Day 12: But I never feel full

Thought for the Day: “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17 – 19)

For years, I walked around with a little heart-shaped cup in my soul, holding it out to people or things trying to find fulfillment. Some of us hold out our heart-shaped cup and expect a husband to love us in ways that rights our wrongs and fills up our insecurities. Sometimes, we expect our kids to be successful so that we look good and feel validated by their accomplishments. Or, we hope that a successful career will confirm that we are a valuable human being.

At times, I have asked the impossible of all of these. But my consistent “friend” of choice over the years has been food. Imagine my little heart-shaped cup as a candy dish, using sweets and snacks to soothe my emotions.

However, if we are going to replace destructive cycles with lasting changes in our lives, then we have to empty ourselves of the lie that other people or things can ever fill our hearts. Instead, we have to deliberately fill up on God’s truths and stand secure in His love. Here are some examples of how we can do that:

Old lie: “I am such a failure when it comes to my diet.”
New truth: “I am not a failure. I am a lavishly loved child of God. Part of my right as a child of God is to operate in a power beyond myself. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to me. So it is possible for me to use the self-control I’ve been given.”

Old lie: “I need these Oreos!”
New truth: “The thought that these Oreos will fill me is a lie. They will taste good for just the few minutes it will take to eat them. Then that hollow feeling of guilt will rush in as soon as the chocolate high dissipates. If I truly need a snack right now, I am capable of choosing a healthier option.”

Old lie: “God seems far away and French fries are right around the corner at the drive-thru.”
New truth: “French fries don’t love me. And the only lasting thing I get from them is the cholesterol and cellulite they inevitably leave behind, which will just compound my frustration. God’s love is here in this moment and in many more to come. His love is true and carries with it only positive residual effects.”

Examine how you can replace the lies and rationalizations in your mind with the truth of God’s love. Experience the power of renewing your mind and learning that food was never meant to fulfill the deepest places of your heart. And, as Ephesians 3:19 reminds, may you understand that the only way to true satisfaction is to be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Comments

  1. I vividly remember the first time I turned to Oreos……jumped off the school bus and headed for the cookie drawer for comfort and relief from the pain of the day. 45 years later and Oreos have still not satisifed me or filled that heat-shaped hole! Make way for truth & fulfillment!

  2. LOVE the comments as much as I love the daily words of wisdom. Thank you to everyone for your insight, honesty and Lysa for your words of wisdom! Praise God for each one of us!

  3. I finally am ready to face the truths in today’s challenge. I am going to take my heart-shaped candy bowl and fill it full of God’s sweet truths from His word.

  4. I actually have a heart shaped candy dish. I think I’ll set it out EMPTY as a reminder that I don’t need sweets to fill me. I have Jesus-that’s all I need!

    • Mary Osborne says:

      Great idea! I, too, have a heart shaped candy dish and will also put it out as a visible reminder that only God can fill my heart’s desires. Thank you.

      • Doreen Preston says:

        I’m going to buy a heart shaped candy bowl and fill it with God’s word to keep me focused. When I think I need a sweet, I will take a sweet scripture to read.

        • I have a little daily bread box full of scripture cards I rarely ever use, but you just gave me a great idea. I will buy me a heart shaped candy dish somewhere when I can find it. I have been addicted to sweets in the past, but am losing weight now. I just ate a pack of oreos I got out of the machine here where I live in a retirement community. They are cheap, but she is right. Down the hatch and then the guilt comes in because I know I should not do that. The option is here though once I learn how many carbs I can have. I love this. She is using a scripture I did not know about. The book is great. My sister just bought it for me for my birthday.

    • Patti Goodale says:

      What a valuable, vivid picture! Thank you!

      • If I can find my heart shaped candy dish I think I’ll put it out and fill it with little pieces of paper with scriptures on them!

    • mary shehan says:

      I to have a heart shaped candy dish and am going to takeout out and fill it with God’s word. Then when ever I want a treat I’ll go read God’s truths to me first. Thank you for gte ideas

  5. Another affirming and relevant meditation Lysa…….thanks! I hope you don’t mind but I am using the Lies versus Truths that you laid out in the meditation for myself daily. They fit! I like the heart shaped cup illustration but mine is more like a huge heart shaped serving bowl. It has taken years and years of pouring in God and His truth to feel like I’m not so neeeeeeeeeeedy any more of being filled up with food, approval of others, success in ministry, things, activity, others making me okay (sorry dear husband) etc etc etc. I thank the Lord that He never gave up on me and didn’t let me give up on myself. My first and last rule in life is NEVER GIVE UP!

