Day 3: The Right Questions

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29)

Thought for the Day: I must obey God rather than the scale!

My friend, Karen Ehman, was a great cheerleader during my healthy eating journey. On one of her “Weight Loss Wednesday” blog posts she wrote something I found incredibly insightful.* The biggest shift in her motivation from her yo-yo dieting days was replacing the delight of diminishing numbers on the scale with the delight of obedience to God.

Karen wrote:

I was very hopeful as I hopped on the scale this morning. I kept track of my food, exercised five days at the gym for 30 — 45 minutes, and my jeans were zipping up much easier than expected.

So, I whipped the scale out . . . and I’d lost a measly 1.8 pounds! What!?! I was sure it would say at least two or maybe even three. I felt gypped. And I felt like running to the kitchen to make a frozen waffle or two so I could slather it with real butter, spread it with some Peter Pan, and douse it with a load of pure maple syrup to stick it to that scale! Then I stopped and remembered what I felt the Lord saying this week.

Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.

The scale does help measure our progress, but it can’t tell us everything. It can’t tell us if too much salt intake is making us retain a pound or two of water. It can’t tell us if we actually lost a pound of fat, but gained more muscle from weight training. And, it can’t tell us what time of the month it is and give us automatic credit for the extra two pounds or so that those glorious few days bring to us.

So, I had to stop and ask myself the following questions:

  • Did I overeat this week on any day? No.
  • Did I move more and exercise regularly? Yes.
  • Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? No.
  • Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God? Nope.
  • Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I’d had a successful, God-pleasing week? Yep!

So, why oh why do I get so tied up in a stupid number? And why did I almost let it trip me up and send me to the kitchen for a 750-calorie binge? Don’t worry. I had a yogurt and tea instead.

Sweet friends, we need to define ourselves by our obedience, not a number on the scale. We are all in this thing together. And we will get the weight off, even if it is 1.8 pounds at a time!

I love what Karen says about defining ourselves by our obedience and not by a number on the scale — or, for me, what size my clothes are or how I feel seeing models with unattainable sizes on the magazine covers.

Yes, eating healthy and exercising gets our bodies into better shape, but we are never supposed to get soul satisfaction from our looks. Our looks are temporary; if we hitch our souls to this fleeting pursuit, we’ll quickly become disillusioned. The apostle Paul wrote, “We must obey God rather than human beings” (Acts 5:29). I read that verse differently now: “I must obey God rather than human values — like a number on the scale or the size on the tag in my jeans.” The only true satisfaction we can seek is the satisfaction of being obedient to the Lord.

Dear Lord, I don’t want to define myself by a number on my scale or any other human value. I truly want to be obedient to You each day. Help me to follow hard after You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

* You can connect with Karen and read all her great Weight Loss Wednesday’s posts at www.KarenEhman.com.

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Comments

  1. May Scocco says

    I need to make a commitment to make myself a priorirt and to follow a weight loss plan including exercise.
    My goal is high. I need to lose 80 pounds. Being overweight makes me feel not enthusiastic about my life.
    I want to achieve this goal. I want people to share my plans and be able to ask them to support me.
    Achieving this goal means I will grow as a Christian and progress to a healthier spirit, soul, and mind.
    With my stronger, slimmer, fitter body, I plan to be more active in my faith walk and feel good about
    obeying God’s Word. -Mrs. May

  2. Andrea Runyon says

    I have been on this healthy journey of obedience with the Lord for almost a year. But my obedience is slowly developing cracks in the area of mindless snacking. Thank you for the verse and for the list of questions. This concept can also work in reverse. I have not been obedient for a few days, yet I lost a pound. May I remember my disobedience, rather than letting my pride tell me I did well because I lost.

  3. Paula Jensen says

    Oh Lisa, That is amazingly true and totally uplifting. I am struggling with what others say about me and how they judge me. It gets tough when the weight of words and oppinions of others crush me and my soul. I don’t even like who I become when I soak in self pitty, anger and defeat.
    I am a child of God! I am loved! I am good! And there is alot more work to be done in me but Thank God I am not were I started or who others say I am.
    Praise be to God.
    In Jesus name, Amen

  4. Im three days in and poing great until last night…i was bored, i was tired and i craved some different food. My dinner was not satisfying and my husband wanted ice cream custard…i gave in and had some too…we did some grocery shopping….i bought some healthy snack choices but couldnt wait to sample them when i got home…a mini ninge….i had cut so far back on grains…i was craving the m…i failed to crave God…i’m reminded that jesus fell three times before is final victory on callvary…i trust i am on the right paplease jesus help me to get up and start again..direct me in my cravings…direct me in my ways….its blurry right now am.i asking you to make this easy for me or do i need ro get tough with myself…now i am atarting to feel.guilty…thats not the direction i want to.go…im.going to rest and wait for.you to.speak amen

    • Hi Carol, I appreciate and concur with what you are going through with struggles of unhealthy foods. I did want to bring to your attention that Jesus never fell. He may have felt weak, but He never gave into the temptations, instead he empowered Himself by the help of the Holy Spirit. I feel that when we fall weak we should “get right back up on that horse”. Please listen to session 2 on the dvd, it will really encourage you and me to continue no matter what the slip-ups, we will reach our goal of being obedient to God while losing the weight.

