By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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Spiritual Warfare in Weight Loss: Stolen Peace

I am going to say something that may be controversial: I don't believe that weight problems are just weight problems; I believe they are a small part of a life management problem.

Some of your daily health choices are not working for you. Why do I say that?

A big clue is when you don't have peace about your health choices. That is where the enemy loves to attack. He wants to steal your peace.

But God desires that you live in His peace. Do you have peace about your health choices?

That is why I am sending you these spiritual warfare articles. I believe that you can overcome the mental and physical obstacles to weight loss once you attack the issue from its source: the spiritual.

This third article covers the third piece of spiritual armor we are called to put on daily. Click here for part 1 and part 2.

"And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6:15).

Feet are used for walking, of course. We are called to walk worthy of God's call upon our lives (Col. 1:10). But we aren't called to walk barefoot! We are called to put on equipment that is suitable for walking first: shoes.

A shoe is worn for protection and comfort. However, you can be hurt or ineffective if the shoes you are wearing don't match your activity.

For example, you put on running shoes when you run; you wear sandals in the summer; you wear boots during the winter and to go hiking, and so forth. Can you imagine trying to run a marathon wearing sandals or flip-flops?

To carry the gospel, you also need specialty shoes: Shoes of peace.

You need shoes of peace in your weight-loss journey too. My belief is based upon the story of David and Solomon and how the ancient temple was built.

Even though building the temple was King David's idea, God would not let him build it because he was a man of war with others (1 Kin. 6-7).

However, God said that would allow King David's son, Solomon, to build it. God said that Solomon could build it because he would have peace from his enemies.

I believe that same principle is true today. To build healthy bodies, we must learn to pursue peace. From that place of peace, we can think more clearly and make wiser decisions that support our health.

There are three areas of peace that I recommend you pay attention to:

Your peace with God, your peace with yourself, and your peace with other people. Let's look at your peace with God first:

1. Believe that you have peace with God. Romans 5:1-2 makes this point clear: "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and so we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

Jesus makes all the difference! The gospel's Good News is that God's wrath against mankind's sin was poured out on Jesus Christ. His sinless life and sacrifice on the cross paid the penalty for our sin for all time.

Therefore, God is no longer angry with those who declare Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus' blood covers us. That is cause for celebration!

But many Christians believe that God is still angry with them. They think the Lord is disappointed with them when they make mistakes. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

God is about restoration, not condemnation. He wants to lead you and guide you in the way you should go. As you submit to the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, you learn how to walk in love, being imitators of God as a dear child. You seek after and receive His wisdom as to how to take care of your body and all of your life circumstances.

You trust God to direct your path as He promises in Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6).

2. Pursue peace with yourself. Jesus makes us a promise in John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

You cannot be peaceful when you allow a troubled, fearful heart to dwell within. The phrase "let not" means you have a choice in this matter. The Bible gives clear prescriptions for troubled hearts:

  • Matthew 11:28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest."
  • 1 Peter 5:7: "Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

Some people won't take these prescriptions because they don't want to go to God. They stay away because of lack of trust or believing that God is angry or disappointed in them (see point No. 1).

Pride is also a common reason. You see, many people take pride in how others view them. In some cases, pride makes them feel important by holding onto burdens so others give them admiration. After all, they are so strong in carrying such a heavy load!

In the past, I have been guilty of that one.

In other cases, pride makes the person feel victimized in holding on to their burdens. Their "reward" is having others feel sorry for them because of their heavy load or they get attention from a woe-is-me attitude.

Either way, pride robs God of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him through carrying your burdens.

God wants to be your Strength, your Shelter, your Fortress, your Power—whatever you need. So when you are victorious, you can give Him all the glory, not try to take it for yourself.

Humble yourself under God's mighty hand and let Him exalt you in due season. He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

3. Peace with others. Hebrews 12:14-17 gives direction in this area: "Pursue peace with all men, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord, 15 watching diligently so that no one falls short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness spring up to cause trouble, and many become defiled by it, 16 lest there be any sexually immoral or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected. For he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears."

If you tend to be an angry, argumentative person, other people will tend to shut you out and avoid you. They will not listen to what you have to say, even if you want to share the Good News of the gospel with them.

Proverbs 18:19 tells us: "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and their contentions are like the bars of a castle."

Now, a word of warning: Pursing peace with all people does not mean giving into the dictates of our culture. This Scripture tells us that we are to pursue peace and holiness.

As God's people, we are called to live according to God's Word. When the culture makes decrees that are clearly not in line with God's Word, we must speak the truth. However, we do so in love and humility.

If someone tries to argue with you or cause contention, do not engage them. An old saying goes, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

You can maintain your peace and stand on your beliefs, knowing that the Lord is your Defender.

In closing, take 1 Peter 3:11 to heart: "Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it."

Seek after those daily decisions that bring peace. Health decisions are a great training ground for this. Turn away from those decisions you know are not good for you. It is not always easy to do that, but afterward, you can expect a reward:

"Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous. Yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it" (Heb. 12:11).

So put on those shoes of peace and share the peace that God has given you with others!

Be Blessed in health, healing and wholeness. {eoa}

P.S. I taught a Webinar recently called 'Change your Mind, Change your Body' and we discussed why certain foods hijack your brain and make you more vulnerable to food cravings.

Although the Webinar is over, I created an audio of the content and a summary sheet that you can download Free. You can access the Free audio and summary sheet here.

For the original article, visit takebackyourtemple.com.

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