Friday, December 17, 2010

Not Lord at All

I am extremely frustrated with myself tonight. These last few days my eating has been out of control. In 2010 I lost 17 lbs between January and July, and since September I have put on about 20. I'm sitting here with my pants feeling way too tight, my stomach distended. I'm so unhappy with the failure, and extremely disappointed in myself.

We had a fast back in September, and I fasted for the full length of days that the pastor called us to. I went without eating and honestly had a very good time seeking the Lord. I lost 9 lbs that week, and after I gained them back, I gained the additional 11.

I was disappointed with myself when I put the 9 that came off during the fast back on. I didn't do the fast for the purpose of losing the weight, I don't think that ever really works. But when I gained it back, I sort of excised it. It was logical because you don't keep off weight lost like that. I was still 37 lbs down from my total weight loss. When I gained another 4, I still gave myself grace, blinding myself to the problem.

That was 7 lbs ago. Now I'm only 25 lbs down from my original weight, and the way I have been eating the last few days, I am afraid to get on the scale, because I am afraid I am going to find myself 20 lbs ahead of an important milestone I had worked so hard to reach, and all the work I have basically undone.

Now, for all of you who are reading this and formulating your advice to me about what I should or should not do to get back on track and get the weight back off. Forgive me, but I am not at all interested in hearing it. Because you see, what I know, is at the root of all this is not a physical issue, but a spiritual one. And it's not counting fat grams or getting more exercise that is the problem, it is far deeper and I know that the breakthrough I need is supernatural, not natural.

Part of me wonders if the spiritual "success" of the fast in September didn't somehow stir my flesh to rise up against my spirit in rebellion. It seems like I have been struggling with all kinds of temptation since then, and my eating is just the most obvious area of failure and struggle.

I wonder if this is what being sifted is like? Maybe that's what is happening? The enemy is tempting, and my spirit isn't strong enough to stand firm and resist. I think part of the problem is, as much as I am feeding my body, I am starving my spirit. My prayer time, my time in the word, my time just abiding in Him, all of it is lacking. I think it's a direct path into a vicious circle. I feed my flesh, my spirit wanes. I don't feed my spiritual hunger and my flesh rises higher, further smothering my spirit.

I find myself tempted a lot lately. My mouth, my eyes, my thoughts, they're all prone to wander, and lately, reigning them back in feels like a full time job. I seem to be "getting by" in most of the areas, but when it has come to food, I have not only failed, but I have let my flesh thrive. Even when I sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit, desiring abundant life for me, trying to pull me back, or turn me away, instead of responding, I seem to run even further down the wrong road. Instead of having a piece of cake I don't need, I eat the cake and a cupcake and top it off with a piece of candy too. All the while stuffing my body, smothering my spirit and sending myself further into discouragement. It keeps me from doing the things I need to do, and instead, I sit on the couch with a pint of ice cream, compounding the problem.

Why? "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt 26:41b)

It's interesting to me that even Jesus was tempted after a fast. (Matthew 4) Unfortunately I have not shown either the wisdom or strength of character and spirit that he did when the enemy came to tempt Him. And while I can give myself the grace that I am in fact, not God, I also cannot excuse myself from allowing the enemy to have his way with me as I have. The fact is, he only has the power to tempt, and the temptation isn't effective until I give into it. And I have so severely given into it.

Some people might offer me grace, "we all struggle with eating," or "it's just food," but honestly, I know it's a cop out. Maybe I'm not being promiscuous, or doing drugs or drinking, but overeating has become the acceptable sin these days, and it's just symptomatic of my entire spiritual state. I am completely out of balance.

As I sit here and feel the pants that a few months ago began to get loose squeezing my middle, I wonder how much further I will fall before I do whatever it is I need to do to stop it. Yesterday I woke up and determined, that nothing would cross my lips without seeking the Lord. And when I "determined it," I meant nothing would go in OR come out of my mouth without seeking Him first.

My day went very badly though, and my stress level, dealing with medical insurance and complicated medical billing issues, rose hard and fast. And I completely responded in my flesh, and went straight for the chocolate, excessive amounts of chocolate. And it was like opening a flood gate, not only to what I ate, but to what I allowed to come out. I lost my cool and lost control as the day continued to get more difficult. You give the flesh a little power, and it demands more. And if your spirit is weak, and wan like mine has been, the aftermath is just ugly. And the saddest thing, is not only am I basically doing it to myself, but I am the one who suffers the consequences. But unfortunately, I don't suffer them alone, because when my mouth unleashes, it hurts people around me.

Temptation crosses over into sin, and as much as I would like to belittle away my inability to say no to food, what I am not saying "no" to is so much bigger. And it doesn't stop at just not saying "no," because what I am really doing is saying yes, yes to the temptation, yes to the sin, yes to the enemy, and all of those things add up to a gigantic "NO" to the Lord.

I have said a thousand times, "if He is not Lord OF all, then He is not Lord AT all." And I have to face the fact, that lately, I have not allowed Him to be Lord of my life. He is still my Savior, but I am not submitting to Him as Lord. Ouch. The fact is, I have knocked the Lord right off of the throne of my life.

I'm floundering. Like a fish out of water, I am struggling to breathe, and too weak to fight. I AM a fish out of water that these waters are not where I belong. As a believer, a child of the King, I should be in the pool of submission and obedience instead of stuck on the shore of struggle and sin, gasping. I took the bait and the enemy fished me out of living water for the purpose of my death and destruction, and it's time for me to be thrown back in.

I need to be swimming, fully submerged in living waters. I need to drown myself in the Word of God and in His presence. I need to swim deeper and deeper until the hooks and bait can't even reach me.

When Jesus was tempted, He responded with Truth. The Word flowed right out of Him, and it pushed the enemy away. No matter how appealing the temptation, Jesus had the wisdom not to trade the truth for a lie. And that's the place I need to get back to.

Chocolate isn't going to bring me comfort or peace. Only the Lord has what I need. He doesn't just have the answers, He IS the answer. He is my comfort, hope and strength. I need to starve my flesh and feed my spirit. I need the bread of life.

I need to put the Lord back on the throne of my life. I don't need to count fat grams, or steps. I don't need to monitor every bite I put in my mouth, what I need is to seek Him.

I need to lay everything else aside and place Him back on the throne where He belongs. I need Him to be Lord. I need to let Him be Lord, and allow Him to bring the balance in my life that I need, in Jesus name.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:9-10

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 19:7-8

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Psalm 103:17-19

Father, You are Lord of all.
Be Lord of me and of my life, in Jesus' name.