In the Bible, there is a part in the gospels that tells about a particular day where Jesus was begged to cast out demons. Jesus, being who He is, sent those demons into pigs, and sent those pigs over a cliff! In Imagine you Renewed, we are talking about that day, and the people's response. They whole heatedly desired those demons to be destroyed, but of course they didn't exactly agree with Jesus's method of destroying them. Nope...they wanted to keep those darn pigs!
Our challenge this week is to really dig deep into our soul about what demons we are trying to rid ourselves of, yet what pigs we are still clinging oh so tightly to.
What areas have I not yet handed over to God?
The answers have been heart-wrenching. I truly am filthy, muddy and disgusting from the swine I refuse to let go of. I am ashamed of myself and the pigs I so dearly cling to right now.
What have I not yet handed over to God? My love of food. This weekend in church, Pastor Rod preached a message that went straight to my heart. I desperately needed prayer. I was exhausted from working 3rd shift the night before, I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of 2 birthday parties to come that day, I was overworked, and just needed to pray with a sister in Christ. I sought out Mary Beth, just sobbing. All I remember thinking was how can I pray the truth...and it just started pouring out of my heart.
"Lord, I'm sorry. I love food so much more than I love You." Isn't that sickening? To love food more than God? YES! It's disgusting. But, I need to remember, I'm not the only one in the world who struggles with loving food more than God. You may not love food more than God, but maybe you love money more than God. Or sleep. Or the newest gadget. People have lots of love besides, and above and beyond God. But, doesn't God warn us of that? THE 10 COMMANDMENTS? We are not to have idols. God wants to be first.
So, even though I've written it and thought it, it was only after I heard myself say in that prayer and to Mary Beth afterwards, was I able to process the fact that I do in fact love food more than God. OUCH. Processing that sinful realization is a task that has shook me to my core.
Despite all my spiritual strides I've made over the last few years, this one realization brought me back to that wretched, unholiest of the unholy feelings.
But, those who are around me often know that I will tell myself, "Yes, I feel that way. It doesn't make it the truth." The truth is, even though this awful sin is in my heart, I'm still redeemed by a Lord who died on a cross for me. Even though I feel like I am never going to conquer this, I know that God's word says that I can be an overcomer, even if it is day to day. And even if I feel like I will love food more than God forever, I know that can change.
Which brings me to my next step. In my marriage, there are days where I wake up completely smitten with David. Every word that comes out of his mouth is sparkling with romance...every look is warm and loving...everything he does is perceived in just the right way. It's pure bliss. But...really, that happens like once a year.
In reality, I wake up, thankful for my husband. Glad he's there, yes.... completely smitten? Nah, not really. Do I want to be? Yes! Absolutely. So, then I look specifically for ways that we can show our love to one another. It doesn't necessarily happen super easily after 8 years of marriage...it's work. And as we sacrifice and act on love that we probably don't feel first thing in the morning, I tell you that most nights I go to bed feeling pretty enamored with my husband. Just because I behaved accordingly. My emotions many times follow suit and reflect my actions.
So, this is my plan to deal with how I can get rid of this demon and the pig of loving food. I am going to behave as if I love God more than I love food. I will seek God before I eat breakfast in the morning. I will think before I eat if the food I'm eating is helping me be around longer to serve him or is it leading me little by little to premature death. I will choose obedience whenever possible...because I do love God. I am glad He's there. I just want to be completely, 100% smitten with Him...and nothing (i.e. food) in the way!
This is not going to be easy. I will be giving up a lot of myself. A lot of those "rights" we cling to. Along with love of food, I'm sending my demons of doubt and denial away. I deny that "one cupcake can make a difference." I doubt that God will fulfill me. I realizing those thoughts are done in the wrong method of thinking. I'm letting the pigs go over the cliff. I'm abandoning myself into the arms of Christ. And I'm doing it one decision, one moment, one bite, one prayer, and one little act of obedience at a time until I can finally say that I indeed love God more than I love food...much, much more.