Monthly Archives: July 2012

You Can Do It!

Do you ever need to hear that you CAN do it? Right now my 13-month old is walking well when holding onto things and standing upright on his own just fine. But he has yet to take that step by himself. I know he can do it. He just needs to learn that he can.

In the same way, God as our Father sometimes nudges us that we CAN do something that seems insurmountable to us. I was reminded of this fact in my devotions today. The last verse I read was Joshua telling the house of Joseph that though overcoming the Canaanites with all their iron chariots may look impossible, they could overtake them and have their territory; Joshua 17:18 ends “..though they are strong, you CAN drive them out” (emphasis mine).

I’ve thought about that verse throughout the day. Maybe you feel defeated today because the sheer number of pounds that you need to lose seems impossible. Or maybe you’re losing hope that the last 20 “sticky” pounds will ever come off no matter how hard you try. But, we need to remember that NOTHING is impossible with God. I encourage you to say it out loud right now: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!!!

Throughout the book of Joshua, I’ve noticed it said that God Himself was the One who fought for Israel. He kept telling Joshua to “be strong and courageous” because His plans would be accomplished. Joshua 10:42 says “All these kings and their lands were conquered in one campaign, BECAUSE the Lord the God of Israel fought for Israel.” Later in Joshua 11:20, the Bible says “For it was the Lord Himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that He might destroy them totally…”

If God is encouraging you to treat your body as His dwelling and therefore live a healthier lifestyle (which we see in the Bible), then He will accomplish His purpose in your life. While you may not have hope, I can tell you today that there IS hope! God Himself will be on your side. And if God is for us, what else do we need?

Take a moment to soak in today that God is helping you in this battle. Then realize that there may be times that you need to dig in as He says (just like He spoke through Joshua to the tribes of Joseph) “You can do it!”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that the Bible is truth and life for those who believe. God, we confess that there are times we want to throw in the towel and deem this pursuit hopeless. But, God, at these very moments, please help us remember that You are fighting for us, that You are strengthening us for battle in this area, and that with You NOTHING is impossible. Thank You for reminding us that with You on our side, we CAN! We will! We want to honor You. Help us become healthy and thin for Your glory – drive out anything in our way (even ourselves and our attitudes!). We surrender to Your control and authority. Please help us. Thank You!!! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Seek First

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

There are times that I get too caught up in focusing on losing weight. I find myself spending more time counting calories and planning when I’ll exercise than praying, worshipping and reading God’s Word. The Bible tells us to seek FIRST His kingdom and righteousness. Not, seek first whatever our passionate pursuit is at the time and then do church when we can squeeze it in. Earlier in this chapter, we learn we’re not supposed to worry about what we’ll eat or wear, but God knows our needs. Instead, we’re to focus on Him and He will provide for us. So, my goal today is to think more about the Lord than anything, to seek His righteousness, and allow Him to provide the things I need (like a healthier body). And, praise God, He is the one who is able to give me what I truly need!!!

Dear Lord, please help us to put You first in all things. May we seek You first, and I ask that You will provide the things we need, including healthy food to eat and the motivation to keep on the right track for Your ultimate glory. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Physical Training & Godliness

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

Our family recently joined the local gym. And I’ve honestly enjoyed the time spent working out and the endorphins that come from a hard-earned sweat. It’s a true blessing!

But, I’m learning that working out isn’t enough to accomplish my true goals. The above verse emphasizes this fact.

First, I have to say that I LOVE that God knows our present day needs and struggles. After all, I never thought people in the Bible had to concern themselves with physical training. I assumed that everyone was physically fit before the invention of cars and other modern day conveniences. But, the Bible wasn’t written just for people who lived then – God’s Word is alive and shows that He knows both the struggles of the past and those of our present (and even the future!).

God tells us plainly that physical training is of some value. He cares that we work out our bodies! It is worth our time and efforts to build up our cardiovascular endurance and overall strength.

But, what’s most important to Him is godliness. It’s most important that we focus on His Word and maintain godly character. For me, this includes saying no to ungodly passions like over-indulging in food. It’s exercising discipline and the fruit of the Holy Spirit like self-control. Godliness – or obeying God’s Word and applying Biblical principles to our lives – is important for this life and also “holds promise” for the life to come!

So, know today that the efforts you are making in physical training and in learning God’s Word are valuable to you and to Him. May you be encouraged in this journey to stay focused for the right reasons!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You understand our needs and desires. Thank You that Your Word tells us that physical training is of some value. We also thank You that You direct us to focus on godliness rather than how we look. Lord Jesus, make us more like You! Help us say no to ungodliness, including over indulging in food we don’t need to eat. Help us say yes to learning the Bible and applying it to our lives. Give us motivation to keep going on this journey. Help us not lose heart and give up. You are our prize and treasure that we seek. Make us healthy and thin for Your ultimate glory. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

What to Wear

The other week I was meeting a small group of friends and their children at a park. When I woke up that morning, I was debating about what to wear. While one outfit was more comfortable for the park, I felt the other outfit looked better on. I was trying to think if I owned any comfortable-yet-still-looks-nice clothes in my current wardrobe. (Do you ever struggle with what to wear when meeting friends – even if they are good friends who don’t truly care how you look?)

Since it was occupying my thoughts, I prayed about it before my morning devotions. ‘Lord,’ I asked, ‘do You even care what we wear? If so, speak to me this morning through Your Word.’

I was amazed when my natural progression of reading came to this verse: “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'” 1 Peter 5:5.

God does care about the everyday moments we have, I think. While His ways are higher than ours, there are times that I just know that He loves us enough to care even about the smallest details. That morning, I saw “clothe yourselves with humility” as if the Holy Spirit had highlighted it for me. And, in thinking of these precious friends, while each one is beautiful, the thing I love most about them is their spirits. We don’t have to pretend to have it all together; true friends are humble with one another and reveal that we all have faults and need each other as we walk on our journeys.

Micah 6:8 reminds us that “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

There have been many days since that morning that I’ve thought about what outfit I want to choose to wear, and I’m reminded that the first and the last thing I need to put on is humility. After all, I truly need God’s grace!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for caring about us even in the little things like outfits. We know that we’re not to worry about what we wear, since You take care of us. Thanks for the reminder that ‘humility’ is what you expect. Help us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with respect to You and others. We need Your grace! Thank You, God, for showing us what is good. We love You! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!