Monday, February 04, 2008

531 - Playing Defense -1

The Lord has laid something on my heart - not normal for my way of blogging - but something I will do to obey. I normally write out a prayer each morning after I have studied the scripture of how God has spoken to me. Well, I am going to do kind of the same thing, but it is going to be a more focused idea. My main purpose is going to be to offer encouragment to my aerobics gals for a period of time. I do not see them everyday and frankly, I do not even know 75% of them, but many of us are in the same boat. We want to lose weight or gain control of some area in our lives that is usually having to do with the body, etc. So hopefully every week morning I am going to post a particular scripture and devotion that we can hang on for the day. Of course all other readers are welcome to comment, be encouraged, and "play" along. I keep hearing the word "FOURTY" in my head. I am not sure at this point if I am to do this for 40 days, lose 40 pounds (ha), or if this is for 40 people. I don't know completely, but I am going to go 'forth' and just pray we all draw closer to Him thru whatever means. Please bear with me as spell check is no longer working on blogger and these devotions are just off the cuff - not rehearsed or thought about in advance.

"And the peace of GOd which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7

I don't know about you, but 95% of my battles happen on the playing field of my mind. If or once I finally get things straighten out there by whatever means, then things begin to pan out and look clearer. But until my mind has gotten some kind of clarity things can be extrememly testy at best. Why is that? Why can it take so long for me to realize that? Why am I so testy?

The selection of verses before this particular one speak about taking everything to God in prayer, not being anxious, being gentle, and rejoicing in the Lord ALWAYS. Those are some pretty tough things to accomplish when things are going rgeat, but when things have gotten hairy, wow oh wow, that is tough for me. But the point of Paul, the writer of Phillippians, saying all that is to make sure we understand that God has a reason for righteous living. God has a reason for giving us instructions on how to live - it will produce peace.

For me, I see the worst overeating spells when I am nervous (you ought to see me in an airport on the way to a speaking event), confused, and certainly mad. Now i do my fair share of destruction when I am happy and celebrating, and certainly when I am bored. But it seems like all control is lost when I am upset in any way. I throw all sanety out the window and then just go with my instant gratifications - eating! Been there? But this verse says that the peace of God......not just "can", but DOES surpass all understanding and THEN guards my heart and mind. Wow - that is powerful. But how do i step into that peace of God?

When we are under attack - self imposed or from an outside source - it is hard for me to have a clear mind and it immediately becomes a game of playing defense. I am trying my hardest to stand up against whatever it may be until I fall. That fall usually results in an brownie, Subway cookies, french fries, etc. I cave big time. But what should I have done?

1) Rejoice in the Lord - that means no matter what I am going through I will rejoice in the Lord saving me from the pit of hell and the fact that nothing can really destroy me - the fight may be tough, but in the end nothing can actually destroy me - not even death! So... FOCUS!

2) Gentleness - this is a tough one. In an attack I want to be a fighter with real punches thrown and at least words flinging. But this says we are to make our "gentleness evident to all". In tennis you never wanted the oponent to know you were afraid or mad - even at yourself. It would be an even better time to do something to the person to really irritate. Bottom line - we are fighting a war against the defeated one, satan. He can not whisper things in our minds, he can not control our steps, he can not make us do something. But he can persuade and "encourage" or remind of a previous event of failure. He is watching for how we react to everything thrown our way. We need to make sure our gentleness, calmness, not anxious... heart is evident. We need to display an attitude of one not to be messed with... to satan! He is one we are truly fighting, not a person, a problem, a sickness, or an attitude. the defeated one!

3) Don't be anxious. I know I am with you - this one is tough. But if we are rejoicing in the Lord, letting our gentleness evident to all - there is a good chance we can be anxious about nothing. Why - because we have brought everything to Him in prayer with thanksgiving! That is the key - we have to bring it to Him in prayer - not eloquently, but just simple cries out to the Father!

So what happens when we have done 1, 2, and 3? Then the peace of God will be obvious in your life and playing defense becomes playing offense! You have your defense mechanisms to play offensively with! Against all odds, or to those that are on the outside, your attitude and actions will not make sense in comparion to what is going on in your life. I will no longer feel the need to be validated by food. I will no longer run to food for my comfort. I will no longer eat to feel better or to share my problems with. No, the peace of God that transcends all understanding will be guarding my heart (emotions) and my mind (seat of logic).

