Delighting in Obedience

Delight

For the Proverbs 31 Made to Crave Blog Hop today, I chose the topic “Delighting in Obedience”.
P31 OBS Blog Hop Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

I’m going to throw this out there–I have not been completely obedient even in this study. Currently, I am behind in my reading, but I am trying to catch up! 🙂 I’ve also had a few weak moments in this study of eating healthy and craving God. Maybe you can relate to me today?! That doesn’t mean that it’s over or I (or you) have failed! It just means we need to press on and be OBEDIENT!

So, here’s my take on this subject.

The definition for Delight(ing) is: Great pleasure with synonyms of happiness, joy, glee and gladness.

The definition for Obedience is: Compliance with an order, request or law or submission to another’s authority.

Oh boy, there’s that word SUBMISSION!!!! I don’t say “bad words” on my blog, so I can assure you that submission is NOT a bad word!  We must be happy & joyful about submitting to Jesus’ authority and comply with his request. The way I look at is this–Yes, the Bible is full of laws. As is the world we live in. I slow down when I come near a red light camera because I don’t want to get a ticket in the mail {I’ve never had one and my family would enjoy that too much!}. I know the “danger” ahead of me, so I respond to it. BUT–that is not a CHANGE in my behavior. Why? Because I don’t always drive the speed limit at other times. Basically, I am conditioned to knowing where the cameras are, so I slow down. But if I truly changed I would drive the speed limit ALL THE TIME!

What does this have to do with Made to Crave? EVERYTHING! If I changed my behavior I would not have an issue with eating. Let me just ask you this……Have you ever eaten a salad when you went out with your girlfriends (because they know you are trying to watch what you eat and be healthier), then gone home and eaten potato chips or pulled out that can of frosting in the fridge or bag of cookies from the shelf? It’s the same thing. You are conditioned to being a certain way around others, but still never really changing.

I LOVE the way The Message puts this verse:  “So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!” Romans 6:16

I don’t want to “live any old way I want”! I want to live how God wants me to live. I want to be Delighting in Obedience to Him. 1 John 2:3 says “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.” WOW! That is a powerful verse! If we KNOW God then we KEEP His commands (which means we OBEY him)!  Do I want to please my friends or do I want to please God? Oh friend, this took me a LONG time to figure out! And I have to tell you that I’m okay now with pleasing God, not people. I am far from perfect though.  In Galatians 1:10 it says “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” So according to this I can’t be a servant of Christ if I want to please people!

I must delight in obedience to please the Lord and follow His commands! This means with EVERY area of my life…..even the chocolate, bread, pasta, sugar loving areas (which makes up a WHOLE lot of me if you know what I mean!). I must be willing to follow Him not only when it’s easy {for me}–like being faithful to my husband, but when it’s hard like not eating that brownie or pizza. Although it is horrible & difficult for me to admit–I struggle WAY more with food than with most other areas of my life. I know that my struggle is not secret because the world can see what I look like on the outside, but if God sees what I look like on the inside then He can help me fix what you see on the outside! 🙂 The number on the scale doesn’t define me. The person who looks at me funny when I walk into the gym doesn’t define me. The mom across the street who runs 10 miles a day {and is a size 0} doesn’t define me. God defines me! Oh precious Sister in Christ–let God define you!

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Permissible But Not Beneficial

Welcome to my Thursday Blog Hop for the Made to Crave online Bible Study!

The topic I chose for today was Permissible But Not Beneficial.

The verse that speaks of this in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 10:23.

The NIV version says this: “I have the right to do anything.” you say-but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything.” but not everything is constructive.

The HCSB version says this:  Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.

The definition of permissible is — Permitted or allowed

The definition of beneficial is — Favorable or advantageous or resulting in good

The definition for constructive is — Serving a useful purpose or tending to build up.

So, how does this apply to me, or this study?

Well, when it comes to food, you can see that everything really is permissible. One thing that is hard when you are trying to eat healthy is overcoming tempting foods. Is it permissible for me to eat a candy bar? Of course, there are no laws against it (even though there probably should be–LOL)! Is it beneficial for me to eat a candy bar? No, not really. It doesn’t have the nutritional value that I need, it doesn’t give me a sense of fullness like a meal does and most importantly it doesn’t stop my craving to eat.

But, this verse isn’t just talking about food. I can relate it to that because it is something I struggle with, but it could be talking about inappropriate relationships, websites, conversations, movies, etc. What/Who could you be watching, listening to, talking about/to, that could be permissible, but not beneficial?

We must protect ourselves from things that aren’t good for us. Just as you would protect a child who was walking toward a busy highway, you must protect yourself. If food is your vice, you must do some things to help yourself be prepared. If surfing on the internet is a problem for you, you must install blockers on your computer. Anything that causes you a problem can very easily be taken care of by a little planning ahead before you are faced with that temptation.

Planning ahead is always a good idea.  Prayer is the BEST planning you can do, of course, but you can also set some practical guidelines that can help you when you are in a situation that can be difficult for you.

Here are a few of my strategies for planning ahead for eating at home:

  • Always eat before you go grocery shopping!
  • Try to stay in the perimeter of the store and make sure when you are in the checkout lane that you have something else to focus on.
  • Meal plan/Freezer cook–this helps on those nights when you are just too tired to think about food.
  • Don’t buy snacks for your family that you shouldn’t eat unless you buy something just for you–like potato chips. You have to find something that is similar, but better for you. If you don’t, you will be more likely to have your hand in the bag before you know it.
  • Always measure/count out your serving size. If I purchase a bag of healthy chips, I count out a serving size and place it in a Ziploc bag–and I do this for every serving in the bag. It makes packing my lunch easier and I don’t have to think about how many I should have.
  • Use a calorie log and keep track for at least 2 weeks. You will be amazed at how many calories you don’t even realize you are eating. Two popular ones are Lose It or My Fitness Pal.
  • Always measure yourself before you start a healthy eating plan! You don’t always see immediate results on the scale, but inches are just as important as pounds.

Here are a few of my strategies for eating out:

  • Plan ahead if you are having dinner out. If you know ahead of time, decide what you will eat when you get there.
  • Skip the sodas/teas–have water instead. If you feel you MUST have a soda/tea, then ask for a soda/tea AND water, then don’t allow them to re-fill it.
  • Learn to read menus & nutritional facts. Most menus now have the calorie count of the meal or you can look it up before you go. Be SMART! Even a salad at some restaurants can be over 800 calories! Check out the Restaurant Nutrition App.
  • Pick something you really love and split it with someone or ask for a to-go box when your meal comes and box half of it up before you take the first bite.
  • Skip the bread & the dessert

Now back to the Permissible but not beneficial–If you know you have a weakness for something specific, don’t use that as a reward. As a matter of fact, it’s best to not use food as a reward. One thing I do like to do is pick something I want/like — maybe something to make a project I’ve been wanting, maybe a scarf, etc.

Basically, if you have an issue that you know you have a hard time dealing with, then you need to keep yourself away from it. It’s easier to do this with accountability from a friend (or in the case of Made To Crave over 40,000 friends!). Start by being honest about what you have issues with and take it one step at a time. My goal in this is to #CraveGod more than I crave food!

Do you have suggestions that help you?

Any thoughts or comments?

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