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. I have been struggling for years with weight. I worked so hard for 2 yearsto loss 23 lbs. and gained it all back within 3-4 months after my father passed away. You questions cut straight to my heart. I am an emotional eater. I am so tired of being sick and tired. I am only 37, but most mornings I feel much older thanks to fibromyalga. I have a 6yr old son and 3 yr old daughter. I need to stop this now. I need to be the mom god has inteneded me to be, not the obeses, achy, and cranky person I am now. I have been feeling a tug from the Holly Spirit about weight and health. I recently began fasting from certin things ( ie ice cream one day soda the next) in an offering for help with some personal difficulties. When I heard about your program on the radio I knew God was speaking right to me. Thank You! I weigh 214 today I hope I can say less in 21 days

  2. Louise Bowen says:

    Hello to all those who commented to this teaching. I wanted to start this at my church but the women chose something else;
    SO I am going to do this on my own (well really with the help of you all and my LORD). I suffer from mindless eating, not
    even aware of what I am doing and why. I have asked the LORD to show me what I’m doing so I can claim the Scriptures
    to satisfy my craving. I especially love Psalm 84:1-2. I know that with the LORD’s help, I am going to be able to draw closer
    to Him and satisfy my craving with Him, instead of food which is destroying my health. The LORD has been showing me
    for a while now that there was something else that needed to be done in my life – the control of the Spirit over my eating.
    I am journaling and I suddenly had a question for myself. Does my buying food in quantity have something to do with not
    relying on the LORD? I believe it does indeed. I’m going to have to think on this one also!! Thanks for the encouragement that
    I won’t be getting from my church sisters. I hope to be able to show them that this Made to Crave program really works.

    • How are you doing– this is,y 2nd time through this and Lysa has put into words so beautifully my struggles. While I only have 10 pounds rot lose, I know that i have to admit that my craving for food replaces my craving for JESUS. would you like to be an accountability partner I. This exciting journey?

      • Ladies, we are doing a study of the book via Facebook. There is also an accountability group! Look up MTC on facebook, on the page in the guest comments, look for posts by Bonnie Thornton. She is facilitating the book studies!

        • Thanks so much. I’m realizing how much I do need accountability.

        • Can you please help me? I went to MTC guest command and couldn’t find any posts on accountability. I didn’t even see Bonnie Thornton’s name. I really want to get serious about this study and the direction in my life that I could get from accountability. Thanks in advance for any help.

      • Marcia I would like an accountability partner! If you are interested email me please kate_gra@yahoo.com.

  3. Well this is just what I needed to think about what area of my life am I unwilling to give God control of and for me it’s not emotional eating it is focusing on food for social gatherings more than God. Scripture says, “Be still and know I am God”. My life is all about being so busy, mom of 3 very spaced out kids, 1 in HS, 1 in Middle School, and one in Kindergarten. I stay so busy which leads to unhealthy eating and not making time for exercise that I’m not only overweight but 2 out of my 3 are as well. I need to Lead my heart to God in this area of eating and Lead my family as well. My husband is extremely overweight and is great at making baked goods or encouraging me to have sweets but I need to look for a support group like this one to hold me accountable. My kids are depending on me and when you look at craving anything before God is a sin it makes it easier to want to turn it over to God and not be enslaved by it. We are also starting a Weigh down at church which is less time than a class but probably all the time I have right now and keeps me accountable.

  4. 3 days of freedom. I pray that I don’t trade this precious freedom in my mind for the prison of slavery again. Short term highs of sugar feel good in the moment; however, they truely last less than a moment before the guilt and sick feelings come. I know that God is helping me through for good this time.

  5. Hi there, its Oct 27/2013.

    Today will be the first day of my new life.
    I have been feeling spiritually so dead/empty for several weeks now
    And I feel my health/weight may have a lot to do with this.
    Anyhow, as I take this step toward feeding my spirit I would ask for any prayers I can get.
    I am very certain that this book is just what the Holy Spirit placed before me to get me on a more narrow path.
    The very path that will lead me back to our Loving Father.
    Thank you and God bless

  6. I have been bulimic most of my life and feel so weighed down by the guilt. I know it’s a sin.
    I feel I can not truly be forgiven since I do it again and again. I feel I must not have Christ living in me or why would I continue.
    I beg to surrender it and it just doesn’t happen??
    Please help!

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