Faith Made Complete
If we really believed we could ask anything in His name, and according to His will, it would be done, how would that look in my life today? Taking the example of food…I know it would be His will for me to be eathing healthy meals, not junk. So that’s not the problem. I have prayed about losing weight, and eating right. So I’m left with: did I really not believe He could be stronger than my desires to eat wrong? Did he not hear me? The Bible clearly states He hears our prayers. Did I not believe? Or did I not exercise my faith in the knowledge that He would? <
I used to expect God to just ‘zap’ me and make me all better. It’s called ‘magical thinking’. I approached recovery with the same mentality. My beliefs had always been that God would heal, God would deliver, but time after time, I’ve experienced something different. Not that He doesn’t heal…he has certainly healed me many times, but not all the time; and not that he doesn’t deliver, He has also done that for me many times. But in this area of eating, I have always struggled. I’ve gone from diet to diet, and like everyone else that lives that way, ended up gaining more. I’ve had some successes, but then something happens that scares me and I’m back to gaining it all back again. Between that and meds, I’m heavier than I ever thought I would be.
I now of course realize that there are times we have to work, too. James says in chapter 2:19-26:
You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that. And they tremble! You foolish man! Do you want proof that faith without good works is useless? Our father Abraham offered his son Isaac on the altar. Wasn't he considered to be right with God because of what he did? So you see that what he believed and what he did were working together. What he did made his faith complete.
That is what Scripture means where it says, "Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God."—(Genesis 15:6) And that's not all. God called Abraham his friend. 24 So you see that a person is made right with God by what he does. It doesn't happen only because of what he believes.
Didn't God make even Rahab the prostitute right with him? That's because of what she did. She gave the spies a place to stay. Then she sent them off in a different direction.
The body without the spirit is dead. In the same way, faith without good works is dead.
Faith made complete! I like that. I never quite got this scripture until one day while praying I got this picture. Jesus said we could tell a mountain to be removed into the sea and it would obey us. I’m very visual, so this was the best way I think for the Lord to show me. I saw outside my window a mountain. Now I’m sure it would make history if I told that mountain to be cast into the sea and it did. All earth would be wondering how that happened. But it wasn’t like that. I saw myself and others digging and taking dirt and rock away in wheelbarrows. I realized then that that’s what ‘faith with works’ is. I pray and I believe God and I go about doing my part, and somehow it all gets done. He doesn’t always simply do it all for us.
Regarding the stronghold that besets me, I need to add work to my faith. So what would this look like? I don’t have all the answers to that, yet. But I know I need to take some important steps:
- I have to get rid of the idea that it has to be quick. It took years to get here, it'll take a while to get rid of it. Being in a hurry, having an unrealistic goal, will only sabatoge me before I even begin. This needs to be a lifestyle change for me.
- I’m the one that has to make the decision to change.
- I’m the one that has to find support.
- I’m the one who has to do the work of finding out why I eat what I do and when, some of which I already know.
- I’m the one who has to set a goal and begin changing the way I eat.
- I’m the one who has to get back up again when I slip instead of just giving up because I ‘blew it’. Again, Jesus said, "A just man will fall seven times in a day and pick himself back up." (I'll have to find this one to make sure that is what it says). He doesn' give or or lay there in defeat like I've done so many times.
- I have to change my thinking and my relationship to food.
- I have to be aware of the pitfalls that take me off the path I’m on.
So where does God come in then in removing this mountain? Well, I know He’ll be there to help me reach my goal. If I can learn to turn to him when something happens to scare me instead of food, or when feelings surface that I’m uncomfortable with, turning to him instead of sugar and chips, I think much of the battle would be won. It means I’m going to have to be aware…That reminds me of another scripture, James 5:7-10:
...casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
In the past I was so good at not being aware, watchful. Something would happen, like a stranger coming on to me, and before I realized it, I had quit eating right and losing weight. Another time, I was doing really good, and then a woman was in my group with my counselor who reminded me of my mother, and she was trying to control me, and again, before I realized what was happening, I was stuffing chips and candy in my mouth. And you know what? It worked. The anger I was feeling went away. At least that time, I became aware shortly after I started eating, but I was so uncomfortable with the anger, that I stopped eating in a healthy way.
I now know a lot about why I eat…I feel safer: As a child and teenager, being a victim of abuse, I blamed myself. So I really believed, and I think I still do, although not consciously, that if I was heavier, they wouldn’t want to abuse me anymore. Well, guess what…I was wrong there. But that didn’t change that inner message. I know that when I start losing and someone starts coming on to me, or making remarks about looking sexy, or anything like that, I have sabotaged myself. Now this wasn’t something I was aware of. It was only in hindsight that I linked the change back to my old behaviors to that moment in which I became scared.
So what I have to do now, with God’s help, is to be aware before I take matters into my own hands. I need to somehow learn to go to Him for safety. With Him and with support, I want to do that. I really do want this ‘mountain of eating for the wrong reasons, and the weight’ to be removed. But it doesn’t hinge on God zapping me, it hinges on my being aware and disciplining myself to choose alternate behaviors.
What is your relationship to food? What lies have you believed about food? About yourself in relation to your body and weight? Do you find comfort in eating certain foods? Do you find yourself numbing out when you eat?
I challenge you to ask yourself: “What happened just before I ate that…” “What feelings were starting to surface?” How can I change the way I react when things like that happen? How can I become more aware?
Your stronghold may not be food. I think you can look at any stronghold (which is basically a lie we’ve come to believe either consciously or unconsciously) and find out why it’s there and what you need to do, with the Lord helping, to overcome.
Faith made complete... I like the wording of that because it tells me that just believing isn't complete faith. It's what I do with my faith that makes it complete. It's believing in the God who can do all things, but also doing my part in getting it done. It's taking responsibility for my actions and reactions...my choices each day.
So I’m going to now believe that when I ask the Lord for deliverance, he is going to give me the strength and the power to overcome. And then I’m going to go about doing my part in the battle.
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