  5. Laurie Young says

    I am having a lot of problems with my smoking and my eating. I have know the lord for many years, but I back slided bad, i’m working on getting back with the lord again,but i feel like I have let him and me down. I feel that I just can’t get my life back in order with him or myself any more. Is there some scriptures that I can go back and reread and get my life with hime and myself in control again. Thank you Laurie

    • LINDA OGDEN says

      LAURIE YES U CAN.DO NOT LET SATAN KEEP SIDE TRACKING U.SATAN HATES U AND DO WHATEVER AND WHENEVER HE CAN TRIP U UP.GO TO PSALMS CHAPTER BY CHAPTER.LOOK FOR VERSES THAT TELL U TO CRY OUT TO HIM.ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GUIDE U AND ASK FORGIVENESS RIGHT NOW.GOD NEVER WALKS AWAY.WE DO.GREATER IS GOD IN YOU THEN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.I CAN DO ALL THINGS THRU CHRIST.GO TO THE LORD NOW CRY OUT TO HIM.FOCUS ON HIM. LAURIE GOD IS JUST WAITING.I WILL PRAY FOR YOU RIGHT NOW.

    • I JUST WANTED TO COMIT ON LAURIE YOUNG – TO LET HER KNOW GOD LOVES HER SO VERY MUCH!! DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!!! SPEND TIME WITH THE LORD HE LOVES YOU AND HE KNOWS ALL OUR SHORT COMMINGS. DON’T LET GUILT KEEP YOU FROM SERVING THE LORD.. HE SAYS TO COME AS YOU ARE. I HAVE BATTLE THE SAME BATTLES AND I KNOW THE GUILT THAT COMES WITH IT!! BUT I KNOW WHEN GOD LOOKS AT ME HE SEES HIS SON’S BLOOD THAT COVERS ALL OUR SHORT COMMINGS AND HE LOVES ME!!

    • Laurie,

      The scripture says that he would never leave nor forsake us. Take God at his word, he is waiting for you with open arms
      Just like the father and the prodigal son. Just ask God to forgive you thats all it takes no begging, no pleading its just saying Father forgive me. Start back reading your word and praying. Find you a church home. I hope this helps you out. Be Blessed!!

    • Debbie Barringer says

      You asked for scriptures… what a great thing: you realize that is your greatest help in coming back to Jesus! I’m reading in Ephesians currently, and Ephesians 2 seems a great place for anyone to receive encouragement in the walk! And I love the book of Philippians. Many people turn to Psalms, and those are all helpful too. Some people open the Bible randomly.. and I have done that, praying that God lead me where he wants me to read. But always be careful of context.. don’t randomly pull a verse and apply it one way, when in reality it may be meant totally differently! May God bless you as you seek him! Praying for you right now! And sometimes when I start reading and it doesn’t seem to apply to me, that gets me to digging into that particular passage to try and figure it out! Not a bad thing.. 🙂

  6. I’m at the stage where I’m numb. I don’t know why life is blah, why I’m not accomplishing anything, why I have no goals? I do know that I need change for many reasons. I am now 50 yrs old. I’m a Nana with a second Grandchild on the way. I suffered many months with the knowledge of having a brain tumor (but I’ve been healed – PRAISE THE LORD!); I am in need of a knee replacement, and my weight is very embarrassing…and still I am numb. I want things to change but I don’t have the energy that it takes. BUT, having said all that – I know I have to change and I know that God wants me WHOLE! I have to press on – regardless of how I feel. MTC is something that I look forward to; not only for 6 wks but as a lifestyle change. I need more of God in every area of my life. I need Him to be my strength, my focus and all I live for. I’m trusting that through the next 6wks, I will see God’s hand changing me and becoming something fit for the kingdom!

    • Hi Glenda,
      You have a sister in Christ here and I can somewhat relate to your numbness. I am 53, terribly obese. Your post pierced my heart because I want very much for you to press on with the lifestyle changes you will make. I encourge you to love yourself more than ever because of what you are doing. Your healthy lifestyle changes will benefit you and the people you care about. I am also encouraged by your post. Becoming fit for the kingdom should be our focus. I tend to make being fit a focus of what I want to look like and the clothes I want to wear. I do believe God has a plan for us in the kingdom to make a difference in the lives he puts into our path. I want my healthy life changes to make that difference. I hope that you are staying the course and if not that you forgive yourself and get back on the path you know God has for you. { I will do the same.} Bless you lovely daughter of our awesome God.

