Thursday, September 20, 2007

Partial Obedience--Not Obedience

Is it just my imagination or has the size of things changed? I’m talking about clothes and shoes.

I went shopping last week and tried on the size I thought I wore and lo and behold they were snug and I refuse to buy a larger size! But last night I needed to buy new running shoes. I started jogging again and my back has been hurting. When I looked at my shoes, the soles were flat. No wonder I could feel the pavement under my feet! When I went to the store to try on shoes, I pulled my size off the shelf. My toes touched the ends. I pulled another brand the same size thinking it was the brand. But no my toes touched the end in the other brand. I pulled the next half size. Same thing. Finally I pulled a full size larger than what I bought last year and it fit. I thought this is the last straw! My feet cant be growing! I’m too old for that!

Well I went into my prayer closet when I put the shoes away. I sought the Lord about my size and weight. I have been with a well known weight loss membership program since January 2006 that emphasizes lifestyle changes. I have lost a significant amount of weight—28 pounds. But I have 15 pounds to go and I haven’t lost any weight this year. I thought I have been doing all the right things—eating healthy and exercising.

I recently read 1 Samuel 15. This passage of scripture tells about King Saul’s disobedience to the Lord for refusing to wipe out the Amalekites. He kept their king and best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord. Then Samuel tells Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NIV):

"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has rejected you as king."

Upon recalling this scripture, I felt the Lord drop into my heart that “Partial obedience is not obedience.” OUCH! I fell on my face and sought forgiveness from Him. I know what He’s telling me.

The Lord showed me in January 2006 how He wants me to eat. I believe the Lord knows each one of us so well that He knows what the best diet is for each of us. He showed me when I studied about when the Israelites left Egypt and they were in the desert. They craved and longed for the foods that they ate in Egypt—fish, leeks, onions, garlic, cucumbers, and melons (Numbers 11:1-20). They especially missed the quail in Egypt. God gave them manna from heaven; the food of angels (Psalm 78:23-25). In Exodus 16:11-12 (NIV) reads,

11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "

God allowed them to eat the quail at night and gave them the manna in the mornings. I looked up some of the Hebrew lexicons.

Eat – Hebrew transliterated word - akal – means:
to eat, devour, burn up, feed

Filled – Hebrew transliterated word – saba – means:
to be satisfied, be sated, be fulfilled, be surfeited

The manna the Lord provided to the Israelites was perfectly satisfying for them. I felt the Lord nudge me to inform me that lean meats, steamed or fresh vegetables and fresh fruit was His manna for my life. If I choose to eat that I will be satisfied. And that the candies, cakes, chips, breads, etc. are foods of “Egypt” or “the quail”. And the more I choose to eat from the old way of life (the way of Egypt), the more I’d crave & devour them, but never feel satisfied. Also, I feel it is important to note here that I usually feel these cravings in the evenings. And that is when the Israelites craved the quail.

Last year, I did let go of my “Egypt” lifestyle for a while and ate the healthy foods. That’s how I lost that 28 pounds and felt like I had lots of energy. But the ways of the world (aka Egypt) crept back into my life and I didn’t notice. I thought I was doing the right things; but I’m not getting the results that I wanted. I allowed food to become an idol in my life. I used it to comfort me when I felt stress. I used it to celebrate when I felt happy. I used food for social occasions. (Please note: I don’t think it is wrong to gather and fellowship over food. I think it is wrong when that is all I thought about and it occupied more of mind than the things of the Lord.)

The Lord wants to be my comfort. The Lord wants to be my source of joy. I must not allow food to dictate the way I think or feel. I have determined and resolved in my heart to break this bondage in my mind and in my flesh about food. I determine and resolve as Daniel did not to give into and eat the king’s delicacies.

As a woman I have struggled with eating all my life. I am determined to submit it under the Lord’s authority now. I read about and correspond with other women who struggle with this also (though I know some who don’t). In Genesis 3, the fall of man was because the enemy tempted Eve with food—the forbidden fruit. So it has been from the early days of mankind that the enemy has used the same tactic against women. Let’s not fall for it again and again! Let’s rise up in the power of Christ and His blood that was shed for us.

We have self-control and we have crucified the sinful nature (flesh):

Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

I want to thank all of you who are praying for me and encouraging me!

Blessings in Christ--

4 gracious comments:

Karen said...

Shonda,
I don't think I've even looked at those particular Hebrew meanings in Exodus 16:12 for "eat" and "filled." That's really neat to see that what God originally provided for them (manna) would satisfy. How cool is that!!!

nancygrayce said...

I totally understand. I lost 30 lbs. 5 years ago in a good lifestyle change program. I kept it off a long time, but stress started clawing it's way in and I am a comfort eater if nothing else. I too am praying and my husband is too, that God will give us the ability to eat right and exercise! Thanks for that blog, it went straight to my heart.

Leah said...

Shonda,

I think for so many of us gluttony is the 'acceptable sin'. I know that I often overeat and although I am not overweight now I was as a teen. Right now I am fasting sweets (cakes, cookies, pie, ice cream) and let me tell you it is VERY hard for me. We have a spec house that we need to sell. It has been on the market for almost a year and no movement. I felt impressed to really focus on praying about the house and adding fasting to my prayer. It is amazing how many times a day I think about sweets. I did this once before prior to a conference that I spoke at and it really made a huge impact on my prayer life.

Be encouraged, Shonda, the Lord knows your struggles and desires and He longs to fill you mouth with the finest of food and fill your heart with Himself each day. He will give you the strength you need to endure.

Leah
www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com

Ang baylis said...

Hi! Thank you so much for visitig my blog! Any friend of Annie's is a friend of mine!

Thank you for this post! You read my last post and it was about the same thing. But I love how well you put it! Thank you for studying this and sharing it with me! I am starting the Daniel study and know I am going to do some kind of fast. I think God wants me to eat lean meats, fruits and veggies, too! I want to stay away from the cookies, candies, etc.! So, guess who has been loading up on them before it starts on Tuesday!

But, this is my problem. When I do this fast, (staying away from junk food) am I doing it for me or for God? Because I know I want to feel better about myself! It gets confusing to me!

I love the title of your post and I agree that I really do think they are changing the sizes of clothes. Especially when it comes to the unmentionables!

Love,
Angie