Did you know that weight loss and overcoming overeating starts with recognizing that you are in a Spiritual battle?
Many Christians make the mistake of thinking it is only about eating properly and exercise.
I made that mistake.
I was a Registered Nurse, so I knew about eating properly and exercise. My problem was that I couldn’t make myself do what I knew to do – at least, not for long!
Then I’d go back to those habits that made me gain the weight in the first place.
That is why I would lose weight, but I would always gain it back. I needed help. And that is where God came in.
When I had a severe chest pain that I thought was going to kill me, He said to me, “It is not supposed to be this way.”
Would I choose to believe Him or not? I decided to believe Him and answer His call.
I believe He is calling you too.
As a disciple of Christ, you play a vital role in God’s story to save mankind from their sins. You are called to share the gospel with those who don’t know Jesus.
That is the big story of life – the baseline of your purpose.
We’ll discuss that more later because you must focus on the big story to win the little battles!
However, the enemy wants to trap you in the little story of life. The little story is focused on you.
The little story is about paying bills, heaping up material things, and entertaining ourselves.
Even our eating and weight issues can be part of the little story if we don’t approach them with the right perspective.
To live out the big story of life, you must be aware of the Spiritual battle you are called to fight:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).”
You have a real enemy who is out to steal, kill, and destroy you (see John 10:10).
A few months ago, a reader named Teresa wrote to me about this issue.
It was around the same time that the Holy Spirit gave me the idea for this Spiritual warfare series:
My name is Teresa and I have been receiving your emails for several months now! Your emails cause me to really think, which is good!
I wanted to share something with you. Jesus has been showing me this week that gluttony and obsessing over food is a sin, just as evil as any other sin, such as murder. I believe Satan is busy in the church buildings with all of the banqueting going on inside. Gluttony is one of the most accepted sins in the church, going on right under our noses!
I want to encourage you because Jesus will give you the strength and compassion to address this issue. It is an ugly sin that grieves the heart of Jesus. As the church fills its stomach to excess, the sloth continues and satan sits back very pleased! He is rendering us ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
I am praying for you as you serve our Risen Savior!
We must know about the weapons we have to fight against the enemy. They are powerful.
They are outlined in Ephesians 6:13 – 18:
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
You are called to stand up to the forces of darkness that would seek to destroy you. So let’s begin.
In this first part of the series, I will cover the first piece of armor: You are directed to gird your waist with truth. What does that mean?
Gird means to secure. In ancient times, the soldier wore a belt to hold the other pieces of armor in place, especially the soldier’s weapon – his sword.
Symbolically, the ancients also thought that the waist was the seat of the emotions. Have you ever heard the team “gut feeling”? That is where that expression comes from.
I once heard a pastor say that sin is emotional. Now he did not mean that emotions are sin; after all, God Himself has emotions and He created us to feel.
What the pastor meant was that certain emotions can lead us to sin if the thoughts behind them are not taken captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. You do this through the power of God’s word.
Emotions that can lead to sin include lust, greed, anger, depression, loneliness, envy, jealousy, or any number of emotions.
That is why you need to slow down instead of running to that familiar behavior when you are tempted to sin.
There is a reason why we tell children in school: “No running in the halls!” We know they are liable to trip and hurt themselves.
In a similar way, the enemy wants you to stay busy (running) so that you don’t have quiet times to rest in the Lord or think about what you are doing.
In that way, you can keep sinning out of impulse.
He wants to convince you that you can’t handle it if you don’t keep running to that sin. And when you do run to it, he is waiting to condemn you with guilt and shame afterwards.
They don’t call it a “vicious circle” for nothing!
A sin cycle is a vicious circle created by a vicious master, Satan.
The way to secure your emotions with the truth is to order your life so that you give God space to enter in. Pray and ask Him:
Open my Spiritual eyes so that I may see what is driving me to act this way. I am weak in this area, Lord so I need you to fill me with strength so that I can take the escape route you have created for me.”
You see, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, God give you a promise to practice for every temptation:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Meditate on this and be determined to submit to God in this area. Pray for all of your Christian sisters and brothers who are engaged in battle also.
You have a promise of victory:
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).”
Living the big story of life is recognizing what is at stake in this Spiritual battle. Submission means “under the mission.”
Your life does not belong to you. In making Jesus as your Savior, you have made Him Lord.
That means His mission is now your mission. Because God’s mission is your mission, then you resist the devil’s mission!
Your time on Earth is limited. So you don’t have time to waste days and even years indulging in things that distract from your mission.
The apostle Paul exhorts us in 2 Timothy 2:1-4:
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Here are some things to remember to help yourself gird your waist with truth:
- God’s grace makes you strong so that you are empowered to do what He calls you to do. Remind yourself of this often.
- You will have hardship at times as you strive to fulfill God’s mission. To become a fit soldier requires participating in a daily training program. Training is not always easy because you are striving to learn new ways of thinking and acting. But along with that hardship comes glory and honor. Plus you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are fighting for a righteous cause.
- You don’t allow life’s distractions to get you off mission. You are aware of your weaknesses and cut off/cut out those things that weaken and distract you. And if you ever find yourself off mission, you get back on as soon as possible!
- You take time to define and then remind yourself of the big story of life every day. When you remind yourself of the big story, then it makes daily decisions easier to make. When you face life’s annoyances everyday, just say to yourself “Big story! Big story!” After all, the little story of life won’t matter 100 years from now. The Big story is eternal.
To define your part in God’s big story, take some time today to imagine that your Earthly life is over. You are standing before the Lord. He says to you:
Well done, my good and faithful child! Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
How would you have lived to have the Lord say those words to you? Get the picture in your mind and then write down what you see. Some good questions to ask yourself to bring clarity to the picture include:
- Whom do I serve?
- How do I serve them?
- How can I serve them with excellence to bring glory to God?
What is standing in the way of that picture coming to pass? Many people cannot get past their fears because they haven’t taken time to create that picture. Because they are stuck at the level of fear, then they cannot walk in faith.
Faith and focus is what is required to live a life of significance – one that matters. That is what the Lord wants for you.
So gird your waist with truth. Keep that picture in mind because you are destined to obtain it!
Be blessed with health, healing, and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. When it comes to weight loss, do you often know what you should do but have a hard time doing it?
I struggled with this issue on my own weight loss journey, but I discovered the truth of this statement:
“Nothing is different until you think differently.” – Pastor James MacDonald
In the Take Back Your Temple program, you will discover how to win the Spiritual and mental battle that often causes us to become inconsistent and get off-track on our weight loss journey.
Join a community of other Christians losing weight and keep it off.