Oh sisters - let's do it - just for today. "Gird up your loins" as my pastor used to say and fight!! We are running the race that is already won! Really it is. These are just little battles. I know some seem overwhleming and hugely frustrating at best sometimes, but claim the peace, claim the victory!!!!!!!!!! Let me hear from you! Write out that verse and take it with you We are only fighting today, not worrying about tomrorow!!

Lord - as for me, I hear you. I hear You loud and clear in my heart and head. You wil be my Guard, you wil be my Sustainer, you will be my Peace!! Oh praise you Lord. This is going to be a 40 day challenge. For 40 days I will write these notes of encouragemnt and strength from the Word. Oh Lord - surely not......... I don't know if I can do it. I don't even want to type it..... for 40 days I will not eat anything obviously unhealthy. Oh Lord - help!!! When is 40 days from now............oh Lord... I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me! Phil. 4:13


dori said...

Oh Sister...this one's for me, too!! Printing and Pondering, as I say, to use for my quiet time.

I have a perfect example of how (a) we are so much alike and (b) how my stronghold can so quickly get the best of me.

I have been needing a new hairstyle for a year or so. Haven't really gotten through to my stylist what I really want and so she's been doing her own thing -- which I have hated for some time! :) Anyway, so I go last week, tell her EXACTLY what I want, how much to cut off, etc. My "2 inches" translated to 4 or 5 inches to her.

Even though I had been experiencing some victory in the area of eating and had shed a couple of pounds, the MINUTE I left the salon -- hating my hair and struggling with how short it turned out -- I found myself in the McDonald's drive-thru and before I even knew what had hit me I had downed a double cheeseburger, fries and REGULAR Coke (which is a HUGE stronghold for me and I had had such victory over the past few weeks). I wasn't even hungry, but found myself upset about my hair (of all things) and losing control in my eating!!

Maybe I needed to confess this or maybe I just needed to give you some back-up in your "eating out of stress, nerves, upset moods, etc.," theory! :)

Can't wait to really read this and dwell on it a few minutes! Thanks for being faithful to share what He tells you to share! :)

Love you,

Leigh Gray said...

Hey sweet Dori - I can toally relate and those that can't i think are not being honest. hee hee - doesn't everyone do this in one way or another? Thank you for being real and letting me in on the yuck we both go through!! love you my dear and don't ever forget - hair grows!!!!!!!

Fran said...

Oh Leigh! I'm praying for all of us in this matter....i do believe that every single one of us can relate to this. Thank you for being obedient and sharing what the sweet Lord has placed on your heart.

Love and blessings~

Nicki said...

Oh my know me to well. Were you writing this just to me??? =) just kidding, but seriously, it was a WORD for me!! I am with you on this challenge, I'm hitting the treadmill tonight. I'm back to running, I know it's the only way I'm truly going to overcome this battle of mine. Everything you said made perfect sense to me! It's right where I'm at!!

CrownLaidDown said...

What a very good word for me today...thank you for following the Spirit's lead. The truth is that sometimes we go on auto-pilot and our auto-pilot is usually not healthy. I want to live without using cruise control--I want Spirit control!
Love you friend and am praying,

Lisa said...

Thank you for holding ALL of us accountable, Leigh. God is so good to give us sisters we can relate to. I love this idea of 40 days.

Grace for the 40 days!
Lisa :)

ange said...

I like the forty pounds :) Perhaps then I would be 'hot' before I get to heaven!

Melissa May said...

Hey Leigh! Did you know you were starting 2 days early??? (Just kidding...) But really, you are almost on the same 40 days as Lent, which started Wednesday, and goes until Palm Sunday! : ) Pretty funny! God's been working on me a lot on the self-control thing lately, too. What I LOVE is that He's shown me that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit that grows in me as I focus on abiding in Him (John 15) rather than focussing on what I'm trying to stop myself from doing. I've totally given up on self-discipline cuz I can't teach myself a thing!!! But God's discipline (when I submit to it!) brings freedom and life... and self-control! yay! May God bless you with lots of it as you look to Him to teach you and transform you... : ) (I could go on and on re: this topic... but should probably just do it on my own blog!!!)

: ) Love,