“At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them a strong desire to unite in obeying the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:12
Have you ever known that you needed to make a change in your life, and yet you were struggling with where and how to start? More than that, you were struggling with the desire to really change…
Sure, you see your waist line expanding and the scale shows that you need to drop a few pounds. And yet, your favorites from the fridge and pantry are still calling your name. You know in your mind some possible steps to take and yet each one, no matter how small, feels almost unbearable.
Can you relate? I’ve been on this journey a long time and yet I’m feeling this exact same way today. Birthday and Father’s Day celebrations have come and gone, and I still feel the desire to overindulge. And with my Achilles being extremely sore, I can’t even “hide” some of the extra calories by exercising. Truly, though, you can’t really out-exercise bad eating habits. And really, if I’m being brutally honest, it isn’t an eating issue as much as a heart issue. Where do we turn for comfort? Why does laziness win out at times when making something healthy is more difficult than picking up a pizza?
As I’ve been wrestling with this (yet again!), I read the above verse in Chronicles that said “God’s hand was on the people…giving them the strong desire to unite in obeying…” and I couldn’t help but respond “YES! PLEASE!!!” This morning, I read twice that God “stirred the hearts” of the people to respond in obedience (Ezra 1:1 and 1:5).
God can give us the strong desire to obey. God can stir our heart and make us want to obey more than we want to feed our flesh. And, I don’t know about you, but I *NEED* God to move my heart! I know I should automatically want to, but I’ll be the first to admit that I still struggle.
This reminds me of the story in Mark 9 where Jesus told a man that all things are possible for one who believes. Immediately the man exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24).
We know we ought to believe that God can change us. But sometimes habits have been so ingrained that we struggle to know if reality can really look any different. We believe God can do anything and He can heal others. But, will He really help us? Can we really change? It’s okay to cry out to God and say “Help me overcome my unbelief!”
Not only can God heal us, He can help us overcome our unbelief. He can stir our hearts to do His will. He can put His hand on us and give us the strong desire to obey! So, let’s ask Him to do just that… HE IS FAITHFUL!
Dear Heavenly Father, You are all powerful. You are a holy and awesome God – the One and only true God who created the heavens and the earth. You created our bodies and You have a purpose and a plan for our lives. Lord, we come before you and confess that we are struggling. We want to change, and yet we lack the willpower and strong desire to change our habits. This is all we’ve ever known! But, we lay down our lives before You and give You control. Please put Your hand on us – just like You did for the people of Judah – and give us the strong desire to obey. Please stir our hearts to do Your will. May we want You and Your desires more than we want to satisfy our own cravings and flesh. May we honor You with all we say and do and put the past behind us, pressing on to fulfill our destiny and Your goals for us. Please help us overcome our unbelief! We need You! We ask You to change us! Please make us healthy and thin for Your glory! May we be overcomers, ready to do Your will and serve as Your hands and feet on earth. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!