Lysa TerKeurst

"Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress." I Timothy 4:15 (NIV)

I think we all get to a place sometimes in our life where we have to honestly assess, "How I am doing?"

It's not really a conversation I have with a friend or family member. It's one of those middle of the night contemplations where there's no one to fool. There's no glossing over the realities staring me in the face.

I know certain things about myself need to change but it's easier to make excuses than tackle them head on. Rationalizations are so appealing:

I'm good in every other area.
I make so many sacrifices already.
I need this comfort in this season of life- I'll deal with it later.
I just can't give this up. The Bible doesn't specifically say this is wrong.
It's not really a problem, if I really wanted to make a change, I could - I just don't want to right now.
Oh for heaven's sake, everyone has issues, so what if this is mine?

And on and on.

But excuses always get me no where fast. This is especially true for me in the area of healthy eating. Even if that's not your issue, I suspect this same script of rationalization has played out in your mind over other things.

So, the cycle continues day after day, week after week, year after year.

A whole lifetime could be spent making excuses, giving in, feeling guilty, resolving to do better, mentally beating myself up for not sticking to my resolve, feeling like a failure, and then resigning that things can't change.

And I don't want to spend a lifetime in this cycle.

Nothing will change until I make the choice to change. I have to want it, spiritually, physically and mentally. The battle really is in all three areas.

Spiritually: In Colossians 3 1-5 we are told to set our minds and our hearts on things above. In order to do this, we have to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature which sets itself up as an idol in my life.

Idolatry is trying to get my needs met outside the will of God.

Bingo. Can't deny it. This described food for me at times. Again, it wasn't a huge problem where I was medically in danger. But, any idolatry, no matter how small is a problem.

Physically: According to an extensive study done by Northwestern University, calorie restriction is the key ingredient for managing weight issues. (The link to see this study can be found on Lysa’s blog today.) Of course, they state that exercise is also important but good nutrition is crucial.

Bingo. Can't deny it. It does matter what I eat. My weight is a reflection of what I consume.

Mentally: Don't settle. Don't compromise. What happens when you cut the "com" off of the word compromise? You're left with a "promise."

We were made for more than compromise. We were made for God's promises in all areas of our life.

Honestly. I am made for more than a vicious cycle of eating, gaining, stressing - eating, gaining, stressing...

I am made to rise up, do battle with my issues, and using the Lord's strength in me, defeat them - spiritually, physically, and mentally - to the glory of God.

Dear Lord, help me be courageous enough to speak honestly to You and to myself in those areas I'm giving in to compromise. Show me how to rely on Your strength for more self-discipline in my life - not for my glory but for Yours. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog to see her progress with this and to enter a contest you don’t want to miss.

Do you know the One who can help you overcome?

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary by Susie Larson

Application Steps:
So, how are you doing spiritually, physically, and mentally?

Decide today to set your mind on things above and ask God to reveal to you an area in which He wants to usher you to victory. It will take prayer. It will take faith. And it will take the encouragement of a friend.

What issue do I have that consumes way too much of my mental energy and produces stress in my life? Why not start tackling it today?

How might I apply the insights from this devotion to my particular situation?

Power Verses:
1 Timothy 4:16, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (NIV)

Philippians 1:25-26, "Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me." (NIV)

Psalm 27:8, "My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek." (NIV)

© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know all of that is ok,but as the saying goes you only live once so go for the gusto! for crying out loud eat what you want to eat!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's devotion reached me exactly where I am!

I loved your quote, "We were made for more than compromise. We were made for God's promises in all areas of our life." Amen!!

I want to experience God's best during this short life, so with renewed commitment I'm going to obey His prompting. :) Thank you for the encouragement.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so true. It seems that there are areas in my life that I feel a tugging in my heart and yes I tend to follow a similar cycle.

Just last night I settled down for some TV when I sensed a tugging to spend the time more wisely. Yes it is a small thing, what is just a couple of hours? But if it is going against the leading of the Holy Spirit it becomes huge.

