Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Knowing God is God

"Be still, and know that I am God: 
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

I was up nearly all night last night.
With all of us being sick, 
and with everything going on,
I just couldn't settle down.

Once again, I wouldn't trade the lesson on the Potters' wheel for any amount of money.
It was worth staying up all night for...
without a doubt.

It all started with me feeling hopeless about my weight.
Can anyone relate??  :~)

You know, all these years,
I never realized what a stronghold of the enemy
my being overweight really is.
It's a touchy subject.
Painfully personal.
It is an area in which he consistently robs my joy 
and causes me to feel completely defeated.

It is like he takes great delight and glee in seeing me
fight this seemingly never-ending roller coaster battle.
This week down three pounds,
last week up two and a half.
Each time I am back up,
I am left with the wind knocked out of my sails,
and I find it hard to shrug it off and resume a victorious day.

Last night, I sat and listened to satan's discouragement...
for quite some time.

"You'll never lose the weight.
You aren't worth anything.
You're just a complete failure.
This will never be any different for you.
It will continue to adversely affect your health,
and there is not one thing you can do about it.
You can't lose weight with your health issues.
You heard the diagnosis.
Having weight issues is just one of the symptoms.
It's automatic...it comes with the disease.
Just accept it.
You're defeated.
You will never win this war.
You might as well just give up.
You will always be fat.
Your weight will always hold you back.
Face reality.
You're worthless, undesirable,
and you always will be."

Ouch!  Ouch!  Ouch!
Oh, satan is cruel!
He is evil...to the core.

On and on and on he droned.
I was in a deep pit by the time I finally turned
my anguished face and glistening eyes toward the Potter.

I love being here....in His house.
Even though it is painful, at times,
as He tells me the truth and holds nothing back.
It smarts to hear the reality of my own spiritual condition.
But, I want this with all my heart.
I have never wanted it more.
I want to hear the truth from Him...
no matter how hard it is to face.
I want to know what He finds as He searches...
so I can be transformed...

I didn't have to say a word...
as my eyes met His.
He had heard...
every disparaging, abusive word...
uttered from satan's vile lips.
He had watched,
as satan dragged me down by pulling
the heavy chain to which I have been attached and enslaved for years.
How many times has he yanked the heavy metal links
landing me in a quagmire of despair and hopelessness?

The Potter has seen me fight this war...one anguished battle at a time.
He has watched as I have tried countless gimmicks...
read the promises of new diet products,
hoping with all my heart that this would be the one that would work the magic.

He has been there all along.
Encouraging me to get up and keep going.
To be happy, in spite of how I feel about myself.
To press forward, even when I don't feel like it.

I knew this was something that troubled me deeply, 
but I never saw it for what it really is until last night.
Another lesson revealed...
another wellspring of truth opened.

"Child, this is another of the many reasons I brought you here...
to the Potter's house.
This is an area that has become a stronghold in your life.
What started out as a physical problem, 
has now become spiritual.
Physical weight has become spiritual weight.
It robs your joy.
It steals your victory.
It causes you to feel less than the woman of God you really are.
This is an area that satan has moved in and set up camp.
He claims this as his own.
He has dug in his heels.
He has convinced you that this is permanent,
that you will never be able to accomplish losing weight.
This mountain has grown so tall in your mind 
that you don't see any possibility of it ever being removed.
He has talked you into believing your weight problem is bigger than Me."

Never before have I really grasped how much joy this thief drains from me.
It is constantly, and I do mean, constantly,
on my mind...
if not at the forefront,
then there in the back...some place.
Every time I shop for clothes.
Every time I get dressed.
Every time I walk into a room.
I don't ever feel good about myself.
I am constantly cowering...
cutting myself down.
Feeling less than....hopelessly bogged down...
slithering unceasingly
into a quicksand of low self-worth
and non-existent self-esteem.
It absolutely holds me back.
There are things I won't do because of it.

I am so tired of carrying the excess...
on my frame...
and on my mind.

"As long as you continue to open the door of your mind
and allow satan's lies to enter and take up residence...
as long as you dwell on his suggestions,
they will continue to sink deeper and deeper into the softness of your heart
until they become your reality....until you are thoroughly convinced.
Contrary to what he has persuaded you to believe, you can lose the excess.
In spite of health issues.
Am I not the Great Physician?
Is My arm shortened?
Is there anything too hard for Me?
Even this?
I brought you here to help you...
to work on the roots....
the underlying core of the problem areas.
I brought you here to fix the inside.
That includes the renewal of your mind.
As I remake you, I am aligning your perspective.
I am doing this because of My great love for you.
Do you believe Me?"

