Day 2: Overweight physically and underweight spiritually

Thought for the Day: God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.

My journey to healthy eating didn’t gain traction by counting calories or obeying rules of the food pyramid. The process began in earnest when I admitted that, yes, I was overweight physically. But, more importantly, I was underweight spiritually. I was spiritually malnourished. Tying these two issues together is what opened my eyes to see God in a whole new way.

I’m reminded of the story in the Bible where a rich young man comes to see Jesus. The young man explains that he is following all the religious rules, but still feels something is missing from his pursuit of God. He asks, “What do I still lack?” Jesus answers, “If you want to be perfect [whole], go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:20 – 21 NIV).

The rich young man then goes away sad because he won’t give up the one thing that consumes him. He is so full with his riches he can’t see how undernourished his soul is. It’s at this point in the biblical story that most of us start to look at all the rich people we know and think, “Well, I sure hope they get this message. Good thing I’m not rich. Good thing Jesus doesn’t ask me to sacrifice in this way.” Or does He?

Jesus meant His comment for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have. I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man’s soul and said, “I want you to give up the one thing that you crave more than Me.”

For me, I was like the rich young man when it came to eating. I refused healthier breakfast options, such as egg whites and fruit, while filling myself with candy-sprinkled doughnuts. I choose soda instead of water, chips instead of carrot sticks. Even when my sugar high crashed and I complained of splitting headaches, sluggishness, and unwanted extra weight, I steadfastly refused to even consider giving up my daily brownie.

God made us capable of craving so that we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.

Paul wrote to Christians, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17 NIV).

I don’t know about you, but to me this one benefit of knowing God better is worth all the effort and sacrifice that a healthy eating journey requires. It’s easy to feel that our struggle with food is such an unfair deal. But I encourage you to see the process today as a path that offers both physical and spiritual benefits.

Comments

  1. Thank you Lysa. I get it. Cast out every idol. God wants obedience more than sacrifice. I always alled myself an emotional eater as if that justified my glutonny. Recently I have been under probably the greatest spiritual attack of my life. My marriage is in turmoil, my sons are being disobedient, I believe as a result, I now have high blood

    God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying thempressure which developed during my third pregnancy at age 45, and I have sought food as my solice. The amount of under overeating I have been doing in retrospect is just CRAZY! Leslie Vernick’s website linked me to yours. Jack Daniel’s linked me to Leslie. My realized thirst for God lead me to the Christian radio station, and a co-worker lead me to a physician guided eating plan. I am on day 3 today. Isn’t it marvolous how god leads us even in our ignorence and rebellion. He has allowed these trials to show me my greater need for Him. These were all His blessings in disguise, His tender mercies. Thank you Abba Father. I thank God for you all.

    • Hi,

      i am also emotional eater and know food has been for me idol and so many food which i love to eat become idol and i cant stop eating them. So i need to stop that and focus on God alone and in His words and being in His presence even more and more. Yes i want to do it for God and eat healthier. As I dont want to get poisoned inside. thank you this is great article and remimber that we truly need God.. and He is alone the one we need to worship great!!!!!!

    • I, too, struggle with weight and with issues related to food. God has been so gentle in drawing me where I need to go, removing foods that I have a hard time resisting (mentally and physically) and showing me that there are healthier ways to live. Each day can be a struggle, but if we look hard we can find the joy and the strength that only God can provide.

      Blessings to you on your journey!

  2. Wow!! I just have to say, “thank you” from the bottom of my heart! I started reading your book a while ago but put it aside until this week and boy, between a most hurtful experience with terrible words spoken to me and God bringing me to Him for His amazing comfort through you, and HIS WORD, I am eternally grateful! Craving our Dad and our relationship with the Creator, and letting Him be our truth and strength and not the world…….amazing!!!!! God bless you!!!!

  3. Today is day 2 for me, I don’t normally get past day 2 without justifying my food stronghold by giving in to either something unhealthy or just a outright binge, BUT today feels different! I actually want to be able to come to this place tomorrow morning and be able to say that by the grace of God I am on day 3 of making healthy choices. The word for this week is empowered. I must admit that I feel stronger knowing I am empowered and not deprived. I hope and pray that the rich young man who walked away sad wanting to keep his riches came back after giving his “stuff” away, to walk with Jesus. Hearing Lysa tell the story was confirmation for me because I believe God through that same parable was trying to get my attention, but I felt too deprived to admit it and let go, but I received the gift of empowerment and right now I am walking with Jesus. The truth will set you free and tomorrow when I return here I will be able to say today is day 3. Thank you Jesus for your gentelness and love.

