Thursday, April 5, 2012

5 Pounds

There is no question that I lack in self-control.

The question then becomes, how on God's green earth can I obtain self control? Is it even possible?

He says it Himself when talking about taming the tongue... He says that it's practically impossible to do so.

So here I am wanting to rid this body of mine of five completely unnecessary pounds and I can't even make it through a single day... not even ONE measly day, without a chai tea latte with my breakfast and some sort of chocolate treat after dinner. I dream about exercise but that it never goes further than a dream.

I give myself these pep-talks every night before bed. You know, the ones where you tell yourself that tomorrow's the day, the day of new beginnings. And if only I put my mind to it I can really do this...

The very next morning, I'm standing in front of the pantry again, staring at that giant tub of latte mix and my head is saying one thing while my stomach and my mouth are saying, "just drink the darn thing."

So I've been praying.

I've been asking what the real issue is?

And my new friend Tozer puts it out there for me once again,

"Without a doubt, we (the human race, more specifically, Americans) are out of control and it may be that we have reached the point of no return."

True that, Mr Tozer! :)

He just described my food life in a nutshell.

I feel way beyond the point of no return.

Yes, I would love to lose a few pounds off my hips and my backside, but what I want even more is to find a way into a God-size self control.

I know it's possible.

I've seen it in some of my closest friends. These women, they train their bodies into submission and somehow convince their legs to run marathons, and do crazy events like this one...

But me, I'm having a good day when I can convince my legs to run to the mailbox and walk back.

I can come up with excuse after pathetic excuse... It's so cold outside. Or, plain and simple, I'm just hungry. :)

I think I'm starting to see. I can't change without starting at the root of the issue. It's not about the food or the lack of exercise as much as it's about the absence of self control. Which means that, once again, there is an excess of self and an absence of Spirit going on in my life.

Self control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. That means that the beginning of change must be the Spirit Himself at work within.

"It is as we submit to the Spirit's control that we are empowered to exercise control." (Tozer)

That's nice, but what does that mean for me when I wake up tomorrow morning and I want to fall right into  this yucky cycle that I currently have going on in this area of my life?

I LOVE what John Piper puts out there about Christ followers and self-control...

Paul says that Christians exercise self-control like the Greek athletes, only our goal is eternal, not temporal. "Everyone who competes in the games (agonizomenos) exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable" (1 Corinthians 9:25). So he says, "I pommel my body and subdue it" (1 Corinthians 9:27). Self-control is saying no to sinful desires, even when it hurts.
But the Christian way of self-control is NOT "Just say no!" The problem is with the word "just." You don't just say no. You say no in a certain way: You say no by faith in the superior power and pleasure of Christ. It is just as ruthless. And may be just as painful. But the difference between worldly self-control and godly self-control is crucial. Who will get the glory for victory? That's the issue. Will we get the glory? Or will Christ get the glory? If we exercise self-control by faith in Christ's superior power and pleasure, Christ will get the glory.

The Spirit must work, and I must participate. But in the end it can't be about the food or the exercise, it needs to be about Christ and His power in my life. "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. " Proverbs 21:30

I'm starting out simple and praying for a little consistency.

1. Remove the culprits... And replace with a worthwhile alternative.
(Goodbye Chai tea latte. I have found a new love of mint tea with a touch of honey. I've also enjoyed this list of 100 healthy snack ideas and have kept several of them on hand.

2. I take my days one hour at a time. I don't have a 30-day weight loss plan going on over here. Instead it's an hourly plan to commune with the only one who can make any real change in this soul of mine. May His Word satisfy my tongue in a way that are these other thing will never be able to do so. When self wants to master me, I think upon this verse... "If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." Romans 8:13

I'm starting to see a theme going on in this heart of mine...

That in all areas desperate for change, it cannot be anything having to do with self...

"Not by might nor power, but by MY Spirit says the LORD of hosts..." (Zechariah 4:6)

Lord, I just want to see Your Spirit, Your power at work in my life, all for Your glory.

Any other way is completely in vain.

And so tomorrow we begin anew with day one...