgusted with myself so early on this time around.
There is a song by Crowder called “Freedom” that has a chorus that keeps going through my mind. It is hard-rock genre, generally not the style I care in Christian music. It is best played really loud. I can’t understand any of the words except the chorus. Here it is:
If you’re free prove it!
If you’re free prove it!
If you’re not loose the chains on your soul!
Yes, I am free regarding my salvation, but I am not free regarding gluttony. Yes, I say that Jesus has delivered me, and at times I am free of it. Then, again, there are times when I willingly go back into my chains and lock myself in my cell. Crowder’s song challenges me to make my actions match my words. Am I free of gluttony? If so, then prove it! Prove it? What does he mean by that? For me, it’s getting down to my God-honoring temple weight. I don’t know yet what that is because I haven’t gotten to it yet. God will let me know when I do. So, I’m not free yet, but I was acting like I was because I started to eat like I had arrived (by eating a maintenance-level calorie count). Then, I started to pig out and piled on the pounds.
Am I free? Prove it. The scale doesn’t lie. The answer is no.
If you’re not, loose the chains of your soul!
How do I do that? It starts with repentance. There is no other way. No shortcuts. Hard, brutal truth. I get to have a heaping serving of this pie. Humble pie.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
I’m saved, but I have not yet worked out my salvation. I’ve been talking lately like I have repented, but the bathroom scale tells me otherwise. Have I attained godly grief today? We’ll see. I sure hope so. I want to have learned this lesson and not get the paper handed back to make corrections.
Hebrews 12:3-13 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, not be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
There you have it. I’ll report back to you next Friday.
Father, whew. I give. Jesus, let’s do this your way. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers