“Often depression of spirit and great misery of soul are removed as soon as we quit our idols and bow ourselves to obedience before the living God. We must do this with all our hearts and all our souls, and then our captivity will end.” – Charles Spurgeon
“Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” – Deuteronomy 8:3
“Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.” – Deuteronomy 6:13
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:25-26
“God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today.” – Lisa TerKeurst
Cravings come from a feeling of emptiness. Lusts come from feeling deprived. And boasting comes from feeling rejected. It made so much sense to me to read this. Finally, I understand why I have binge eaten for years…when I have felt “empty” from loneliness, sadness, feeling overwhelmed, feeling rejected and unloved. I have been trying to “fill” my emptiness with food. And, it has worked to a point…it has numbed me briefly, but it has left an even emptier feeling afterward.
When I read that the strength I need to turn from binge eating only comes AFTER WORSHIPPING THE LIVING GOD, I realized I’ve had this backwards for decades! I’ve been trying to TURN FROM THE FOOD. And, I’ve had NO strength of myself to do it--even though I've prayed and tried and prayed and quoted Scripture! That’s because only through worship does the strength come. AND, IT COMES FROM GOD…NOT FROM MYSELF!!!!!
This truth has convulsed me to my core. When I tried to write this out the first time for myself, it took me THREE tries to get it right! I kept writing, “Turn from…” But, I kept saying it backwards. We DON’T TURN FROM! WE TURN TO!!!! We turn TO God; then, God gives the strength my heart needs to turn from! Turning to God in WORSHIP first FILLS US UP!!! WE THEN NO LONGER NEED OR EVEN DESIRE THE FOOD IDOL!
I have been replacing God with idols. This “slight” shift of thinking has been cataclysmic to my former way of thinking. Immediately, I changed my focus from food to worship of the living God. I began to read Scripture daily and I was already doing a Bible study called, “Uninvited.” I woke up the next day and had a "smallish" (normal!) breakfast. I then committed to waiting to eat my next meal until my stomach growled. I love using this signal as a natural bodily function designed by God. I will tell you, I felt like I was going through DT’s not going to food before my stomach growled again to eat lunch at noon! This food idol is a clawing, grasping demon.
But, each time I was tempted to go to the kitchen, instead, I talked to God. I told Him, “Father, I choose YOU over food!” And, no kidding—each and every time, I didn’t think about food again for awhile. GOD GAVE ME THE STRENGTH NECESSARY! HE DID IT…I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO TRY! I did this each time I felt forcibly drawn into the kitchen. And, each time I told God, “I choose YOU over food,” and read Scripture or talked with God. That first period between breakfast and lunch was my hardest time.
I am enjoying the relationship with my Lord more than ever! I had just never thought about my choices like food and when to eat it as opportunities to worship God. I knew the Bible tells us that God is jealous for me and that He wants my undivided worship, but I HAD NO IDEA THE POWER BEHIND IT! I didn’t realize that STRENGTH to OVERCOME only comes from God…and that it comes only AFTER true worship. I always thought, I guess, that the strength to overcome would come to ME after I read Scripture, prayed, etc. BUT I had it backwards...The only strength comes from God. The strength comes from my worshipping and loving Him. HE DOES IT! ...NOT ME!!! This is the power to overcome Paul talks about all through the New Testament!
Idols have a choke-hold on us that can only be loosed by God. Choosing God over these idols through worship of Him releases the power of God to tear down the strongholds in our lives. In the study, “Uninvited,” Lisa asks, “Is my attention being held by something sacred or something secret? Pornography, sex outside of marriage, trading your character to claw your way to a position of power, fueling your sense of worth with your child’s successes, and spending outside of your means to constantly dress your life in the next new thing—all things we do to counteract feelings of being left out of and not invited to the good things God has given others—these are just some of the ways lust sneaks in and wreaks havoc. Two words that characterize misplaced worship or lust are secret excess. God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today.” Secret...and Excess. Need I say more?
So, I’ve been replacing idol worship with God worship in my eating, in my quitting the “news” which has pretty much become pornographic to listen to or read, in my slothfulness, in my negativity…in other areas of strongholds that I have not been successful long-term changing in my life. The Lord has already been telling me to memorize and daily repeat scriptures regarding these problem areas. NOW, they are even more meaningful to me as I turn them into worship when I turn TO God so that I can gain HIS STRENGTH to overcome!
I praise God today for this powerful insight into overcoming long-term the strongholds in my life. I pray that God will sweetly and "life-changingly" use this for good in someone else’s life as he has mine. I pray for someone else to fall in love with their Savior more deeply and intimately as a result.
Just a brief FYI...Two days...minus 2.6 lbs. Boom! I'm eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner (normal sized meals...enough that my stomach growls about the time the next meal rolls around) and I'm worshipping God and putting HIM first and HE is keeping me from giving in to the idols that would love to grab me by the throat!
I always "knew" that this weight issue I have dealt with for so long had to do with my relationship with God. I guess I just thought I had to behave good enough for Him to love me and help me. Little did I realize it all had to do with just loving Him. And letting Him SHOW me how very much HE loves me!
...And, yes...you will be able to look at me in the next year and see how much I love Him. It will show all over me! I know this makes me very vulnerable. But, God has shown me something so life-changing and true that I want to share it with anyone who will listen. The Bible tells me to tell of his amazing deeds...and this one is HUGE! So, I share it. May God bless the worship of our hearts. I love you and am praying for you. I know how long you have struggled, wept, prayed, begged and pleaded with God. He just wants a relationship with you. He wants your love and devotion. HE does the heavy lifting for you once you TURN TO HIM instead of your idol.
“God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today.”