"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Romans 12:1 (emphasis added)
You may wonder why I am talking about weight loss issues on a blog called Biblical Minimalism. I realize that this will not apply to many of you, and chances are, you have no weight to lose and/or have already overcame in this area of minimizing. Even if obesity is not an issue for you, I hope you can bear with me. Maybe the stuff we talk about here will apply to another area of excess in your life. Or perhaps you are struggling with another type addiction, unrelated to food, and maybe the things God is teaching me will be beneficial to you for something totally different. At any rate, I trust you won't give up on me, as I use this space to work through this journey.
I recently published this very raw, unedited, transparent post concerning my ongoing struggles with obesity. From the number of private emails I have been getting from different readers I have never heard from before, it turns out there are far more of you who share in my struggles than I imagined. My heart goes out to each on of you because no one else could ever understand or feel your pain more than I do right now. I want you to know I am praying for you and believing alongside you for victory for every, single one of us.
In our new book and in this post, I talk about the Whole Person Pie©, how our lives are made up of eight "slices" and how God should be the center.
One of those eight "slices" is called "the physical," which, in my opinion, falls right next to "the spiritual" slice of the pie in order of importance. The physical slice of the pie is broken down into two parts - physical possessions (which you can read about in this post),
One of the parts of the "physical slice" that I focused on in that post is obesity.
I'll be honest. I hesitate to write about this at all because I am SO unqualified to talk about it. Not that I am the authority on ANYthing I write about, but at least I can testify to the chain-breaking power of God and how He enabled us to sell our home and release about 90% of our physical possessions, liberated us from all our indebtedness, and performed so many other wonders in our lives. Those are areas that I can see such blatant, visible proof as to what He has literally done, and my family and I have walked through those things and can see tanglible victory. The gray slice you see in the pie chart above called "obesity" is a whole other ballgame. This is where I am. This is reality, and this is where I have gained zero victory and why I feel completely unqualified to share since I am still in the throes of this struggle and seeing no success.
But, " Is any thing too hard for the LORD?" Genesis 18:14 - this question was raised in reference to God's promise that Sarah would conceive and bear a son at the ripe old age of 90. Can you imagine how incredulous and impossible this had to have sounded to Sarah? I don't find it odd that she laughed when she heard that the following year, she would have a son.
If God can open the barren womb of a 90-year-old woman and give her and her 100-year-old husband a son, can He not help me lose weight, in spite of medical limitations? Their age was a mighty formidable opponent to childbirth, yet God miraculously fulfilled His promise to them and gave them a son of their own.
My obesity is a stronghold that looks as impossible to me as having a child must have looked to Abraham and Sarah. Yet, Jesus said, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
2 Corinthians 10:4 says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." Obesity, for me, is a strong hold. It is a place in my life that I cannot seem to break through and change through any carnal weapon I have been able to get my hands on. My many failed efforts in making this happen are living proof that I cannot do this—alone.
But, God has been showing me that I CAN do this through His strength, and He is consistently bringing Matthew 17:21 to my mind, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Sometimes, prayer alone is not enough. There are some strong holds that cannot be pulled down through any other means than the mighty weapon combo of prayer and fasting. Fasting requires self-denial and discipline, and I think that is precisely what I need right now.
I mentioned in my last post that I have been reading Kalen Bruce's new book, "10 Branches of Growth," and how Kalen talks about the discipline of intermittent fasting. I had heard of it, and Kevin, Zach, and I had even tried it for a short time quite a while ago, but I had forgotten about it. Full disclosure- I am not a doctor, nor am I saying that intermittent fasting will work or even be healthy for everyone. Please seek the Lord for wisdom, and know that I am only sharing this as my own experience and testimony.
A few days ago, I started the disicpline of intermittent fasting from 7:00 PM until at least 11:00 AM. By God's grace, it is my goal to exercise this discipline until it becomes a habit that continues until the excess weight is gone. I am not making a vow, and I know that I am continually subject to fall off the wagon, but this is my goal.
Here's the best part. Through the years, during times that the Lord has called me to fast, I have always been so amazed at the level of intimacy and spiritual depths I am drawn into while fasting. There is just a special closeness and communion with God that has happened every, single time. When I began this intermittent fasting a few nights ago, that was the farthest thing from my mind. My sole purpose in doing this, in the beginning, was to lose weight. But, the other night it occured to me that I am feeling that amazing sense of closeness to Jesus during the hours of 7:00 PM - 11:00 AM! This is not just helping me physically. It is helping me spiritually. I feel a drawing to steal away in the evenings and go up to our room and enter into extra prayer time. I am feeling that sense of His presence that is so much more overwhelming than usual. The sheer act of denying myself those guilty pleasures of snacking and unnecesary food consumption at night is working and producing something good in my soul. This is a win/win!
As I felt led to write this post, I asked the Lord if it is really necessary for me to share my struggles. After all, this isn't the easiest thing in the world. I got an immediate answer and confirmation that He wants to use my intense struggles to help someone else. I have surrendered my life to Him to use as He sees fit, I have handed the reins to Him, and my life is a living sacrifice. If He can get any glory out of my issues and discrepancies, and if they can reach out and let someone else know they are not alone, then here I am Lord, send me.
I deeply appreciate your continued prayers that I will stay strong and be faithful to God in bringing this area of my life under subjection to Him. This slice of the pie is every bit as important as decluttering the house, giving away possessions, and getting out of debt - in fact, it is even more important than all that because as I said before, this has to do with the very temple in which God's Spirit dwells. It is my "reasonable service" to do all I can to make it as healthy a dwelling place as I possibly can. You are my accountability partners, and your prayers mean the world to me. God bless you all and help you with whatever you may be struggling with today.