When I decided to give up candy for Lent, I had no idea of the healing journey God had prepared for me.  One that has long been overdue and neglected because I’ve been in God’s way.  I questioned whether I could live a disciplined life in a culture overflowing with indulgences.  Certainly, the world does not help me curb my appetite but persist in testing the limits of my discipline.  Technology has made everything accessible with just a touch.  It isn’t necessary to crave anything for long because I am never living without.  I realized that unless there is a desire to honor God with a life of discipline, I will not make an intentional effort to resist against indulging in the pleasures of this world. 

For me, the indulgence has been with food.  Since the late teen years my struggles has fluctuated between eating too much and not eating enough.  The battle has been fierce at different seasons of life, mild for short durations but always present like a nagging ache that refuses to go away.   My heart has been divided for years between food and God but lately, it has been interfering with my commitment to him and his calling in my life. Perhaps, this is the reason that the Bible tells me to get rid of anything that slows me down, especially sin that distracts me.  Being preoccupied with food has distracted me from fully focusing on God and what he wants me to do.  Food has been my comfort, a remedy for fear, anxiety, procrastination, and loneliness, among many other emotions.  It has been my constant companion and a trusted confidant when I needed to hide from the world.  In its delicacies I found respite from the storms of life even if it was only temporary and artificial.  I was exhausted from juggling this love-fear-hate act with food that has taken over my body.  I knew that my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness was at stake but had resigned to the idea that I could ever enjoy freedom when it comes to food.  I was ready to give in, give up and surrender to my stubborn habits.

Then, about a month ago I surrendered my struggle with food to God after reading Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Among the many insights shared by Lysa, discipline was the concept that shed tremendous light into the defeat I’ve experienced in attempting to beat my struggle with food.  My faith journey has been filled with lessons of discipline in different areas of my life so God instructed me to apply this same discipline in overcoming destructive eating habits.  He gave me the faith to believe that discipline is possible in this most obstinate area of my heart and that it is not my will power but the same power that raised Jesus from death to life that will give me victory.  For the first time in over 20 years, I can see a glimmer of hope that I have never seen before in this battle.  God promises me victory over each thought and each day for the Bible says that because Jesus experienced temptation when he suffered, he is able to help me when I’m tempted to let food rule my life.  I am chasing after this life of discipline which will give me the freedom to follow where God is calling me to serve.  My goal is to fulfill my commitment to him with an undivided heart.   

Now that I’ve shared my heart, I would like to ask some poignant questions of you friends.  What are you wanting to be free of?  Is there something that has held you captive for so long that you don’t believe victory is possible?  Don’t be ashamed to own your struggle because shame will hold you as prisoner, a slave to your cravings.  God can’t set you free from something you don’t own.  No one is completely well on this present earth, many of us just mask it well.  But, did you know that Jesus came for the sick not the healthy?  When we face and deal with our sickness, Jesus will nurse us to full health.  Beloved, don’t give in to your cravings or give up the battle to be free from a life of indulgence.  Instead, surrender your whole self to God because what you are battling belongs to the Lord and he will fight for you!  He has a great calling for your life and wants to do great things for you and through you but your cooperation is required.  Ask God to help you learn discipline in your area of struggle so you may be free to fulfill his calling on your life.  Victory is possible for you! 

If you would like prayer and encouragement to overcome your battle, please share your story with me at pkschuetz@verizon.net