I share a lot of fun stuff here. Sometimes I share the stuff of life that we're experiencing. More often than not, when I have a message that's spiritual in nature, I post it on my team threads instead of in a blog. On rare occasion, I choose to blog it because I think the message is so very necessary and I don't want those who need it to miss it. Even now I pray that everyone who needs this message will be drawn to it, enriched and empowered by it.
Because some of you, my dear SparkFriends, do not share my belief system, I will post this blog with a caveat: It is based on biblical principles that I believe are in perfect alignment with SparkPeople philosophy. I love, respect, and value you regardless of what you do or do not believe, and I will be in no way offended if you choose to exit this blog right now. I hope you won't, because this is such vitally important stuff for those of us who struggle, trying to win this thing physically, without incorporating the soul and spirit of us, as well. Another warning: It's long!! So you may wanna grab a bottle of water and an apple. lol
Zechariah 4:6 "This is GOD's Message to Zerubbabel: 'You can't force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,' says GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.
Zechariah 4:10a Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They'll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!"
The children of Israel had been in exile for 70 years, having been captured and carted off to Babylon. When the exiles began to return to Jerusalem, the city of God, they found it utterly destroyed, a pile of rubble, all of her former strength and power, her splendor and grace gone. Some of us (probably many of us) have experienced the same thing. Overeating, poor dietary choices, sedentary lifestyles, and lazy leisure lives wrought devastation in our lives, crumbling our strong joints and sapping our energy supplies. We'd fallen to formidable enemies such as diabetes, high blood pressure, injured joints, shattered self esteem, depression and far, far worse things as these enemies of health and comfort continued to invade and, ultimately, carry us off, to imprisoned us in isolated cells of despair and hopelessness.
Zerubbabel was a realist. He saw that the task of rebuilding, of restoring the city and the temple were outrageously ambitious, seemingly impossible to the human eye. The enemy very much wanted Zerubbabel to have enough faith to believe in his inabilities and limitations. The enemy devised a clever plan by not only taking the Hebrew people prisoner but by also destroying their homeland so that going back to recapture what was rightfully theirs would seem like such a daunting impossibility that none of them would be able to muster up the courage to attempt it. Some of us, like me, have so very much weight to lose that it seems beyond reach, simply unattainable. Regaining our health and mobility, our energy and vitality are far, far beyond our grasp. The chasm is just too wide and the abyss too deep. It can't be done. Or so it seems. The enemy who robs, kills, and destroys wants it to end there, without us even trying.
The first message of God to Zerubbabel is His message to us: You can't force these things. They only come about through my Spirit. I co-lead two teams, one is Can't Do This On My Own and the other is I Can Do All Things Through Christ (and I thank you, GlitterGirl69 and IUHRYTR for the opportunity to serve these wonderful faith-based teams). The team titles say it all. We absolutely cannot tackle life-long patterns of unhealthy living without supernatural, divine help. I believe part of the success of AA and similar types of programs is the acknowledgement that the problem is bigger than we are and that we need help of some kind. I choose to call upon the name of the Most High God for that help and He has never once failed me. Also, we cannot force ourselves into a size six jeans overnight. Ain't gonna happen. We can't force decades of learned habits to dissolve all at once. There is a process. Restoration takes time. Rebuilding takes resources and laborers, and lots of both.
We must seek the Holy Spirit's guidance. He's promised to lead us and guide us into all truth, to teach us, to convict us, to convince us. Do a word study in your bible of all that the Holy Spirit is commissioned to do in our lives and you will quickly realize that He energizes us to our task. We're told that ONLY the Spirit of God knows the spirit of man, that our own hearts are deceitful. We truly cannot know our own hearts, what drives us, what compels us without the revelation power of the Holy Spirit. Armed with that knowledge, we are able to make the lasting change needed to turn the wreckage of obesity into the useful and glorious vessel God intended for us. Seek that wisdom and you WILL find it by the Holy Spirit's help.
Zerubbabel was criticized. So are we. I know I'm not the only one who has been told by a well meaning relative or friend: Oh, we love you just like you are! You don't have to change! Or, even worse: You've been fat all your life, you aren't ever going to change! Or, the worst: Why try? You can't do this! *groan* Just typing them out hurts. People approached our pal Zeru and told him that he was nuts. They told him it couldn't be done. This city will never be the powerhouse of magnificent beauty it once was. There's no use. You'll never have enough resources to pull this off. AND! If you DO? Someone will just come along and tear it all down again. Sheesh!!! The clincher for Zeru, though, was that he had heard from God. GOD! The very Creator of the universe had told Zeru it COULD be done and that it WOULD be done... by the Spirit of God. Period. You see, the enemies didn't know a secret that Zerubbabel was wise to remember. GOD made that city, just as He made our bodies. He bought us with a terrible and precious price, took us out of bondage and dark hopelessness, into His glorious light of hope and promise. HE holds the deed, NOT the enemy, and HE has the resources needed to accomplish every single task required for total restoration.
Knowing all of that, Zerubbabel was okay with a small start. We should be, too. Pick a spot. Start tossing out the debris of doubt and shame and fear of failure. Get a wheelbarrow and throw in the rubble of shattered hopes, regrets, excuses, rationalizations and justifications and tote them to the shores of the Sea of Forgetfulness and dump 'em in, to be remembered NO MORE. Sweep up the dirt of negativity and approval seeking, the dust of apathy and the blame-game and discard them forever. Then begin to BUILD... one brick at a time. Do what you CAN do instead of wasting precious time and energy whining, complaining, defending what you CAN'T do. Start small but START. Today. Right now. This minute. The Spirit of the Living God will help you if you but ask.
Thank you so much for making it this far. Because you have, I pray that God will bring forth the increase of His message within your life (and I hope you will pray the same for me). I pray that you will not fight against the bricks in your own strength, grow weary, even give up. I pray that you will come to know that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual in nature, that the mind of Christ will rise up within you and fill you with hope, quickening your mortal bodies. Above all, I pray that you will prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. I love you, dear friends.
P.S. When you are about to birth something in the spirit, you come under attack. A week ago I had a temporary crown put on a molar. After a round of initial pain and then difficulties with the pain pill I took, I thought it was over. (As an aside, can you even imagine why people would pay money, risk going to jail, ruin relationsips and busineses to feel the horrible way that stuff makes a person feel? It's beyond comprehension for me.) A few days ago the jaw pain kicked back in and shot all the way up to my head. I am so blessed with health that I am a total weeniebaby when it comes to pain. I could hardly focus my eyes for the pain and suffered least when in a darkened and quiet room. I will be SO glad when the permanent crown is in and this is over.
I know that the enemy of our souls delights in distracting us from what we should be doing and I allowed myself to miss going to the pool this morning. Not only did I miss it for myself, but my dear, sweet PepperLeah stayed home, as well, opting, instead, to watch over me and care for me, praying over me, serving me in every way imaginable. (We could learn SO much about serving as Jesus served from this precious, special child of God. So help me, she should give loving lessons because she's SO good at it.) Thank you, Leah! I love you and I love your heart!!
Having missed the physical goodness for today, I was determined not to miss the spiritual goodness for today. Headache or none, I began to read my bible, with as little light possible. I'm so glad I was not deterred from doing so. I believe the gems that opened up before me were not only to give me instruction and hope but to were also meant to be shared with you, my precious SparkFamily. Normally I use the NIV when studying, but my daily reading for this year comes from The Message Version, so these verses are MSG.