I am happy to report that the pumpkin pie was a success. Now…it definitely wasn’t anything that would be making it onto the cover of Paula Dean cooking magazine, but I’ve learned one thing in my years of baking…whip cream can cover a multitude of cooking faults. My hubby was quite shocked last night when I handed him his very first “wife cooked” piece of pie (and the heart shaped whip cream on top successfully covered all the imperfections!)
As I was making the pie for him, my mind wandered to many places. I began thinking about how many people find themselves in a hidden battle during this time of year. On the outside they are smiling admist the pecan pies, candied yams, piles of mashed potatoes and gravy. However, their minds are in a very different place. There is a battle raging inside of them. A battle much more serious than the battle of will power. Many people approach the Thanksgiving holiday already defeated. They have already thrown in the white flag of surrender to the holidays. In their hearts they have decided that there is no way that they can say ‘no’ to the third piece of pie or fifth helping of dressing. They have tried before and failed and they know in their hearts this year will be the same story.
As I made the pumpkin pie (and scooped out of a can that crazy stuff we called shortening…what in the WORLD are we thinking putting that stuff in our bodies!!), I began to think through my own journey with food. Food used to be the enemy to me. Even as a child, I can remember lying on the couch after I had eaten too much for supper and thinking, “I’ve failed again!” Though my body was never such that someone would call me ‘fat,’ I saw my body very differently than everyone else.
Back in the spring I wrote out my ‘journey with food’ and was going to post it this morning. But first I wanted to share with you one more devotion I wrote for the ladies in the weight loss challenge I was a part of early this year. Through writing this devotion, I realized that my whole life I had been approaching the food battle from an entirely physical standpoint. When I recognized the bigger scale of the war within me, I was truly able to fight.
So…this Thanksgiving week…a week of INCREDIBLE food…I thought maybe there would be someone who would need to read these words to help them approach the Thanksgiving table with an entirely new mindset. Enjoy your pumpkin pie but remember that you do have the power to only eat one piece.
The Help You Need by HB
Hopefully by now you have spent some time before the Lord asking Him to empower you to accomplish His will concerning your health. Together we have determined to bring glory to Him through our daily choices we make in our eating and exercising. If you have received your marching orders from the Lord, then you are well aware of the reality of what comes soon after making a commitment to the Lord to accomplish something for His glory. Temptation. Do you remember what happened to Jesus after he accepted His mission of being the One “who takes away the sin of the world” (John1:29). Matthew 4:1 tells us that immediately after Jesus was baptized and was ready to proclaim to the world that He was indeed the Messiah, the Spirit led him into the desert to embark on a period of testing by the devil.
I do not think I would miss the mark if I said that everyone of us have faced temptation over the past week as we have been determined to make lifestyle changes in the area of our health. If you are finding yourself giving into temptation to make poor food choices or to not follow through with your exercise commitments, the problem may lie in the fact that being successful in any area of your Christian walk is not a matter of your determination. Success is a matter of dependence, not determination. Success does not come in trying, but in trusting.
Last week I mentioned that Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our battles here on earth are not battles of the flesh but battles of the spirit. For years it was taught that winning the battles of temptation in the area of eating and exercise is a matter of having or not having the willpower to say “No!” to the temptation of unhealthy foods and saying “Yes!” to getting off the couch or out of the bed to break a sweat. Winning the battle for your health goes much deeper than the power of your will. It is much more than being determined. You must first recognize that there is much more at stake than your health. I love the way Oswald Chambers addresses the way Satan tempts God’s children, He (Satan) does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil. Satan shifts our point of view so that we do not see temptations concerning our health as a spiritual matter.
Just as in all areas of spiritual matters, it is easy for us as Christians to get burned out trying to accomplish a goal or a dream that the Spirit of God has placed in our hearts. The Bible teaches us that God has a purpose for each of our lives here on earth. However, 1 Peter 5:8 instructs believers to Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (NIV). Satan is ready for attack. He is our enemy, and he has his sights set on us. Satan tempts us in an attempt to undermine the purpose that God has for us.
I love how the New Living Translations brings the apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 5:16 to life. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. When we become a Christian, we do not lose our natural tendency to sin. However, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit which provides us with the power to resist what our sinful nature craves. So the question is how? How do we tap into the power that is within us? Let’s go back to the example of Jesus in Matthew 4. What did Jesus do when he was confronted with the schemes of the enemy Satan? Jesus fought back with the Word of God. If you are finding yourself discouraged by the enemy’s attacks, cry out to Jesus for your strength. Remember what the author of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 2 :18. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (NIV). Jesus is waiting to help.
By the way….last night I did enjoy myself a piece of the pumpkin pie. However, I enjoyed it knowing that I had been eating very healthily this past week and that I was not a failure for eating a piece of pie. In fact…I ate the pie while watching none other than…THE BIGGEST LOSER!!! Something about that show makes me hungry…but it also motivates me to hop on my elliptical which I did later that evening after having enjoyed the pie (for me the enjoyment is definitely in the whip cream!)