I tend to test my son with the little things to see if he will listen as a way to build a confidence in him before trusting him with bigger things. I think we too are tested in a similar way...so yes even the little things matter.

As I am writing this the words came to my mind (paraphrased)All things are possible according to His will. According to that His will plays a factor in all things not just the areas of my life that are conveniently justified to fit my desires.

Thank you again for sharing so openingly...great way to start my day...Mary T

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have dealt with this cycle often in the areas of housekeeping and spending my time wisely (which end up going together when I waste my time that should have been spent housekeeping). God has been working on these areas a lot lately, and I think I am improving, but it is still a process where I continually have to surrender my time and desires to Him. Thanks for the reminder to keep at it!

Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

Dear 1st Anonymous commenter,

Oh sweet sister, if you can eat what you want to eat and not have problems I am thrilled for you.

So, I would encourage you to apply this challenge to whatever your struggle is. All God's girls have struggles. All of us fall short.

That's what keeps us in a place of having to rely on God. And that's a great place to be.

It's actually so much more freeing to let God help us gain control over our areas of struggle than letting ourselves run wild and go for the gusto.

I have to tell you that today's devotion is an answer to a prayer. You see, I have struggled with weight for many years. I lost 40 lbs last year and then God surprised us with our 4th baby and I gained 50 lbs. I have attempted weight loss several times since she was born, but always seem to find excuses for turning away from healthy eating habits and back to junk food. For the last 2 weeks I have had severe pain in my heels and lately in my calves that has made walking extremely painful. Last night at church I prayed for healing. This morning my calves did not hurt but my feet ached. I came upstairs and sat down with my coffee to read today devotion and I felt God whisper that I needed to really pay attention.

Yes, He could have just taken my pain away completely, but I would still have food standing between us. He used you, and Proverbs 31, to show me what was an obstacle in my relationship with Him. I now know what I need to do. Thank you for taking the time to listen to His inspiration and blog. He truly is using you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that is right. We do only live once but I want to bring Glory to God and use His Strength to defeat the giants (like food or laziness) that tend to overtake me. Otherwise, you do go through that cycle of despair. It is wonderful to be able to go to Him for His Strength to stop the merry-go-round that we tend to get on and stay on. This was very helpful to me. How great that we can bring Glory to God through our eating habits or housekeeping abilities!! Thank you.

Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

What a powerful post. God brings to my mind OFTEN that while everything is permissible for me, not everything is beneficial. (1 Cor. 6:12)

The longing of my heart is not to be mastered by anything except the Master Himself, and He knows how much I struggle with that.

Thank you for the authentic and encouraging admonishment.

Blogger Brenda said...

I also loved what you said about compromise. God has shown me over the years how a little compromise can lead to bigger things. I'm 55 and things are not where they use to be! I have tried every diet out there! I have about 15 lbs. I would love to lose. It seems I'm on that same cycle. Lose, eat junk food, and then guilt. God has been dealing with me over eating healthy and exercising. I never dreamed I would love jogging, and eating fruits and vegs. I'm learning if you don't compromise, your body only craves what you give it. The scripture God has given me is 1Cor:12-"Everything is permissible for me- but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me- but I will not be mastered by anything." I'm learning this applies to all areas of my life. Something is bad if it's a hinderance to your goal.

Thank you so much for today's post and for sharing your heart with your readers. God alone needs to be first and we all know He wants our bodies to be as temples. I too struggle in this area...but, praise God I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.(Phil.4:13) We have to remember to forgive ourselves as well and persevere toward our prize which is Heavenward in Christ Jesus! I think we get too hung up on beating ourselves up instead of letting God change us from within...satan loves to get the upperhand ladies.....DON'T let him!!

Blogger Sherry said...

Thank you for being obedient! Your obedience to God's direction has blessed me today!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so thankful for this ministry! I wake up each morning and read the devotionals, waiting for God to speak to me through them. I have been struggling with food for years and have recently learned that what I have is an eating disorder. I have relied on myself for over a year to "fix the problem," but I realize it is bigger than me and with God's help I am working toward His promises of making me whole again! Thank you for reminding me of that!

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