I wonder how you can effectively speak against something that still has a grip on you? It’s virtually impossible – without being a hypocrite. Selah. It’s time to let God deal with the real, hidden matters of our hearts…
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”
I recently experienced an abysmal descent into self-destructive behavior that lasted for a few days. What did it start with? One simple (unwise) decision that caused me to let my guard down. I knew it didn’t even look innocent, but I took the plunge anyway…starting with a single faltering step.
For me, the trigger was eating some food items – in larger quantities – during some “free” business meals – over several consecutive days – that opened the door to me getting reacquainted with my old “comfortable” (over)eating habits so quickly it made my head spin. I went from desensitized to numb to oblivious in a matter of minutes. Three days later, I found myself reluctantly (yet giddily) buying 2 tubs of ice cream (because it was Buy One – Get One FREE, of course…no other reason…yeah, right!). I convinced myself that I was disciplined enough to portion it out throughout the week…with it in the house with me…over a weekend…who was I fooling? Only myself. Within 3 days, I could see the bottom of the Rocky Road container. At that point, it felt like a downhill slide, so I polished off the 2 remaining cones “to get rid of them” (yeah, right!)…and last night, I just went ahead and polished off the rest of the tub – in what amounted to one bowl. Oh, for shame!
At any point, did exercise cross my mind? Not for one exhilarating, chocolate-filled moment. Not beyond opening the drawer to get yet another spoon…but I guess that doesn’t count, eh? I got so sedentary by having a “day off” (which rapidly snowballed into several “days off”) of my routine and rigorous healthy regimen that I looked forward to watching my TV shows on DVR – for hours. But that activity (or inactivity) opened a door that I obviously didn’t need to walk through, because the next day, I was feeling downright cruddy.
Only when I was asked to pray for two separate situations of serious need did I break outta my self-induced funk and see the stealthy trap of the enemy for what it was – a snare intended to get me out of position with Christ. Before those “calls to intercession,” I was so sluggish I could hardly hear the voices of my family members, let alone the Lord. I was just caught up in the euphoria of “doing what I was big and bad enough to do.” In this case, it was eating what my flesh desired without regard to consequences. And yes, the scale creeping up instead of down provides irrefutable evidence of my indiscretions…sigh.
What finally snapped me back to the reality of being who Christ called me to be (24/7/365 – not just when convenient or when I feel like it) was 1) a web search showing the link between glutton and idolatry (which I’d been putting off, but gee, is it undeniable!), and 2) a web search that turned up the base, depraved status of people who call themselves the Lord’s church but are far from it. So I was reminded of the critical importance of remaining steadfast and prepared – a vessel of honor fit for the Lord’s use whenever He calls.
I felt the cloud of heaviness lift as I called on the power of God to help me walk in obedience. I confessed my struggle to my husband, who graciously covered me in prayer and reaffirmed his commitment to support me (including help with slowing down my ice cream intake – thanks a lot, dude – no, really, I mean it). After reminding me of last week’s Sunday School title (“Get Back on Track”), he even brought in some fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden and presented them to me with gentle (yet firm) encouragement, “Go ahead and enjoy these today!”
Whether you’re desensitized, numb, or oblivious in the midst of your own situation or struggle, there’s hope, friends! Jesus came that we might reach out to Him and accept the lavish gifts of salvation, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration through His blood when we repent and receive Him – and of course, choose to turn from our sin. When we receive Him, we are immersed in His extravagant, all-consuming presence. Like a dry, brittle sponge getting saturated by the Holy Spirit, we are transformed and rejuvenated by His infinite power. He is so refreshing. Necessary. Vital. Imperative.
Stay connected to your Source – your very life depends upon it. I know mine does.
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”
© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart