Thursday, March 28, 2013

Not a checklist

With one week off for spring break, we kicked off our Craving Him More Bible study last night looking at God's Word, chapters 6 and 7 in Made to Crave and with our special guest speaker, Beth O'Meara. First, we reviewed last week where we learned that desperation breeds degradation. When what is lacking in life goes from being an annoyance to an anxiety we run the risk of compromising in ways we never thought we would. If we forget to be self-controlled and alert, we are prime targets for satan to usher us right away from the new standards we’ve set in life...that’s degradation.

Our Made To Crave reminders included the following:
-God cannot be reduced to a checklist and neither can our health plan
-We must intentionally position ourselves to experience God - lowest possible position with empty hands and eager hearts.
-How do you grow closer to God? “by making the choice to deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial. And making this intentional sacrifice for the sole purpose of growing closer to God.”
-Learning to tell myself no and exhibiting self-control.
-We don’t like to deny ourselves.
-Food isn’t sinful. Its inappropriate consummation can be the enemy’s lure to draw our heart into a place of defeat!
-We long for His power to bring EVERYTHING under His control so that we willingly submit those things that consume us
-We often have a flawed perception of ourselves. My self worth is not based on numbers on a scale, how many friends I have on Facebook, whether people follow my blog, etc.
-God’s divine nature has given us EVERYTHING we need to experience victory in our struggles
through biblical promises that we find the courage to deny unhealthy desires
-Getting healthy involves choosing to be self-controlled and to persevere even when the journey gets hard!

Looking into God's Word, we looked at several verses:
-Luke 9:23 If we want to follow Christ, we must deny ourselves. How? Deny our own selfish desires for unhealthy food, too much food, food at the wrong time, personal preferences. Denial of self builds self-discipline that glorifies the Father. It begins to create a foundational truth that develops a cycle of submission to God!
-John 4:34 Jesus says his food is to do the will of the Father. How often do we really submit our will to His when we are hungry? Jesus knew the rightful place of food and did not allow it to overtake Him!
-Philippians 3:18-19 enemies of the cross are described as those whose “god is their stomach”; we don’t want to be RULED by our unhealthy desires and cravings. We long to be friends with God by submitting our daily choices to Him alone!
-2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension - we are the ones taking the initiation here. We must stop making excuses and arguing about what we need to do to honor Christ. Take every thought captive to MAKE it obedient to Christ. How do you do that? Recognize the thinking and acknowledge it. Replace it with truth in God’s Word! Keep repeating!

Finally, we ended our time with Beth O'Meara encouraging us in the area of exercise. Here are my personal notes and highlights from what she taught:
-80% of how we feel and look is based on what we eat. When we eat healthy, we will feel better! The other 20% is exercise!
-Beth grew up eating unhealthy foods (think mini doughnuts and Shasta) but learned to love exercise in graduate school
-God's Word is a priority and has been a useful tool in the gym to share the Gospel!
-Find an exercise that you enjoy and can sustain. Whether it's Zumba, Crossfit, running or walking, get moving!
-One of the most important parts of exercise is a support group. Get someone to work out with accountable!
-Spend time in God's Word first...
-Start slow and work your way up so you are not easily discouraged!

What a great night we had looking at God's good plan for us. Join us next week as we study Chapters 8-9 in Made to Crave and search God's Word for His great wisdom!

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