  4. Paula Mantrozos says:

    We discussed last night in our group study..”Just how DO you weigh yourself spiritually?” There are lots of parts to that answer but I felt today the “big picture” answer. Our “spiritual weight” is determined by how much we surrender to the Holy Spirit for His conviction, instruction and empowerment; and to God’s Will for us moment by moment—how much we live for God’s Glory and not our own .
    2 Corinthians 4:17 says “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” -that glory is not ours, but God’s!
    Perseverance –integrity going in the right direction for a long long time. Thank Goodness God gives us all that’s needed every moment when we rely on Him. I’m so glad that the Fruit of the Spirit “self-control” doesn’t mean I have to do it MYself, but to surrender myself to His Control! Praise God for His Spirit ALIVE IN US!

    • I measure my spiritual weight by the fruits of the Spirit. What is manifesting? Is it the fruits of the Spirit or the works of the flesh.Galatians 5

    • Wow, such insite here Paula, thank you. Fruit of the Spirit “self-control” doesn’t mean I have to do it MYSELF, but surrender to HIS Control! “All things are possible with Christ”~~~even God given self control in eating! Praise Him!

  5. Hi! I’ve been on numerous diets for over 30 years. This is the first time I’ve connected using Jesus’s strength to help me get healthy. This is the year I walk in full abundance. Not just money, but in every area of my life. As I focus on going deeper in my walk with God I will be blessed. I wish the same for the other sisters on this journey with me.

  6. Hi,
    Today I stepped on the scale and for the fourth week my weight has not changed an oz. How ever I have grown so much closer to God, and depending on Him to guide me in the next step to take. Any suggestions ? I want to remain obedient in my eating but be open to his voice.
    Myrna

    • Genny . I have never know God to be called Dad, he is your father in heaven , he has many name and Dad is not one of them , is this something new that I am missing as a.new Christian. I am new to the program Have A Blessed Day. Just wondring . Roz

      • I don’t believe “Dad” is found in the bible, but I believe it’s more of a relationship issue. Dads are loving, caring, protective, (not scary nor abusive), and will totally go to the wall for his children. I can’t speak for Genny, but I have a feeling that might be where she is coming from. If not, well, then I apologize, but this answer at least makes the most sense to me. Hope that helps. Blessings and peace!

      • The word “ABBA” is used in the new testament, and it is the greek equivalent to our word father. Some have suggested that “daddy” is an appropriate term as well, but there is debate on that amongst theologians. .. Hope that helps.

      • laurajean31 says:

        Jesus called God “Abba Father”. Abba is an affectionate Hebrew word equivalent to our English word Daddy .That’s why some people call God ” my Dad”.

      • Roz – Abba is the equivalent of “Daddy” in English. He is our Lord who deserves our respect and awe and reverence; yet He is also kind, loving, and gentle enough to be called “Daddy.” He can fulfill our every need if we will only let Him.

  7. Patti Goodale says:

    At this point in my journey I am keenly aware of the fact that it is very much a spiritual journey. The physical health is a benefit of focusing on the primary issue. I need to ask myself each time I want to buy that package of Twizzlers & eat the whole thing, what is it that I REALLY need? Turn to God for the answer instead of the junk food I want to consume–I’m a work in progress!

  8. I am very excited about Lysa’s message yet a little weary because of so many failed attempts to change in the past. This morning I realized that I must be feasting on God’s word a lot as I work to dethrone food and let God resume His rightful position. God’s word is living and active and will not return to Him void. I’m starting in the book of Joshua and love the encouragement God gives, “be strong and courageous!” This encouragement is for me too! And I have some conquering to do. Well with God’s help. Girls let’s strive to make our struggle with food part of our testimony of God’s grace and power.

    • HI I think the comparison to Joshua is great I feel like that. I know it takes me surrendering my love of food and turn it to reliance on God. I was wondering where to get verses for this struggle and you have provided a great answer. Thank You

  9. Janice Richardson says:

    When I started this journey 2 weeks ago God showed me 4 food items that He wants me to give up in surrender to Him. I wrote them in the back of my book “Made to Crave”. I have given all up except one. I have this one food once a day in the evening. It’s not really a bad food and I have only a little, but the point is, why can’t I leave it alone? If I heard God correctly I need prayer to let this one go! Thanks for sharing your experiences, Lysa. God bless you and your family.