    O Lord, bless each of my dear sisters who are carrying around in their souls their own heart shaped containers, trying to fill them with a person, place, or thing that You never intended it to be filled with. May we each count on and experience more of Your power and wisdom today as we seek You as the filler up of our souls and the meeter of our neeeeeeeeeeeediness. You are a good God and so worthy of our love and praise and we worship YOU not anything or anyone else today! Amen

    • Thank you for what you have shared here, Judy. I appreciate the prayer as well. God bless you as you continue your journey. I pray the prayer for you today!

  6. Oh man… But how do I fill it? How do I feel His love? Must I pray, sing hymns and read the Word of God? How can I feel the connection and His love? Am I not praying hard enough? Am I not opening my heart enough towards God? Am I not singing hard enough? How come my efforts still leave me yearning? Am I doing something wrong? … I’m confused..

    • Sometimes it’s not a “feeling” it’s a KNOWING – believing in the Word as Truth from God. In Jeremiah it says you will seek Him and you will find Him when you seek Him with your whole heart. For me, that has been the key – often I am putting my faith and trust in things of this world…many times unconsciously. Thinking my pay check, my family, my church or my friends are what will support me and get me through – make me happy – instead of looking fully to God for all my needs.

      I pray you won’t stop asking and seeking. If you are not in a local church, find one. Get connected – go to Bible study and seek His face. He never disappoints.

  7. Thank you for these wonderful words and thank God for using you to share them with us. I know in the deepest part of me that I do want others to validate me and fill the empty “heart-shaped cup of my soul.” Somedays I feel so lonely, so unloved, so unlovable, so tied to my past, so deep in despair. As I read your book and these daily posts I feel like your speaking the words of my heart, mind and soul. It amazes me that someone else can possible understand my pain. Today your message especially hit home. I knew it, but I guess I needed to hear it, see it or feel it in a different way. Thank you for reminding me that in my emptiness, I simply need the Lord. My goal in starting this journey is to lose weight and become healthier, but I know I will be gaining so much more…a way back to my God and a deeper relationship with Him. I’ve been astray too long…it’s time to come home.

  8. Thank you for this devo, Lysa! My deal is emotional eating and the control I THINK it gives me. If I can’t control the people/situations around me, I can surely control being able to eat what I want when I want. 🙁 Whew! That looks different now that is written out. I want God to be in control. I want to run to Him immediately instead of to the stash in my bedroom. The candy does nothing for me, though it does taste good at times. I don’t even have to move to get to God! 🙂 I can just cry out! Oh my! I need strength in my inner man and more desire for God than the candy. I am glad these devotions are helping me to think things through. If any one has any suggestions, I will be grateful for your sharing them.

    God bless you all richly!

  9. I am finally at a place where I can begin to understand the reasons behind my weight issues. I am pretty sure that I have spent the majority of my life trying to fill the heart shaped hole by myself. I maybe a slow learner but I praise the Lord that He is patient with me and it is not too late to start filling it with His truth and rely on His strength to do it! My prayer for all of us that struggle with this unhealthy relationship with food is that we well do as Cindy has said – and just cry out to the One who is ever present and ever ready to support and strengthen. Let’s go forth and find the blessings and truth that He has for us today! Hang in there – together with Christ we can do all things!

  10. I love this. I am not a failure, I am a child of God. I need to fill my heart with my relationship with him. I do not need those sweets that give temporary satisfaction but leave long term negative results. Thanks for reminding me that my sweet little heart can not stay filled with things that are not good for me.

    • I just started to …. It’s been a battle for years …. Lose it gain it ….. Accountability partner yes i would love to book up
      Rdpage1952@ gmail. Com

  11. As I read this I am nearly in tears. I so desire to get closer to God, but I always feel like I fall short…just as I desire to chose healthier food and fall short…to have more friends and always fall short….to be a better Stewart of the finances the Lord has given me and always fall short. I must choose God, He’s not like man and will not lie or let me down.

    Since starting this devotion, I’ve been trying daily to change my eating patterns, but it’s felt so impossible. Yesterday I chose salad over fries to to accompany my burger. I thought about MTC , what I want, how to not give up. And it worked, then guilt set in for eating the burger and I comforted myself with cookies! LOL The realization of what I did makes me feel and sound CRAZY! But it’s not. I filled my cup with the cookies. I accept that small changes work. I want to become more dicplined, no I AM becoming more disciplined because I choose to be.