Tears were near the surface.
I pondered His question.
Do I?
Really believe this?

Sometimes I wonder.
Even though He has tried in so many ways to prove it is so.
Theoretically, I do know it.

But, how can I really accept the truth of it,
when I absolutely loathe the way I am?

My obesity..dare I call it what it is?
That ugly word?
Even worse to call it "mine"...
to claim ownership.
But, if I am ever going to get help,
I must face and admit the truth.
The Potter said,
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Truth is liberating.
Accepting it,
acknowledging it,
admitting it,
addressing it....
all steps toward glorious freedom.

My obesity is the cause of me not being fully able
to accept God's love for me.
It makes me feel unlovable....unworthy.

The truth is God created me in His image.
I know that as well as the next Biblically-educated, 
faithfully Sunday-Schooled Christian girl.
I am a daughter of the King.
That is no more of a news flash to me than it is to any of my sisters.

But does the reality of it ever settle completely in?
If satan can convince us we are unlovable,
how can we ever truly accept that God loves us more than life?
Even though He proved it by laying His down.

The Potter is digging deep.
Getting to the root.
Peeling past the protective layers.
Cutting to the very core.
It is all in the process...
of being completely re-structured...remade.
What good would I ever be to Him
if He remade and renewed everything...
except my mind?
My perspective....
and/or lack thereof?

So, I sat there...trying to completely soak in the lesson.
My weight issues are a spiritual problem.
When you shift gears from physical to spiritual,
it's a whole new ballgame.
And a much more serious one.

Being obese not only puts me at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, 
and a host of other health issues...
it is continually having an adverse affect upon my spiritual health...
something far more important.

My body is God's temple.
It is the physical, human house in which His Spirit lives and breathes.
This is His dwelling place.
I have been bought with a heavy price.
Redeemed because Someone gave every drop of His blood.
He abides here...
inside this house of clay.
This is His heart...
His lungs...
His feet and hands.
All of it has been purchased and now belongs to Him.

"I hear so many of my servants speak of refraining from vices.
I hear their warnings.
Don't smoke....don't drink....don't use drugs.
I hear very little about the addiction to food
and how My people are so prone to fall prey into its over-indulgence."

"But, Lord, I don't want to do this anymore.
 I have tried...so many times to change.
To bring my body under subjection to Your Spirit.
To stop overeating.
To make better choices.
I feel so hopeless.."

"I know how hard you have tried.
I know how much you want to change.
Change is what takes place here...
in My house...
on the wheel.
This is what it is all about.
I went to great lengths to bring you here.
To pull you aside.
To show you how things really are.
To open up the underlying problem areas.
Not to shame you,
but, to change you.
Transformation happens by the renewing of your mind.
I am the only One Who has that capability.
This is what is happening here."

I felt a glimmer of hope.
What is important to me,
is absolutely important to the Potter.

He continued.
"It isn't that I don't love you just as you are.
I do...more than human words can convey.
It is just that I want to make you better.
I want you to live up to your full potential...
without the chains of excess dragging behind you.
I want you to feel free to do what I need you to do,
without the bondage of self-consciousness holding you back.
I want you to be still, and know that I am God.
I am the Potter; you are the clay.
I want you to take your focus off of you....
your capabilities, your abilities.
I want you to know that I am God.
Even in this situation.
I am sovereign over your weight problem.
I am bigger than the number of pounds you want...need to lose.
I am God.
Know this.
Absorb this.
Understand this.
Let this sink in."

The Potter is God.
There is none other.
He will be exalted among the heathen...
and every form of idol worship.
I have never quite equated food with a false god....
something I worship,
something I bow down to, give in to,
 and for which I am willing to sacrifice my health.
But, in reality, isn't that what I am doing?
Am I not exalting edibles as a god?
Each time I go for that second, entirely unnecessary plate?
Each time I feel the least bit hungry and go for a bag of chips,
instead of abstaining or going for something healthy?
Each time I am not in the least bit hungry, but I eat anyway, because everyone else around me is eating?