    • I hear you, Janice! I, too, have a “red light” food that I really struggle to give up. God doesn’t demand perfection, but perhaps that little trigger food is meant to keep reminding you that you NEED God every hour, every minute and each time you reach for it, it’s a trigger to tell you to turn to Him for strength. Don’t reach for perfection, reach for God’s hand and his guidance and a closer, more abiding relationship with him. It will happen over time. Blessings!

    • February 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Some things we overcome only through prayer and fasting. This month God impressed upon me to fast daily from 12:00 midnight until 1:00 pm. I find that I am starting to reap benefits of this time dedicated to the Lord. One of the biggest benefit is increased self-control– Trading my will for the will of God. Things I have been putting off, I just find myself doing them. Another benefit is I found that I talked too much. I always have a ready comment to everything. So I find that I close my mouth more, with only brief comments, for the most part. I also, find I eat less in the evenings too. I asked God to help me shut my mouth. He’s shutting it to verbiage as well as food.

    • Katy Short says:

      “Where two or three are gathered together” I am going to pray with you that God will enable you be an obedient servant. It is neat to think that we have God as an “enabler”

  10. God's Girl says:

    I, too, find myself unable to let go of something, but that something is self control of my doings. i need to let go and let God lead me. Praise the Lord, He is kind and loving, giving me free rein, enough to show me that i really want His leading…He knows best, i am only a frail being that is saved by grace. It’s that grace i need at ALL times, a consistent dependence on Holy Spirit Who loves and knows all my vagaries. Lysa, i so thank you for sharing transparently all your challenges, for in your books and in these comments i find family who share the same struggles i do, and i find love of brethren one for another. Sometimes it feels like i am going it alone, in fact, a lot of the time it feels like that. We shall all overcome by the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony and by not loving our lives inordinately. Praise to the Lord. We can do it. Thank you all for helping me, and thank YOU, LORD JESUS, who alone died to make us whole.

  11. Melissa Brown says:

    I am 24, and have been struggling with my weight my entire life. And today, I learned that this whole time I have been overeating because I am spiritually underweight. For the FIRST TIME, I am underweight and I don’t like it! I dont want to be spiritually weak. I prayed for a long time tonight and asked God to forgive me for my sins of overeatting and to help me grow stronger in Him. i didnt ask him to help me with my weight. I asked him for STRENGTH in HIM, and FAITH in HIM.

    Thank you so much for your words…..

    I hope one day I can meet you in person or see you speak if money ever allows…..You are a beautiful woman, inside and out!

  12. Hi all! I am looking for someone to be my accountability partner in this process. Please e-mail me if you wild like to partner up with me in this journey!

    • I have just began reading the book however I too need someone to be accountable to. If you have not found anyone please email me.

    • Heather Sonnier says:

      Have you found an accountability partner yet? I just started and saw your post.

    • Hi Ginna
      Not sure if you have found an accountability partner in this yet or not since your post is older but if not let me know, I too need an accountabiliby partner and want to be in His strength to do this not my own, I was so empowered today when I made some lunch and wanted cheese but said no I won’t have it because it is something I have to give up and He gave me the strength to not have it and not feel deprived of it but felt empowered to keep going a small success but a huge one for me. Thank you all for your comments, I need a community right now. Thank you God

    • If you haven’t found an accountability partner, please let me know 🙂

      Regards,
      Ria.

    • My email is riasant5@gmail.com

    • Hi Ginna,
      Did you find an accountability partner? I am looking for one.

  13. Diane Jendrek says:

    I was never able to make the connection with the passage about the young man until I read Lysa’s article about it. Jesus truly was looking at his soul when he asked him to sell all his possessions. If I were to make the same request of Jesus how would he answer me? What would be required of me? This calls for some real soul searching on my part to identify the thing or things that God sees as connection breakers between me and Him. A partial list for me could be: my reliance on food, not making exercise a priority, lack of self-discipline in establishing prayer and reading time.

    I am in my first week with Made to Crave. I am thankful that I was finally drawn to open its pages and rediscover hope.

  14. Wow, when I read, “I imagine Jesus looked straight into Pam’s soul and said, “I want you to give up the one thing that you crave more than Me.” I felt the Holy Spirit say, “yes, you, Pam”. I feel convicted, not condemned and am praying the Lord reminds me of this the next time my craving for food overwhelmes me. Am I really willing to turn away from Jesus and walk toward food?