  7. Jennifer Pickens says

    This is just what I needed to read today. I to have found myself defining my weight by the number on a scale, instead of being obedient to God. This is going to my moto for the month.

    God Bless!!

  8. Midwest Amy says

    I love the prayer at the end and the entire message of today’s devotional! I have written it down in my journal and will review it as a constant reminder for those days when the #’s on the scale are no so friendly. Thanks!

  9. AWESOME! Just weighe din this morning and, well, this was what I absolutely needed to hear TODAY!!!

  10. I so missed Sunday-Day-4, and Monday-day-5 am I doing something wrong? I would love to continue to hear from you! I do have the made to crave book and work book..excellent… Thank you. Please e-mail me..so I know what to do. Thanks. Becky

    • Debbie Barringer says

      From what I gathered when I signed up.. we get 3 days of the devo for free. I think we should buy the devo book, but this format would be great to have EVERY day! To have input and feedback from others continually would be wonderful. However, I am in a Facebook group that tries to encourage each other. Maybe you could find (or form) a local group to do the same thing? Looking at your January date, not sure you will even see this.. but just in case!

  11. I enjoy reading these devotionals. Although I do not struggle with weight and never have, I can relate to the topics more on a spiritual level. I have a weakness for sweets and I think it has increased since I’ve started working full time. I am a teacher a very stressful job, and in the beginning i didn’t noticed that I would turn to sweets for my comfort when I was stressed. Just the other day I was craving something sweet I mean really craving something so much so I was willing to go out of my way to the bakery I love. Then I heard a little voice saying “Instead of staisfying that craving with cake, pick up my Bible.” Needless to say I didn’t do either. The next day as I searched the web I found Made to Crave. I want to be able to fulfill my cravings with God and not sweets.

  12. Thank you so much for these words gonna post a note this everywhere
    ‘Define your week by obedience Not by the number on the scale thank you for this devotion
    gonna go buy the book today

  13. Just went and ordered my devotional. I needed THIS particular lesson today that defines more ways why I am not losing weight when I get on that scale. We tend to forget some of those particular reasons….UGH! I have a hard time exercising because I need knee surgery but no insurance for that. But God is holding ME up in His right hand., that was powerful to me to read and remember that one too!

  14. Yes I needed that reminder. My soul satisfaction will come from God. Not ever from a number on a scale.

  15. Paulette Wetherington says

    As I read day 3 “the right questions”, I became hopeful for the first time. I have come to the realization that every diet I have ever tried did not target the addiction just the knowledge of how to eat (which I already know). With any addiction wether it be drugs, alcohol or in this case and mine, food, it has to be addressed spiritually. Please keep me in your prayers.

  16. I started this 21 day TRIAL just 4 days ago, I skipped reading the devotion yesterday because I just didn’t want to be confronted with the truth….I was still “chewing” on day 2’s soul searing truth. But each day God is showing me THIS IS ME…..I’ve been struggling with food all my life and trying to fight the good fight in my own flesh and strength. Today…DAY 3….I read all the while saying that is me, that is me!!!! The scale has ALWAYS been my down fall. I’ll work hard all week (or two) and then pull the scale out saying, “mirror, mirror on the floor tell me who is the fairest of them all”. Only to be disappointed because my efforts NEVER equal what I expect should be the truth on the scale and I soon find myself wondering off into the wilderness of self gratification with food. I’m starting to get excited about who I will see in “God’s Reflection” at the end of these 21 days……

  17. I am so thankful I found the made to crave devotional. I started reading it and then decided to start a group in our home using that book. Now I am getting these emails. I am more encouraged now as I read these comments everyday. I have had a food problem most of my life. I would eat wrong then feel sick and guilty. I had a hard time keeping my eyes on Jesus. I’m more encouraged now. I see how ive been doing it all wrong. Now I’m trusting Jesus more with this challenge. Thank you

  18. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. This morning I got on the scale and I was one pound UP! and very very disillusioned. I’m in this for life and even though I know in my heart of hearts I shouldn’t let the number on the scale define me – it still is. I’m ordering your devotional and hopefully with your help and words and God’s love and grace I WILL lose the weight that currently defines me in my life (and mind!). Praise God from whom all blessings flow…..

  19. This is so good..just lets me know I’m on the right track. I stay off the scale, because I don’t want to be puffed up over weight loss or beat myself up over the opposite. I’m trying not to let food (or lack thereof) be the focus of my life…not that I don’t believe in eating healthy, I do. I just don’t want it to be the main thing. Thanks so much for the things you share with all of us. We’re in this together and God is with us!

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