Monday, January 13, 2014

Abundance

This article was first published here on FaithGateway. 

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Abundance is my word for 2014.

I didn’t anticipate how much doing The Daniel Plan would deepen my spiritual journey. I thought it would be a healthy, new beginning in changing my mindset and patterns about food and it would help get all that extra behind off of my behind… which it has, thank You, Jesus.
But, wow, my relationship with food has had some seriously messy, emotional, spiritual garbage attached.
The Daniel Plan Lysa TerKeurst quote
As I’ve “cleaned out the junk and made room for abundance,” God has brought stuff up that I didn’t expect – that I didn’t know was there. Or, maybe I did know, but I just didn’t want to deal with it.
Stuff that needed to be turned upside-down and inside-out.
Stuff I was holding onto with a death-grip.
Ways I was medicating or numbing out hurt, anger, and disappointment (old & new) with food and bad habits.
Ways that I was choosing Self over God.
Ways that I was choosing my little go-to gods (my idols) over the one true, living, righteous, loving, omnipotent, relationship-seeking, fully satisfying God.
“We want to teach you how to treat your body with respect and kindness. We will teach you what foods to choose to nourish yourself and which ones to avoid. Most of all, we will show you how to create a nurturing, peaceful relationship with food and cooking that will automatically lead to weight loss, radiant health, and an overall sense of well-being.” (The Daniel Plan, pg 73)
God loves us too much to let us stay the same.
Luke 12:7 is one of my life verses:
What is the price of five sparrows — two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. — Luke 12:6-7
A gold refiner’s job is to heat up the metal with flames exceeding 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and agitate it, stir it up, allowing the dross (impurities) to rise to the surface. Then he can skim it off.  God does the same thing in us (Zechariah 13:91 Peter 1:7, Job 23:10)! He heats our lives up (with trials, struggles, challenges, traumas, natural consequences, difficult circumstances and difficult people) to bring the dross (the junk) in our hearts to the surface so we can face it with Him, clean it up, and be purified (changed).
The Daniel Plan transforming love meme
It’s honestly such a relief that it’s God’s job to change me from the inside out. I can’t do it. I don’t even really want to do it since it’s uncomfortable and frustrating! I’d rather say,“I have enough character, thanks!” and stay the same ol’ messy, selfish, cranky, controlling, extreme, slightly unhinged me. But, it’s my job in this partnership with God to continue to choose a convictable heart when I’d rather make excuses and blame-shift and to cooperate when everything within me is thrashing and screaming for what I want! I want! I want! Or I don’t want! I don’t want! I don’t want! (Thus the need for the Rebel Yell Against Self!)
…Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in or der to fulfill His good purpose. — Philippians 2:12b-13
“Notice two phrases: work out and work in. We are commanded to work outwhile God works in us! That’s the cooperation required for change.” (The Daniel Plan, pg 55)
Do you love idols like I do? Are you an idolater, too?
It’s true. I am an idolater. I like my idols. Give me a choice between God and my idols, and I turn to idols way more than I would like to admit. Usually without really even thinking about it. I obsess about certain things, mull on them over and over and over. I let stuff take over my life. My heart. My time. And I let that junk wreak havoc in my heart, life, body, mothering, relationships, ministry, service, etc.
I can make an idol out of anything. Seriously. I’m great at it! (I thought about going pro, but the pay is not good.)
I hate the old habit of spinning and spinning on the stupid things I think will satisfy me instead of choosing God! Foolishness! I have rarely questioned: then what?
 “So, what if you could learn the two most important words in the English language when it comes to your health: then what.
Then what will happen if I eat this? Then what will happen if I say this impulsive thing to my wife? Then what will happen if I stay up at night on the computer and don’t get good sleep for tomorrow? (The Daniel Plan, pg 42)
Here are a few of the many things I have had a habit of turning to during times of stress, disappointment, challenges, and grief:
  • Carl’s Jr.’s Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken sandwich with Crisscut fries and ranch
  • Wine
  • Zoning out on TV
  • Gossip (unloading on a girlfriend instead of giving a painful relationship to God and letting love cover the offense — 1 Peter 4:8)
  • Criticism (including relentless self-criticism)
  • Obsessing on how I could fix my broken marriage and relationship with my prodigal son
  • Filling my days being busy, busy, busy — too busy to stop and quietly listen to God

Finish reading here!

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Prayer

God, help me to choose You. Abba, help me to seek You first. When I’m hurting, lonely, worried, bored and my tendency is to wander on over to my idols for comfort or entertainment, remind my spirit that what I’m really thirsty, hungry, and in need of is You. Remind me of the price You paid for my freedom. Soften my heart so that it’s convictable and strengthen me so that I choose to change my mind (to repent) and obey You wholeheartedly, immediately, and permanently. And, Lord, help me to be that  “grace-filled snow cone on a hot, judgmental day” when I blow it. Thank You, Jesus, for never giving up on me, for loving me so dearly that it blows my heart away. I love You. Amen.

Join the Conversation

What’s your word for 2014? Do you have an unhealthy relationship with food like I do? Have you taken stock of your idols and asked the Lord for help in kicking them to the curb?
Hey, Daniel Buddies, have you made some wonderful recipes? What’s your favorite so far? Have you put together your “food emergency” bags? Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you! If you haven’t already jumped on The Daniel Plan bandwagon, join me! Be sure to let me know you’re getting Daniel Strong!
Also, don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram! We can share food & exercise ideas and encourage each other!

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