Meditation is a practice where an individual focuses the mind on a thought or activity. We are called to meditate on what is true, honorable, righteous, loving…. and as I said earlier, what we choose to think about will either fill us with death or life, blessing or curse. It’s our choice (Deuteronomy 11:26)
So, what are you spending your time meditating on? Do you focus on how unhappy you are with your body? Do you focus on how much you don’t like someone? Do you focus on the things you don’t have?
I’d like you to consider this, if focusing on good, true, right, loving things is spending time in God’s kingdom and His thoughts, when we aren’t focused on those things, who’s kingdom do you think you’re spending your time in?
As I’ve shared, my main meditation for years had been how disappointed I was in myself for a whole bunch of reasons, mostly food and body image. I was so consumed by my constant failure that I couldn’t think of much else. I believe that we all have battles that repeat in our lives because it means the LORD is taking us deeper into our healing and closer to Him. This should give us hope in our battles that the LORD is working within us to transform us more and more into His likeness.
Grasping for control
One of my biggest false beliefs is that I won’t have enough and that I’ll fall apart of I don’t have control of something. I end up grabbing onto control as often as I can, I try to control my time, my food, my schedule and try to make sure I am protected in the safety of what I believe life should be. I don t give my all to anything because I’m afraid I’ll run out of energy and strength. So, I limit myself in many areas, but worse yet, I don’t allow any room for the LORD to guide me to do His work – I’m too busy doing mine.
Have you have done something that was so difficult that you didn’t think you’d be able to do it a second longer? And then somehow you did. There have been many points in my life that I’ve done this not having slept when my daughter was a baby and then with not sleep I went to work all day. In doing a triathlon or running a 1⁄2 marathon, I wanted to quit but didn’t and when I crossed the finish line the joy was so much greater than the pain of the event.
I always look back at these things and see that God has created me more amazing that I could have imagined and wonder If I’m capable of going beyond what I thought I could do in this area, couldn’t I also be capable of doing more in other areas?
So, what’s the hold up?! Fear!
If I chose to meditate on who God is and not myself, I’d d see that it’s not about me, it’s about Him. If I chose to mediate on the things that I’ve done with God’s strength and not mine, I d see that He is always faithful to provide more than I could imagine.
Instead, however, I mediate on the fear of the what ifs. My personal struggle with body-image and food lead me to constant thoughts of self-hate. I believed I didn’t have self-control and that I was fat. I’d cry standing on the scale almost every day. I allowed this focus point to control my life and my thoughts. I began to try to manipulate my food constantly, but the scale wouldn’t move. I’d workout till I was weak, but the scale wouldn’t move. I was so consumed by my body-image that I was tracking my food – every single time I’d eat. I was missing moments around me constantly, I was fearful of going out to eat or eating at anyone else’s house because I didn’t know what foods would be served. So, I started to seclude myself from everyone, because I knew that the alternative route would be giving into binge eating and hating myself later. It was just easier to stay home and away from temptation. (ugh)
My weight battle was so consuming, I didn’t have the energy to be patient or kind to my family, I hid most of the time and my negative thoughts caused me to be so distracted by my pain and struggles that I wasn’t there for the people that needed me the most. I was so impatient with myself that it carried over to being impatient with others. I was making myself lonely! What a horrible way to live.
When we meditate on our short comings and keep our eyes at our “belly buttons” we are believing that it’s up to us and that God isn’t with us. We are living under the false belief that God doesn’t care enough to provide or protect us, but scripture says the complete opposite.
The Start of Freedom
I found the start of my freedom in Ephesians 6:12. I was always able to see how I should apply this verse to others, but never applied it to myself. I assumed all my negative thoughts were ‘my thoughts’ and therefore true. But the truth is my struggles weren’t really with me, but against the powers of spiritual forces of this dark world trying to keep me from my destiny.
I believe that Satan attacks our mind and that is where the dark and dreadful thoughts of self-hate come from. I think that’s also why so many of us struggle with the exact same thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Our struggles weren’t really with ourselves, but against the powers of spiritual forces of this dark world trying to keep us from our destiny
Our inner dialog’s are almost identical, especially when it comes to the way we talk to ourselves. Satan isn’t cleaver enough to change it up for each of us and we must be bold enough to talk to one another about our struggles so that we can realize we’re all being attacked the same way. We can encourage one another and refuse to align with his lies, that s the purpose of community.
Once I realized I could reject negative thoughts, I began to let God into my thought life and each day he transforms me a little at a time. I commit myself to read scripture every day so that I can know God more and He equipped me with the weapons I need to fight my specific battles. I choose to mediate on what He says about me, and not what then enemy say and I see the victory that living in Christ brings, I see what God means by saying Be still and Know that I AM God (Psalm 46:10)
Truth: We are daughters of God and that means we do have the spirit of self-control, of power and of love. We have inherited the character of our Heavenly Father and it takes effort to focus on the truth to get rid of the lies that we don’t have it and living in the truth that we do.
I felt the Holy Spirit stir this within me: What would life look like if every time a thought about food, your weight, and body image came in to your thoughts, that you took that thought captive and instead asked me “how can I live for Your kingdom?” What if instead of thinking about what and when you’re going to eat next or how you re going to lose weight you instead thought of me and how you can love and serve?
How would this fit in your current battle?!
Condemnation Vs Conviction
In applying truth to my lies, I learned the difference between conviction and condemnation and began to live in it. God is love, so when He corrects us it is not condemnation. So, if you’re feeling condemned, (shame, self-hate, guilt ) that is not from God. God’s voice is gentle and draws us close to him, the enemy is harsh and pushes us to want to be alone.
I’ve seen and continue to see God heal my relationship with myself through this truth, I see him restore my past regrets and shame and He has renewed the way I look and treat myself, especially in relation to food and my body. I’m beginning to see myself through His eyes and not the critical eye of the enemy.
When we live in a condemnation mind-set, we are filled with shame, guilt, and regrets. We feel like we deserve damnation, that we don’t deserve a relationship with God and that each mistake is just further proof that we aren’t worthy of a relationship with God.
Clearly, after all we’ve covered, this isn’t true. As a matter of fact, God knows we will stumble, God knows that our sanctification process takes time, patience, mercy, and love. He is so gracious toward us that He allows us to practice over and over and over and over until we grow. No shame, no guilt, only teaching and guiding us to live within His ways for our lives.
It takes a lot of intentional work on our part to co-operate with God and choose to align with His truth instead of letting the shame, guilt and regrets control and defeat our life. We need to rewrite our default thought life from thinking as the world things to thinking as God thinks.
There will be hundreds of tears and days filled with struggle, but as we look at it through the eyes of our loving Father, we see that each tear and each struggle is an opportunity to become more like Him. Paul speaks about the thorn we all experience in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.
We can take on anything that comes our way when we live in the truth that we are being convicted to live set apart and as the special purpose created women we are! We are filled with joy, love, hope and endurance for the race that has been set before us! (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Next time we’ll talk about primary and secondary foods. Primary foods aren’t what you think… See you soon
Scripture to help your journey
Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
1 Timothy 4:8 – for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on
Corinthians 3:16-17 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.