    SATAN, KEEP YOUR APPLE AND THE GUILT OF THE NAKEDNESS THAT FOLLOWS, I CHOOSE MY DADDY TO FILL MY CUP! GET OUT OF HERE YOU LOW DOWN DIRTY DEMON, GOD WILL NOT LET YOU DESTROY MY HOPE, FAITH OR LOVE IN HIM OR IN MY SELF. MY CONFIENDENCE COMES FROM THE LORD AND THIS TEMPLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. I ACCEPT THAT IT TAKES TIME TO BREAK HABITS, BUT WITH ACCEPTANCE AND GOD’S LOVE AND SPIRIT, IT’S ALL GOOD!

  12. Be encouraged sister, we will beat this battle with God’s love and each other’s encouragement!

  13. David Carrick says:

    Lysa,
    Thank you for the daily meditational thoughts. Comment posters: thank you for expressing your deep selves. I, a pastor, am currently finishing up preparations for this coming Sunday’s Bible message, and this specific daily thought fits right into the middle of where we are going in the Word. My senior pastor has been preaching a series on marriage, and for my turn this Sunday, I am going to blow up the “YOU COMPLETE ME!” statement that I have heard from so man women AND men through the years. Marriage is a good, God-given thing, a blessing, if done right. However, He did not create us to totally fill all the needs of another, nor they us. He remakes us complete in Him, and there are needs only He can fully fill in our lives. We DO contribute to our mate’s sense of significance, and protection, and empowerment, and wholeness, and so forth. But only as we come to understand and fully apply His command to “go on being filled with the Spirit.”
    Or, as author and pastor Tim Keller put it, “After trying all kinds of other things, Christians have learned that the worship of God with the whole heart in the assurance of his love through the work of Jesus Christ is the thing their souls were meant to ‘run on.’ That is what gets all the heart’s cylinders to fire. If this is not understood, then we will not have the resources to be good spouses. If we look to our spouses to fill up our tanks in a way that only God can do, we are demanding an impossibility”
    May God bless you bountifully as you continue to pour His goodness into others’ lives.

  14. This was a GREAT lesson. I have been studying the concept and scriptures of “Put Off, Put On” for some time and am saving this to go there. I think I need to reread the Made to Crave book. LOL. How could I have missed this…Oh..I wasn’t at the same place yet when I read it. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. Since starting this program, I have not been perfect. One thing I noticed is that I am able to feel what is most important in my life. Before eating a large cheese pizza, would fulfil the moment. Then so much time spent on regret and sorrow. Eating healthy has allowed me to feel the reality and has allowed me to walk in the Spirit. I am thankful for the truth and being set free. I am now feeding my spirit and not my stomach.

  16. Rita Shure says:

    Thank you Jesus, I am making progress. Thank you Holy Spirit for Your still small voice and the counsel it gives through Lysa’s sharing, and thank you Father for your Truth in Love and that we can choose to be accountable to You and Your Holy Word as well as our husband , and sisters in the Lord. I too am going to reread the Crave book, for the second time and am so uplifted and taught by everyone sharing from their heart. After years of knowing the Lord I am still amazed that His Love was so great to die for our sins,;and it blows my mind that when He left us to go to heaven that He sent His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts till we see Him face to face. I have such a longing to step into God’s heart as He stepped into mine so long ago. How does one do that? I desire the total yielding of myself to the will of the Father in my everyday life in a natural relaxed manner like Jesus did, “No my will but Your will be done. When Jesus prayed for His disciples to be one with the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit–that is what I crave for myself and the body of Christ and for all of us to do God’s will.

  17. I just started MTC. I love to cook & a good cook. I’ve been divorced for 20+ yrs…honestly the happiness based on nothing to do with love just bedroom..so I turned to food. God has been my comfort & it’s still hard… I know that God has a Godly saved whole man for me @ 74 yrs YOUNG….I talk to God when I feel alone & I’m gonna start journaling again..used to do it all the time…Pray for me….MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  18. As I read this post, I know it is helpful BECAUSE I feel a challenge. I am mixed with feelings of failure, and a little bit of hope. I pray to get a handle of His Word today in using the Holy Spirit for self-control with food. I pray the lies dissipate and the truths overwhelm.

  19. Awesome devotional. Hit the mark for sure! I can remember stopping on the way home from school to buy a chocolate bar day after day, trying to make up for all the teasing and rejection I got from the kids at school. I’m now learning to tell food, “You don’t satisfy! I need God in this moment! It’s working! No more idols in my life!

    A special thanks to all the people who are putting in comments. It’s very encouraging to see that I’m not alone in this.
    Bless you all!

  20. Is anyone still on this journey? I recently started this journey and would love an accountability partner. I was so pleased that Lysa is coming to our women’s conference in ‘March!

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