Jan 07 2011

Made to Crave - Day 5

Desperation Breeds Defeat

Day 5:

Based on Chapter 16 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKheurst

  

Thought for the Day: “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.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

I was walking through the airport when an incredible aroma suddenly grabbed my attention and taunted, “Do you know how happy I can make you?” A candy shop had just made a fresh batch of nutty, caramel popcorn.

 

I felt my knees get weak, because I love caramel popcorn. I started to rationalize buying this special, thinking, “I can’t get this flavor at home, and I’ll take half home to my kids.” In that moment, a new truth God taught me during my healthy eating journey popped into my mind and saved the day: desperation breeds defeat.

 

In the book of Genesis, the Bible tells an interesting story about twin brothers who illustrate this point. The elder son, Esau, was favored by his father, Isaac, because of his prowess as a hunter. In contrast, the younger son, Jacob, was a quiet homebody. One day, Esau returned home from an unsuccessful hunting trip totally famished, and demanded some stew from his brother. “I’ll give you food,” agreed Jacob, “but first, trade me your birthright.” Esau replied, “Okay, I’m so hungry, I’m about to die.” So Esau traded the honors due to him as the firstborn son for a simple meal of stew.

 

Upon first glance, it’s easy to ridicule Esau’s decision. I cannot imagine selling your whole birthright for a pot of soup. But I had to look at my own life and ask, “What great thing have I traded for so little in return? How often do I trade healthy food for junk food? What temporary pleasure have I craved so much that I gave up lasting victory?”

 

Desperation does indeed breed defeat. But God promises answers for desperate situations in 1 Corinthians 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.

 

 

The “way out” that God provides is the ability to decide in advance what I will and will not eat each day. I plan my meals right after breakfast when I’m feeling full and satisfied. The absolute worst time for me to decide what I’m going to eat is when

 

I’ve waited until I’m depleted and feeling hungry. So I prepare a healthy snack to have on hand or keep in my purse.

 

When I’m unprepared or I’ve rushed through a proper meal, my stomach screams for something quick. And quick options usually come in a variety of unhealthy temptations, just as I experienced at the airport. However, that day I had decided ahead of time that I would keep an apple in my purse for a snack, rather than trade my healthy progress for something like caramel popcorn.

 

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that we should flee food. However, we must prevent the control that food can take over our lives. If we purposely begin to think before we eat, we’ll be better able to see the way out that God promises when we are tempted.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 06 2011

The Second Chance Story of Ted Williams

If you've watched TV at all this week, there's a great chance you heard the story of Ted Williams.  The former radio personality that has struggled with addiction and found himself homeless.  What has transpired over the past couple of days has been amazing and speaks to the fact that we serve a God of Second Chances.  To see more of Ted's amazing second chance story, check out the video below ...

 

 

 

Jan 06 2011

Made to Crave - Day 4

Day 4: Are Cravings Chasing You?

Based on Chapter 1 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

  

Thought for the Day: Are your cravings a curse or a blessing? The answer to that question depends on what you’re craving, because what we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming. Is it the object of our desire, or God and His truth?

  

A well-known weight loss company recently ran a television ad about a little orange monster chasing a woman throughout her day, tempting her with foods that obviously weren’t part of her healthy eating plan. This ad perfectly captures what it feels like to be harassed by cravings all day long. It’s a scenario that has defined the greater part of my adult life.

 

I believe God made us to crave. Now, before you think this is some sort of cruel joke by God, let me assure you that the object of our craving was never supposed to be food, sex, money, or chasing after significance.

 

Think of Eve’s temptation in the garden of Eden. While the object that enticed her might have been an apple, the core of her struggle was that she wanted to be like God, knowing good and evil. The very downfall of humanity was caused when the first woman surrendered to a craving to eat something she wasn’t supposed to eat, and to pursue a power that she was never intended to wield. But it doesn’t stop there. Look at how Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:

 

After fasting forty days and forty nights … Satan came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (vv. 2–4)

 

 

Satan tried to appeal to Jesus’ physical craving for food. But here’s the significant difference between Eve and Jesus. Eve was saturated in the object of her desire. Jesus was saturated in God’s truth. Jesus had been in a desert fasting for forty days.

 

But He held strong and set a powerful example of how to escape the vicious grip of temptation. When we feel deprived and consumed with wanting unhealthy choices, we too can rely on the truth of God’s Word to help us.

 

With each of Satan’s temptations, Jesus quoted Scripture without hesitation to refute that temptation. Truth is powerful. The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations. And the more we’ll naturally direct our cravings where they should be directed—to the Author of all truth.

 

As we read in Matthew 4:8–10:

 

[T]he devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

 

 

Are cravings a curse or a blessing? The answer to that depends on what we’re craving. And what we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming … either the object of our desire or God and His truth.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 05 2011

Made to Crave - Day 3

Day 3: Excuse Me, Pass the Shame … Please

Based on Chapter 5 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

Thought for the Day: We were made for more! More than this failure … more than this cycle … more than being ruled by our taste buds, body image, rationalizations, and guilt. We were made for victory. Sometimes we just have to find our way to that truth.

 

More than once, I’ve held the latest, greatest, diet book in one hand with my other hand wedged into the back pocket of my ever-tightening jeans. But the thought of taking the plunge and signing up for another diet made me want to sit down and cry. I’d return the book to the shelf, toss my head back, and sigh, “Another day, another time. I’m doing the best I can right now.”

 

It is so tempting to quit the health struggle entirely and pretend it doesn’t really matter spiritually. But it does matter and not just for the physical or emotional setbacks. It’s the denial of a fundamental spiritual truth. What is this truth?

 

Your parents might have said it to you when you got sassy and disrespectful …

 

“More is expected of you. You aren’t a brat, so don’t act like one.”

 

Your teacher might have said it to you when turned in a halfhearted term paper …

 

“You have more potential as a student than what you’ve shown here.”

 

Your friends have definitely said it when your loser boyfriend dumped you …

 

“He didn’t deserve you. You’re worthy of a better love than he could offer.”

 

Today, your heavenly Father is telling you the same truth: “You were made for more!” More than this failure … more than this cycle of defeat … more than being ruled by taste buds, body image, rationalizations, guilt, and shame. You were made for victory.

 

Ephesians 1:18–19 says: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which [God] has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

 

This truth is a great script to play in our heads every time we’re tempted with guilt, rationalizations, or the “I’ll-do-better-tomorrow” escape clauses. Do any of these sound familiar?

 

“I’m good in every other area.”

“I’ll do better tomorrow.”

“For heaven’s sake, everyone has issues. So what if food is mine?”

 

Addressing our thinking is one of the most crucial steps toward permanent progress in any area and stopping the cycle of shame and defeat. We have to rewrite those negative scripts by getting into the habit of saying truth. And, the first of these truths is, “I was made for more.” Wrapped in this truth is a wisdom and revelation that unlocks great power.

 

We need a power beyond our frail attempts and fragile resolve. We need strength greater than our taste buds, hormones, temptations, and our inborn female demand for chocolate. Yes, the truth of who we are and the power to live out that truth—that’s what we need. So, say it out loud with me today: I was made for more!

 

To get the book Made to Crave, click herewww.MadetoCrave.org 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: