Monday, May 21, 2012
Intentional living......this phrase has been running around in my head for the last couple of days. What does it mean to live intentional?
I believe that to live intentional means that I make the conscious choice to live a certain way on purpose. And I have chosen to live intentionally healthy; spirit, soul and body.
I choose to feed my spirit the word of God so I can be strong spiritually!
Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
Matthew 4:4 AMP But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
I choose to feed my soul, my mind, my will and my emotions, through prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit and by speaking words of life over myself.
John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
Proverbs 18:21 AMP Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
I choose to speak words of life to myself in order to change my thought process so that I am renewing my mind to healthy living.
“I enjoy eating the foods that bring good health to my body!”
“I enjoy exercise. It strengthens my body for life!”
“It doesn't hurt me to experience hunger; it disciplines my body and brings it under my spirit's guidance.”
“I am making healthy food choices so I can live a long and satisfying life.”
I choose to feed my body the food it needs for fuel so it can function properly instead of the delicacies that tantalize my taste buds.
Proverbs 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
Intentional living.....living a certain way on purpose!
To live intentionally I must make conscious choices every day, every moment to live in a way that glorifies God and increases my physical health.
It is God's will that I be prosperous and in good health!
3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
The word “prosper” means “to help on the road” or “succeed in reaching”. It is an on-going, progressing state of success and well-being. It is intended for every area of our lives; the spiritual, the physical and emotional, and the material. However, God intends that we maintain a balance in all areas; we are not to over emphasize any one area. In this verse our prosperity is gauged by our mindset; our soul. If we do not know that God intends for us to be successful in all areas of our lives, then we will be lacking in those areas where we are not knowledgeable. It's important that we get into the word of God to see just what He has provided for us so we can know. If we think we are supposed to be sickly, then we will not strive to walk in good health. If we think we are supposed to be poor and depressed, then we will not make proper choices that lead to financial freedom and good mental health. If we think we're just fat because it's in our genes, then we will not make the proper choices to be strong and fit physically. Likewise, what we say to ourselves will determine how successful we are in living prosperously.
John 12:34-37 “Brood of vipers! How can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
What we say about ourselves is important! Speak words of life over yourself; not condemning words of death!
Father, I thank You for giving me life! I thank You for giving me the freedom to choose my destiny! Thank You for placing Your Spirit within me to lead me and guide me into all truth! Today I speak words of life over myself. Words that will cause my spirit man to rise up and reign supreme over my soul and my body. I choose to lead my physical man by my spirit and not allow my soul or my feelings to lead me into wrong choices for my body. Thank You for enabling me to walk in success today; to live intentionally for good health. I pray for my Spark Friends that they will choose life instead of death! I pray that they will follow the leading of Your Spirit in the choices they make today! Thank You, Lord, for giving us the victory! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Proverbs 27:7 A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Have you ever eaten just because you felt like you wanted something, but you didn't know what it was? When my granddaughter was here last summer she would go and open the refrigerator door and stand there and look in it; then close the door and a little while later go back and do it all over again. She said she wanted something to eat but didn't know what.
When we think we are hungry and mindlessly eat things what we are really saying is “my soul longs for satisfaction”. When we are soul-satisfied we don't want to just eat for the sake of eating; we eat when we are genuinely hungry. Mindless eating happens when we are longing for something to satisfy our emotions, not for something to fuel our body. To a hungry soul everything tastes good, but doesn't satisfy the so-called hunger.
God created man with a spiritual desire for Him. That spiritual hunger often becomes misplaced with a desire for food, or alcohol, or drugs, or shopping, or relationships; whatever we think might satisfy. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4: But He answered and said, “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” What He was saying is that even though our physical beings have a need for food to sustain it, we have a deeper need within that is for spiritual food. That spiritual need can only be satisfied by eating of the Word of God. The Greek word for “word” in that scripture is “rhema”, which is the spoken word of God. It means a “now” word spoken from God that is the communication from Him of a message to us that applies to our lives right now. God provided manna in the wilderness for the Israelites on a daily basis. It was food to sustain their lives while they were traveling to the Promised Land. They had to go out and get that manna every morning for what they needed to eat for that day. If they tried to gather enough for two days it would spoil before the next day would come. It had to be gathered just one day at a time. He provided what they had need of for that day only. It is the same with our spiritual life. We must have spiritual food each day to sustain our spirit man. When we try to go for more than one day our spiritual lives will suffer. We become dry and weak. We can't fight the battles that come our way because we are spiritually deficit of what is necessary to strengthen us to win the battles. We must come to the Lord daily for our spiritual food.
John 6:63, 64 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
Jesus said the words that He speaks to us are Spirit-life! They are coupled with the Spirit and thus bring life to our spirit man. But we must believe that we will receive that Spirit-giving life when we receive them. Faith without works is dead. It takes faith mixed with the words of God to bring life to our spirits. Speaking of the Israelites in Hebrews 4:2 God said, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” The gospel can be preached and people can still not receive because they don't mix it with faith. The Israelites didn't receive God's word that was preached to them, therefore, it was of no benefit to them because they didn't mix, or receive, it by faith.
Is your spirit man suffering today from malnutrition? Are you weak spiritually and trying to fill that hunger with food; or something else that doesn't satisfy? Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to find out what that real hunger is. We grow from faith to faith and from glory to glory. If you're constantly seeking something to satisfy an inner need that can only be filled by God's Spirit then you will always be hungry; nothing will ever seem to satisfy. You'll shop til you drop and still leave the mall wanting something else. You'll eat your way to obesity and still be craving another cookie or ice cream, or chips. Only God can truly satisfy soul hunger!
Father, I pray this morning that You will fill the inner void in my life with Your Spirit, Your presence, Your very words of life! Thank You for creating me with a desire for You. May I never grow spiritually deficit in my life. Help me to seek You with my whole heart and to hunger for You every day. Thank You for providing for my every need. I pray for my Spark Friends this morning that may be hungry and thirsty for that which doesn't satisfy. Help them to realize, Father, that the hunger that they are experiencing is a hunger for You. I pray that they might have a living and vital relationship with You that is new and fresh every day. Fill them to overflowing with Your very own presence, Lord, and satisfy them emotionally so they will be satisfied with life and not seek the things that will never satisfy. Enable them to eat of Your words daily, Father! Create within them a desire for You and You alone. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
I don't know about you but some days I just don't want to watch what I eat; I just want to let down my guard and forget about healthy eating and just eat whatever I want!
I'm sure Moses had days like that as well. There were probably days when he wondered if he really wanted to do what God called him to do. After all he was a human just like me. But the Word says there were several things that he did to make it through the difficult days.
The first significant thing I noticed in this portion of scripture that set Moses up to win was that he did it by faith! What does that mean? Well, to me it means that he trusted in God more than himself; even to the point that he struck out to be what God wanted him to be without depending on his own strength, but looking unto God to do what he couldn't do in the natural. He didn't look at how impossible it would be to lead the people of God out of bondage because He depended on God's ability to set them free through him instead of his own ability to do it. That's what faith is; depending on God rather than myself to the point that I walk like it's done! He walked it out in his heart before he did it in the natural. He saw God as the bigger One in the picture; the One who if He said it, He would do it! His vision of God doing what He promised was bigger than the obstacles he encountered.
The next thing I noticed is that he laid aside his noble name, his friends that came with that territory and embraced the ones that God had said he would lead. He changed courts! He changed associations. Those that would have discouraged him from doing what God called him to do were left behind! Some times we have to run with a different crowd in order to move to a different place; to move up in the things that God has called us to do.
Another thing that I noticed about Moses is that he gave up the passing pleasures of sin. Whoa! Now we're down to where the rubber meets the road. He could have had everything that nobility would have bought for him, but God said it was the passing pleasures of sin! God's viewpoint and ours can be totally different. All Moses was doing was living according to the world's standards by which he had been raised. But he had to have an attitude adjustment in order to succeed! Sometimes I need an attitude adjustment, too! How about you? Sometimes I need to re-visit the scripture that says my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit! Sometimes I need to re-focus my thoughts on how to take care of my temple!
Moses then thought about what he was giving up and counted it as nothing compared to the riches of Christ Jesus, even though it meant that suffering would be a part of it. My flesh needs to be starved at times in order to accomplish what my temple needs to bring it to the place where it looks like the Holy Spirit would choose to live. My body on the outside doesn't always reflect the power of the Holy Spirit that resides on the inside. I have to ask myself a question: Do I look like what I profess to be? Do I display on the outside the great power of the Holy Spirit that lives within me? Am I walking the walk or simply talking the talk? Just questions for reflection....