If I am to leave the Potter's house any different than I was when I came in,
I am going to have to be completely honest.
I am going to have to acknowledge and admit to my own guilt...no matter how much it hurts.
I want to take full advantage of every, single bit of help while I am here.
I want a complete overhaul.
I don't want to leave any stone unturned.
When I asked the Potter to search me,
and know me,
and try me, 
and know my thoughts,
I meant every word of it.

I still do.

"Open your Bible and turn to
2 Corinthians 10:4,5.
What does it say?"

"...For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
Casting down imaginations, 
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, 
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..."
2 Corinthians 10:4,5

Do you know what it means to bring into captivity every thought to obedience to Me?"

"I wish I did, Lord."

"Satan plays mind games.
You have to win the battle while it is still going on ....in the mind.
If you win it there, you will never act on temptation.
You will captivate the thought,
bring it into obedience to Me,
and stake a claim to victory.
The way to do this is to use the same tool I used during My time of
intense temptation in the wilderness.
Food was the means of the very first temptation and caused the downfall of man...remember?
Satan tempted Me with food...remember?
Do you remember how I overcame?"

"Through quoting Your Word, Lord."

In order for you to captivate every thought
and bring it into obedience and subjection to Me, you must
replace satan's lies with My truth.
My Word is alive with power and unsurpassed authority.
Use it.
Every time satan whispers hopelessness by planting
a disobedient-to-Me thought in your mind,
it is up to you to bring it into captivity, then replace that thought
with a portion of My Word.
Speak My Word...in place of the lie satan has brought to you.
You know how he operates.
You are not ignorant of his devices.
You are painfully familiar with his cruelest tactics.
So, use the only force available that is stronger than his temptations and lies.
When he draws you in, tries to convince you that another helping won't hurt,
dangles luring, unnecessary pleasantries in front of your eyes,
tells you how good they are and surely it can't be wrong to indulge...
take the thought captive...right then....right there...before you act upon it and say,
"I will worship the Lord, my God, and Him only will I serve.
I resist you and this temptation in Jesus' name."
Matthew 4:10, Exodus 20:3, James 4:7
When you hear him whisper, "You are a failure",
arrest the thought and immediately replace it with "I am more than a conqueror."  Romans 8:37
When he says, "You are ugly", capture the thought and say, "I am beautiful."  Psalm 149:4
When he says, "You will always be this way", throw away his ugly lie and say,
"I am continually being changed into Christ's image."  Romans 8:29
When he has the audacity to tell you, "You can't do it",
resist his untruth with, "I can do anything through Christ's strength."  Philippians 4:13
When he tells you, "You are worthless", tell him,
"I am worth more than many of the sparrows my Heavenly Father cares so deeply about."  Matthew 10:31
When he says, "You will keep repeating the same mistakes.  You will never be any different"
rebuke his deceitful distortion with,
"I choose to forget the past and change the future."  Philippians 3:13
And when he presents his most depraved falsehood of all, "God doesn't love you",
tell him, "For me, the Son of God laid down His life."  I John 3:16 & John 3:16.
This is how you bring into captivity every thought.
My Word trumps all other power.  It never fails.
I guarantee complete victory every time."

I have a feeling the Potter didn't share all of this for me to keep all to myself.
Deep inside, I believe that someone reading this needed His words as much as I do.

My friend, what is your struggle?
In what area of your life has satan staked a claim?
Where does he trip you up every single time he tries?
How many times have you failed?
With what additional lies has he been filling your mind?
Do you feel defeated, hopeless, not worth the effort to change?

You are worth the effort.
The Potter loves you.
He cares....more deeply than you can comprehend.
He is handing you the ultimate tool....His Word.
To use.
To wield.
In satan's face.
Remember the armor of God described in Ephesians 6?
Of the six pieces mentioned,
do you know what the first five have in common?
They are all protective, defensive pieces of armor.
What is different about number six,
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"? (emphasis mine)

It is the only offensive weapon Paul mentioned.
It is the only offensive weapon we will ever need.
It will kill satan's lies every time.
It worked for Jesus Christ.
It will absolutely work for you...and me.

Be still.
Know that God is God.
Over all.
Nothing is above Him.
No temptation.
Not even your problem....or mine.
You can do this...through His amazing strength.
You can overcome this....through the power of His Word.
Speak it aloud....like Jesus did.
Speak it in the face of satan and his ugly lies.

The Potter always loves us enough to give us exactly what we need....right when we need it.

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