Jan 04 2011

Made to Crave - Day Two

Day 2: Overweight Physically and Underweight Spiritually

Based on the Introduction of Made to Crave

  

Thought for the Day: God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.

 

 

My journey to healthy eating didn’t gain traction by counting calories or obeying rules of the food pyramid. The process began in earnest when I admitted that, yes, I was overweight physically. But, more importantly, I was underweight spiritually. I was spiritually malnourished. Tying these two issues together is what opened my eyes to see God in a whole new way.

 

I’m reminded of the story in the Bible where a rich young man comes to see Jesus. The young man explains that he is following all the religious rules, but still feels something is missing from his pursuit of God. He asks, “What do I still lack?” Jesus answers, “If you want to be perfect [whole], go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:20–21 NIV).

 

The rich young man then goes away sad because he won’t give up the one thing that consumes him. He is so full with his riches he can’t see how undernourished his soul is. It’s at this point in the biblical story that most of us start to look at all the rich people we know and think, “Well, I sure hope they get this message. Good thing I’m not rich. Good thing Jesus doesn’t ask me to sacrifice in this way.” Or does He?

 

Jesus meant His comment for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have. I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man’s soul and said, “I want you to give up the one thing that you crave more than Me.”

 

For me, I was like the rich young man when it came to eating. I refused healthier breakfast options, such as egg whites and fruit, while filling myself with candy-sprinkled doughnuts. I choose soda instead of water, chips instead of carrot sticks. Even when my sugar high crashed and I complained of splitting headaches, sluggishness, and unwanted extra weight, I steadfastly refused to even consider giving up my daily brownie.

 

God made us capable of craving so that we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.

 

Paul wrote to Christians, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17 NIV).

 

I don’t know about you, but to me this one benefit of knowing God better is worth all the effort and sacrifice that a healthy eating journey requires. It’s easy to feel that our struggle with food is such an unfair deal. But I encourage you to see the process today as a path that offers both physical and spiritual benefits.

 

To get the book Made to Crave, click here

 

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

 

Jan 03 2011

Made to Crave - Day One

Day 1: Chocolate Is My Comfort and Deliverer

  

Thought for the Day: Eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength, and even celebration. But when pleasure becomes unrestrained, there’s a problem.

 

 

God made you wonderful. Psalm 139 says you are wonderfully and fearfully made. You are beautiful and loved, no matter if you’re a size zero or a size thirty. You are beautiful just the way you are. But God loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to stay in a place of defeat.

 

There was a time when I felt utterly defeated in the area of food and health. I knew that I needed to make changes not because of the number on the scale or what clothing size I was. I knew it because of the battle that raged in my heart. I craved, I desired, I thought about, and arranged my life around food.

 

Yet I was a Bible teacher. I was a woman who loved Jesus. Why couldn’t I figure this out? I had found victory in so many areas of my life, but this area alluded me. I constantly asked, “Why shouldn’t I indulge?”

 

One day I looked up the definition of the word indulge, which means “unrestrained action.” And for me, it was unrestrained eating. You see, eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength, and even celebration. But when pleasure becomes unrestrained, there’s a problem.

 

I had to get honest enough to admit it that I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Chocolate was my comfort and deliverer. Cookies were my reward. Salty chips were my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness.

 

I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I’d make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.

 

Part of my surrender was asking myself a different question, a really raw question. May I ask you this same question? Is it possible we love and rely on food more that we love and rely on God?

 

Now before you delete this, hear me out. This question is crucial. We have to see the purpose of our struggle with food as something more than getting to wear smaller sizes and receive compliments. Shallow desires produce shallow efforts. These good things are nice, but not as appealing in the moment as a cinnamon roll, or those chips, or that brownie.

 

The process of getting healthy has to be about more than just losing weight and focusing on ourselves. It’s not about adjusting our diets and hoping for good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change for the right reasons. I’ve realized that a healthy eating plan can be one of the most significant spiritual journeys I’d ever dared to take with God. As you join me for the next twenty days, I hope you soon say the same thing!

 

To get the book Made to Crave, click here

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: http://madetocrave.org/