Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fight Head to Heart

Day 66

Fight Head to Heart

Faith makes all things possible... love makes all things easy.[i]
Dwight L. Moody


e must not battle the enemy’s ploys using our own powers of strength or wit. The advice a Godly coach might give is this: “Don’t fight temptation head to head, fight it head to heart.”

This is because God’s love indwells our hearts with Holy Spirit fueled strength so that we are empowered to resist temptation. When, through abiding and obeying, we find that sweet spot of being loved by God and showing His love to others, obedience becomes not only possible but easy, not in the sense that no effort or sacrifice is involved, but because of the precious result of being of one mind and heart with our Lord.

Most people eat for comfort, and that's why so many of us are overweight. Losing weight God's way is more difficult—and more gratifying—than just going on a diet and avoiding carbs or counting calories. When we lose weight in those ways we may find a magic "in the groove" place where things go well and the discipline becomes, if not easy, at least possible. There is always a misconception that this sort of change is permanent, but it rarely is. Whenever we receive heart blows, our “any port in a storm” survival strategies will probably cause us to fall back to old habits that at least provided some in-the-moment comfort. Apart from God, the alternative to overeating is to hold to our weight loss strategies as we would to a lifeline, sometimes at the cost of the welfare of those around us. The enemy always urges us to put our own interests in first place, but the Lord leads us a better way as we exchange the “law” of diet plans for moment-by-moment obedience to Him.  

Sometimes, other people get in our way. It’s tempting to believe that if we didn’t have other human beings who need our labor and sacrifice, that losing weight would be easier. And when we overeat in the wake of some heart hurt, it's easy to blame others for our sin. The Lord bids us to bring our heartaches to Him rather than slapping a temporary bandage of food onto a wound that will not truly heal apart from the Lord. 

God calls us to community with others. We are not to prioritize our own needs, set boundaries, or isolate ourselves. We are to follow Jesus' example and count the heartaches borne by others as our own, bearing one another's burdens. God speaks a message directly to our hearts:

Don’t "settle." Don't say, "Well, I can't do anything about this situation, I've just got it to live with it." Love others with God’s love. Stand with drawn sword to protect the tender hearts of the ones you love, the inward being that has not been tainted by avarice, stubbornness, and hard-heartedness. Respond to the good within those around you as if it were the whole person, and pray diligently for cleansing of that which is not of the Lord. Help your loved ones to redirect the survival strategy of attempting to please you toward the eternal strategy of pleasing God.

Resignation threatens when we don't believe we can do anything to elicit change either in others or ourselves. We mustn't forget the Lord!  His power and strength will succeed where we have failed. 

Pray:  Once again, Father, I place my trust in You for my weight, my health, my loved ones, and all my circumstances. Help me recognize the strategies You are using to nudge me along the path of Your will, and to cooperate with You and not fight against You. Teach me to love others with Your love, but Lord, let me comprehend more of Your love for me so I have it to show to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Make love your aim…
1 Corinthians 14:1 RSV

[i] Dwight L. Moody. AZ Quotes. Retrieved September 30, 2015 from

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