  15. Yes Lysa- I am overweight physically and I am underweight spiritually. I desparately want change in my life- Lord please change my heart so that I will desire You over all things! Although beneficial, I do not need another diet plan or more knowledge about calories, points, pyramids, etc….I need something much more radical. I am committed to this journey

  16. Rita Shure says:

    God tells us that He will fulfill the desires of our heart that line up with His heavenly will. Dwelling in the recesses of God’s heart, listening and obeying the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and being one in the Lord and doing the Father’s will not mine are the desires of my heart. I have been told for years by the Lord that He wants me to listen to Him and lose the unhealthy weight I have gained so that I would regain my health and serve Him in this latter part of my life. I have been a rebel without a cause and a procrastinator. My diet attempts, fasting, throughout my life have failed (128-178). Even yesterday, the Holy Spirit told me not to go to McDonalds but wait and go home to enjoy brussel sprout, cauliflower and a nice salad. I chose a McDonalds hamburger, filet if fish, and a soft serve ice cream cone over the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. Last night I read the Made To Crave book. This morning I asked my heavenly Father for His forgiveness and embarked upon my journey following Jesus upward and onward in His river of Life. There is a time for everything under the Son and this is my time to march into victory with Jesus. He is Wonderful ,Holy, Perfect, and His Word is Truth. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

  17. Lisa Mcdulin says:

    I love this book and these devotionals. I ordered made to crave before it was even released in early 2011 when I set off to remove 50 pounds during my 49th year of life. With the help of these principles, removing allergenic foods, adding more whole food and great supplements as well as daily workouts I accomplished my goal and journaled it on Facebook. I shared this book with thousands of people and know it has made all the difference. So blessed to be dialing into these devotionals again as I reach for even higher goals for 2013. Thank you!!!

  18. While I agree with what Lysa is saying, I struggle with the “how”. How do I give up these desires for food and give them to God? Yes I can study more, but how will that take away the love of sugar. Perhaps time and consistency.

    If I can start looking to God for help when I go into those binge modes or want to eat something that is off my diet and then He says “ENOUGH” and I listen…then that to me is serving Him and being in control. That is what I want! I have kept my weight off for 4 years, but I need to start looking to Him for sanity and for the path He gives when I am tempted.

  19. that all makes sense and i believe it is true. it has always been my goal to keep God first. what i don’t understand is that when life seems overwhelming and it seems impossible to give up addictions, trying harder to put God first becomes a stress and i feel like a failure when i don’t live up to my expectations. any suggestions on how to start when you feel like you’ve tried everything and are doing all you can just to hang on?

  20. Dear Lord help me to live in the abundance with joy and not sin. Jesus your my hope. You will help me grow. I don’t want to sin. I dont want to give in now. Jesus give me self control.

  21. Felicia Sanners says:

    Wow!!! This hit home with me!!!

  22. I have worshiped my stress these 30 years. Thank you for unmasking my “goodness in perseverance” for what it is. To all who post here, I am all in with you. Ready to launch into a healthy chapter in my life full of all God has for me and not he meager portion I was settling for.

  23. I am so grateful to be in this study.I will be 63 years old in June. God bless you and thank you for these studies

  24. Amy Black says:

    i am so diving into Gods word… love this.. thank you LYSA…

  25. Lysa, I don’t struggle with my weight or overeating unhealthy food, but your words above have convicted me to really consider–what one thing do I crave more than the Lord. Praying that over the next few days with MTOnline Bible Studies 21-Day challenge, the Lord will shed light on my weaknesses, break me of those cravings, and develop and unquenchable desire in my heart for him alone. Thank you for being faithful to the Lord to write these words.

  26. I just finished Made To Crave and its starting to click. I have realized for years that I would have to rely on God’s strength to lose the weight I need to lose but wasn’t “allowing” Him to work due to my disobedience. I feel very positive that I’ve been led to do the Made To Crave study and start digging in His word more instead of allowing food to be an idol for me. I will not put limits on what God is able to accomplish in my life but do recognize that I have to be obedient. Thank you Lysa for your ministry that is allowing God to help so many.

  27. I am starting this journey as of yesterday. Today is day two. I want to share with an accountability partner how the journey is going . I especially want help for the first month. After that i’m not counting days since this is a lifelong change. If anyone is wanting to join me i’d love to hear from you. Blessings to everyone on here as we embark on this releasing of strongholds around our food.

  28. I have one word to describe when Lysa wrote this passage about the rich man: OUCH! Boy did that analogy really hit home for me. I have the same thoughts- you can have anything but don’t take away my food. I have a love-hate relationship with food. I want God to win this battle.

  29. Food and ciggs are my 2 biigest struggles. I know I put them before God because I ask him for help and yet I still fail. God isn’t failing me. I am making the CHOICE , not him. Pray for me. Im hoping through this study I will allow god to change my want to.

  30. Living the questions says:

    Thank you for this today.

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