Thursday, January 15, 2015

Where on Earth is Your Focus (Part 2)

Gulls @ Deibert Park
 Disclaimer on previous post and any future post pertaining to freedom and focus:  I do not profess to have all the answers about freedom, other than Jesus Christ.    There are days I feel I don’t have answers for myself, much less anyone else.  I would never tell anyone else to not use any tools that work for them (counting, measuring, journaling, or following a particular plan), I am merely saying that does not fit the freedom I believe I can have, based on what the Bible says. 

I believe that freedom will come when our efforts are used for putting on Christ...
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:14 (NKJV)

...and loving Him.  How?  By obeying Him. 
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15 (NASB)

...and by loving others as you love yourself.   I have problems loving myself, much less others.   I really have to work on this one.
…if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Romans 13:9 (NKJV)

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

...by the daily renewing of your mind.  Taking wrong thinking captive.  Putting on the whole armor of God.  Praying.  Fasting.  Studying the Bible until it’s a part of your heart, not just in your head. Trusting Him.  Stopping complaints. (That one is definitely for me!)

If we want freedom, our focus needs to be Jesus, because He is our freedom.  He doesn’t give it to us, it is WHO HE IS. 


Gulls @ Deibert Park
 Where on Earth is Your Focus?

It’s hard to wrap our minds around the fact that freedom is just that: being free.  Having to manage food every day…struggling (even when I am on the winning side of the fight temporarily), the fight every day to “deal with this for the rest of my life,” is NOT Freedom.  Never giving thought to my weight, or my food plan, or obsessing about the what/when/how of diets and poundage…that, to me, is freedom.

I think, for those of us who are ready to take on the challenge of fully trusting God, He's got something very precious in store for us:  His easy yoke to replace these chains of bondage under which we live. 

Gulls @ Deibert Park
I believe the key is complete trust.   To admit that there is nothing at all I can do to change myself, my core nature, and depend fully on Him to change me.   Goes against the grain of our “I have to” thinking, doesn’t it?

I have to try.
I have to plan.
I have to watch what I eat.
I have to count calories.
I have to be accountable for myself.
I have to try harder.
I have to plan harder.
I have to watch what I eat more carefully.
I have to be more accountable.

That’s never worked long term for me.  Has it for you?  And I believe I’ve struggled just as hard as anybody else, if not harder than some.

What, your intellect may want to ask, about Proverbs 29:18:  "Where there is no vision, the people perish."   My vision, my plan, is to TRUST HIM.   The NKJV puts it this way:  
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.  (I have been known to eat with wild abandon.)  The revelation is that Jesus already paid the price for my freedom, so why am I struggling so hard for something I can't achieve on my own?

Ever heard the expression, "Letting go and letting Him?"  After all my praying for freedom, all I do is hang on with all my might to my “I have to” mentality and never fully trust my Lord to do the very thing I’ve asked Him to do:  Free me. 

If God can (and does) set alcoholics and drug addicts free without a 12 step program (12 step programs have helped many, and I do not ridicule any tool used to help overcome addiction), if He can change Paul's heart (as he was on his way to imprison and torture Christians), if he can change the vilest sinner's heart, he can surely change me…WITHOUT a diet plan that I have to manage and struggle with!   Instead of working on my diet plan, I’m going to start working on my focus, and let freedom envelop me.  

Gulls @ Deibert Park
If you're still reading...it's well over 700 words today.  It's not just a word for the birds...

Stay tuned...there is, after all, a part 3.

4 comments:

  1. I think a lot of us have that "I have to" mentality when it truly does rest on Jesus and Jesus alone. You are right, it does come down to trust not in just this, but all aspects of our lives. Now getting there (at least for me) is hard, but I think that is where your focus and who you focus on will be very important to continue to strive for.

    betty

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  2. One of the 12 Steps in AA (2, I think) proclaims the need to surrender to God and turn "our will land our lives over to the care of God."

    I have often told God that i am His. I have given myself to Him, to do with as He chooses, but something about that phrasing--turning my life over to "the care of God."--hits me as a qualitatively different thing. Less of a strong adult's determined choice to submit and more of a powerless little child's fully depended trust in a loving parent care.

    This post reminded me of that.

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    Replies
    1. Overeaters Anonymous uses the same 12 steps. I did start OA...I didn't finish.

      I, too, have often told God I was His, and meant it when I was saying it, but later (most likely that day) I took matters into my own hands. You'd think it wouldn't be such a difficult thing...oh, but it is...for me, anyway.

      Actually, it's a very scary thing, "Less of a strong adult's determined choice to submit and more of a powerless little child's fully depended trust in a loving parent care." and I really am not sure why, other than it must be trust issues.

      I have a really long way to go. If only I could practice what I "preach."

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    2. Ha. You and me both, sister, you and e both.

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What are your thoughts?