The last thing I noticed about Moses is that he won the fight by looking to the reward. Moses looked past all the pain and suffering because he had a picture of the reward at the end of all the stuff he was going to go through. He knew it would be tough. He knew that God would test him to see if he could stand the pressure. He knew the people would, at times, almost drive him crazy! But he kept looking past those things to the end result. He pictured the reward at the end of the battle!
And again I have to ask myself: How great is the picture of the reward in my mind? Do I have a picture of what I want to look like when I reach my goal? Am I willing to press past the calorie laden goodies to get to the goal? With all that said, my final question is: How can I give up and let the enemy win the battle when God has equipped me to win and reap the reward?
How about you? Will you choose the temporary pleasures of eating calorie laden goodies or go for the gold....the reward at the end of the battle?
Father, I pray that You will help me to keep my focus! Lord, I need Your strength for the battle ahead of me. I pray that You will remind me when I am growing wearing that there is a great reward ahead of me if I will not give up or let down my guard and eat the things that put weight on instead of taking it off. I pray for my Spark Friends as well that You will empower them for success. Give us all the stamina to keep on keeping on! Thank You, Father, for equipping us with Your power to win! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants my live; “that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Have you ever thought about how many scriptures are in God's word that refer to eating or how God intends for us to live our lives where eating is concerned? These two verses of scripture show us that God gives us the choices that make for either life or death, blessing or cursing to come into our lives. He loves us so much that He has given us a free will to choose our own destiny. But He really wants us to choose life and blessing! Notice, also, that the choices we make actually have an effect on those who follow after us. Our children will either experience life or death, blessing or cursing based on our choices. Most children will continue to eat exactly like they have in their growing up years. So if they have been fed high calorie, sugary carbohydrates throughout their growing up years then they will continue that style of eating in their adult years as well. God has designed a plan for our lives to bless us with good health, long life and even our children can benefit from it. Consider this scripture:
Proverbs 23:1-3 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you; And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food.
How difficult is it when we are at a family gathering or out with friends to eat what we know is healthy and right for our bodies? In this portion of scripture the Lord uses some pretty strong words to emphasize the importance of making good choices when eating. He says to “put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite”. That's a pretty drastic measure! But aren't you really putting a knife to your throat if you don't watch what you eat? Isn't unhealthy eating really a process of cutting your life short? God created food to fuel our bodies so they would be able to function well, not to satisfy our taste buds! When we choose the delicacies that have empty calories, loaded with sugar and insulin raising carbohydrates aren't we just seeking to gratify our fleshly desires for comfort and satisfaction? Have our meals become more of a recreational and social event than a time to fuel our bodies for the work they have to do?
God has said that if we will make the right choices we will experience life and blessings. When we choose calorie laden delicacies we are making the choice to gratify our flesh for the moment which ultimately leads to an early death! If given the right fuel our bodies will live a long, healthy life.
Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.
This scripture in Psalm 91 is referring to the man who dwells in the secret place of the Most High. It is the person who has chosen God above all else. He has made the Lord His life! Look at the promise of verse 16 for the person who chooses to live according to God's ways and not his own:
“With long life will I satisfy him, And show him My salvation”.
Do you want to live a long life? That's God's desire for you. The key is in choosing to live it God's way and not your own. With good choices in your eating habits you are on your way to fulfilling the plan of God for your life. Why not take the high road and experience the blessings of God throughout the journey?
Father, I thank You for placing life and death within my grasp. I thank You for giving me the choice to make for my own destiny. And I thank You that the plan You would like to see fulfilled in my life is for life and blessing! Thank You for showing me Your good plan to take to bring those blessings into my life. I pray for my Spark Friends today that You will show them the importance of making good food choices and how it can benefit their lives. Give each of us strength to say “no” to unhealthy choices and the ability to know how to incorporate healthy foods into our daily lives. Thank You for making it possible for us to win in our weight loss journeys and lifestyle changes. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Stuff just happens.....!
Have you ever noticed that you don't usually have to work to gain weight? How about your house; isn't it strange that it just gets dirty without any work?
