We are each designed for a unique and divine purpose. Live yours!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Victory Won On The Cross

I could start out my post by saying that I really love Hebrews in the New Testament, but then I really love the entire bible in all its richness, history and wisdom. Looking back over about 4 years of devotional posts at Worship for the Weekday the very first blog I ever had, back when blogging was still fairly new, I indicated that many of the books of the bible were "my favorite"! This one really strikes me today.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

I'm physically almost fully recovered from the sinus infection I had for over two weeks. I think I may also have been suffering from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I had thought I would not be afflicted with SAD this winter, but I have a suspicion that explains the funk I've been in for a while.

I received this verse via an email service to which I subscribe. I just took a deep breath and felt my whole body relax when I read these words. They are stunningly beautiful and I appreciate they don't give me a checklist, but rather offer a promise and a hope that is unimaginable to the human mind.

I really have much about which to rejoice. So I'm going to share those things and then I'm going to get out of this funk and get busy with my writing and my housework and the other things I have been putting off.

First, some time ago we discovered we needed to find a new primary care physician when our insurance changed the list of approved practitioners. We were a little sorry, but had been feeling we needed to make a change anyway, so it has worked out well. The new relatively young, very personable and bright doctor we now go to is kind and very polite, but he is also, as he puts it "aggressive" about treating and/or preventing health issues, both current and potential future ones. (Sorry, that was a really long sentence:-)

I like him a lot and he ordered a bunch of blood work, etc., as all good doctors do when you're a new patient. Anyone who knows me know I am overweight and have struggled with my weight my entire life. I was not surprised when the report came back: high cholesterol, high blood pressure; borderline vitamin D level, and some other issues. The one that caught my attention was my blood sugar level. In other words, if I keep my current lifestyle and eating habits, I'll be a diabetic within a year.

THAT got my attention! My weight is really one of the last strongholds I have previously refused to relenquish to God. I have done a great deal of deep spiritual work to overcome some other issues and I have given over a lot to my Lord, but food has just continued to win out. Oh, I've lost weight before - sometimes in the past even quite a bit of weight, but I've always gained it back. Part of it is I guess a self-esteem issue, a lack of feeling valued or valuable. Part of it is spiritual and all of it is mental!

So 5 weeks ago after I received these distressing numbers I made a breakthrough. Yep, I gave it to God! He is blessing me right now with opportunities I never imagined I would have as a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend and a disciple of Christ. I gave myself a good swift kick in the pants and decided that I have had enough. I want to be healthy and whole so that I can do all that God is calling me to do. I want to be healthy and whole for my family as well. They need me and I love my role as caretaker for them. I can't do anything well if I'm not at my best mentally, spiritually and physically.

So . . . I've lost 12 pounds. Oh, don't get me wrong, I know at this point some will say, "Yeah, but you've lost 12 pounds before. . ." Actually, no, that would be Satan! He's attacking me in other areas of my life right now, because he's not winning this battle! I'm not going crazy dieting up a storm. I'm making better, healthier food choices, learning to pray through times I eat out of habit or stress and God has taken away my craving for unhealthy foods!

I've reread several times the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness before he began his ministry. . . Satan isn't happy about that either:-)

So how do we win the battles in our lives? How can we be victorious against the world, against Satan and even against our own stubborn will? Well . . . let's get back to this verse:

1) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Don't watch the ads on television, don't listen to the negative, sad, angry people in your life who are bringing you down. Fix your eyes on JESUS.

2) the author and perfecter of our faith, We don't need any guide books, how-to-manuals or expensive programs or plans to hear God's word and then figure out how to carry it out. Why? Because Jesus is the AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH.

3) who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, There is nothing we will endure in this life that we can't get through. The reason that is true is because of the Savior, who hung on the Cross for us. He suffered so we would have the ULTIMATE GIFT OF GOD'S GRACE.

4) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. The sacrifice of Christ won us ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN.

So, whatever stronghold has a hold of your body, your mind, your heart or your soul, look to the Cross, my brothers and sisters. Look to the Cross.

Don't consider any setback a failure! Look at it as a chance to return again to the foot of the Cross. Rejoice that you have yet another opportunity to offer up a part of your life to God and His will for your life.

but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. (Psalm 44:7)

You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. (Psalm 18:35)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Psalm 1 Corinthians 15:57)

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)


Andrea said...

Okay...it one thing to step on your own feet...you are stomping on mine, now!! Woe, girl...you have NO idea how timelly this message is.........like to the very second I needed it. I love you...keep it up and "get the behind us, satan!!"

Kelly said...

Oh congratulations! That is just amazing! You keep it up, and dont' let that devil get after you. (He will try, now that you are giving God the glory!).

I am feeling the need to cut back on my sugar intake. Just need to get motivated and give it to God (and buy some Stevia!) But it's in the plans.

Good job!

Lighthouse Prayer Line said...

Hi Mary,

That was a great post! Praise the Lord!!

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God bless you & yours,

Mark, Lynn, Brooke & Carley Seay

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