Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 – Dec 30 – Battling Strongholds

Blogger’s Note: As I posted yesterday, I have completed Chuck Swindoll’s devotional book; and I have a devotional plan for 2010 to read through the Bible using a daily chronological bible and a companion devotional book (more on that on 1/1/10). However, there are two more days remaining in 2009; and I simply will not allow myself a devotional “vacation” in these two days. So, I prayed this morning for guidance, and the passages to which I’m referring below came to my mind; and I think I know why God, the Holy Spirit led me to these scriptures, about which I’ll explain below. So, please bear with me as I get a bit personal in my devotionals on these two days.

Passage for Study: 1st Corinthians 6: 12 - 14 … 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

Secondary passage: 1st Peter 5: 6 – 11 … 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

My Journal for Today: To any dear one who might be reading this, … I needed a devotional to help me fill these two days; and so, as I said above, I prayed, remembering God’s truth in James 1: 5 – 6, that He will pour out His wisdom and will for any who diligently seek His truth. And I believe He’s done just that. Right now in my life, I’m dealing with a long-standing stronghold of sinfulness; and I need God’s power and grace to deal with a stronghold of habitual sinfulness in my life. So, coming to my Savior as instructed by 1st Peter 5: 7 (see above), I’m seeking God’s help to battle this sin in my life.

Some of you may know my testimony of God’s deliverance from years of habitual sexual sin before I became a Christian. Well, I now walk in freedom from the horrors of that pattern of sinfulness. If you don’t know my testimony and would like to read it, you can take this link [ ] and read it. However, I want to journal this morning about another beachhead of sin in my life, one which I’m battling currently and with which I have struggled for most of my life. And that stronghold is GLUTTONY.

My friends, I have an obsessive-compulsive personality; and all my life I’ve been the chubby kid who has dealt with gluttony and overeating. When I was a kid I hated having to wear “husky” jeans. As a teen, athletics helped me to fight my tendency to become overweight; but as I moved into adulthood, I let myself go until I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes a little over 10 years go. God, in his providence/mercy then led me to a research study being conducted by the university where I’m on the faculty. They needed diabetic subjects for a longitudinal study of the effects of weight loss on type 2 diabetes. So, seven years ago, coming under the accountability of the study, I lost 47 pounds; and, to a great degree, I have been able to keep the weight off with a variety of programs provided by the study. However, in the latter part of 2009, I began slipping to where I’ve gained about 10 of those pounds back; and I find myself falling back into some of my old sinful patterns of off-schedule eating aand night-time snacking, as well as an inability to exercise the way I’ve disciplined myself due to a shoulder injury (which will require surgery soon).

Well, this morning I was praying, as Paul must’ve prayed for his “thorn” to be removed (see 2nd Cor. 12). I also prayed that God would give me some serious conviction and direction for these two days of devotionals for my morning journaling [having finished the Swindoll devotional book]. And faithfully, God, the Holy Spirit, bubbled the two passages above into my consciousness; and I’m here to confess today my conviction of sinfulness; and then tomorrow I will report where God is leading me to develop a “battle plan” to let Him empower me with His grace to become the overcomer He desires for me in this arena of my life.

I don’t know whether any of you will read and identify with my struggles with eating and body stewardship; but I know – and need to confess here - that my body is a Temple given to me which God can use for His glory, … but only when I’m obedient to keep His Temple clean and orderly [see 1st Cor. 6: 19]. So, God has got me under conviction to clean out this slovenly pattern of gluttony in my life; and to get His Temple back into order. I’ll tell you about where I’m going tomorrow; but today, if you can identify with the need to be more rigorous and deal with a pattern of habitual or recurring sin in your life, mediate on the passages above; and pray (as in James 1: 5-6) for God’s wisdom and His clear will to provide you with His enabling and empowering grace to move you where you should go in 2010.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, You are leading me; and I will follow Your will and Your way in the area of body stewardship. Shine Your light brightly so that my murky mind can follow You. Amen

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