We often say “I don't know how I got this fat; it just seems like I woke up one day and couldn't get into my clothes any longer!” Or, how could my house get this dirty with just two people living here?
We wonder why and how could all this have happened! Well, we say, stuff just happens!
Wrong! It happens because we have let down our guard; become lax in doing what is right. How many times have you watched an Olympic gymnast and wished you could do the feats that she is doing? She didn't just wake up one day and notice that she was able to do all those gymnastic feats! What she doesn't show you is how many hours out of every day she has practiced to make that final prize competition. The concert pianist may have some musical talent but he doesn't get to the concert level without hours and hours of practicing; perfecting his skill.
So it is with being fit and healthy! It takes work! Good health does not just happen. It takes studying what is right for your body and applying what you learn. My mother always said, “practice makes perfect”.
Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep—So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
Have you ever watched an ant? They are always scurrying around. You seldom see an ant stay still for very long. They are always busy. Sometimes one ant will carry food twice the size of it's body. And often they gather together to carry a large food item to their home. They prepare for the winter all through the summer months. The Bible says the ant shames the sluggard's passivity, lack of initiative, habit of procrastination and lack of discipline. These are all things that we say, “just happen”. We often laugh about it and make light of the fact that we aren't doing what we should to see success in our own lives. Why? Because it takes purposeful work to bring the successful results that we desire.
We like the word “free”, but is anything in life really free? We like Spark People and we say it's a “free” website, but it cost someone something! It cost one man his money to set it up and keep it working. We say that salvation is a free gift; and it is to the recipient. But it cost Jesus His life. It cost the Father His only begotten Son. So, nothing is really free! Weight Watchers boasts that veggies and fruits are “free”, but they've had to increase the point value of other items to offset the “free” stuff. There is always a price to pay for freedom! If you want a healthy lifestyle you will have to make some purposeful choices to achieve it.
So, what are you doing today to live intentionally healthy? What plan do you have to succeed in your weight loss program? Are you becoming wise through learning what is necessary for a healthy lifestyle? How about practicing what you are learning? I became much more aware of how much exercise I needed to be getting for my weight loss program when my husband bought me a Fitbit. It now tells me when I am in my “goal zone” which means that I am on course for the amount of weight that I want to lose each week. But I don't always get enough exercise to offset the amount of calories I'm eating that will put me into the deficit I need to lose the weight. Why? I choose to eat too many calories!
My inability to lose weight is no one's fault but my own. It didn't just happen that I became overweight. I stopped intentionally planning and executing that plan for success. I was like the sluggard—a little lazy!
Dave Ramsey talks in his Financial Peace University course about it taking gazelle intensity to become debt free and stay that way. He uses the portion of scripture just above this one for his analogy, beginning in verse 1 and focusing on verse 5.
Proverbs 6:5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Both the hunter and the fowler are waiting to overtake the gazelle, but a gazelle can run up to 40 mph and uses a bounding leap called “stotting” or “pronking” that enables it to quickly avoid the predator's grasp.
The predator is looking for you today. His name is Satan and Jesus referred to him in John 10:10 as the thief.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they have it more abundantly.”
It's clear from this verse of scripture that the predator, Satan, has a plan for your life. It is to steal, kill and destroy. When we do not intentionally plan and work towards having a healthy lifestyle what we are really doing is working with the devil's plan to steal, kill and destroy our lives. Stuff doesn't just happen! Jesus said He came to give us life and that more abundantly. God's will for you is a life that is flourishing with His goodness!
Father, please forgive me for not doing the things necessary for good physical health. I pray that You will forgive me and cleanse me from this unrighteousness. Thank You for causing me to see that I need to live more intentionally in order to achieve good health and fitness. Thank You for showing me the way to reach the goals that I have for a healthy lifestyle. I pray for my Spark friends today that may be struggling with their weight loss programs. Father, please help them to learn what it takes for their own physical bodies to come into good health. Give them the courage, Father, to do what is right for healthy living. Help them overcome the temptations that are set before them and make the right food choices to achieve their desired results. Father, give them strength to not grow weary in well doing but to understand if they continue on in right living they will reap a harvest of heath and wellness! Thank You, Lord, for enabling us to succeed. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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