(Unsplash/Chad Madden)

I have a confession to make. Even though I've lost 250 pounds, weight loss is not the most important thing in my life. And I don't think it should be yours either, no matter how much weight you have to lose.

Following God

Following what God is telling us, showing us and where He is leading us should be our No. 1 objective. God will use anything in our lives to bring us to the place that we understand that truth.

As I look back at my journey, I realize God used the biggest obstacle in my life to lead me to what I should have been doing all along—following Him without question. He even rewarded me for following Him by showing me how to lose over 250 pounds.

He rewards those who diligently and earnestly seek Him (see Heb. 11:6), but I didn't realize that was what I was doing. I just thought I was losing weight to save my life, which was part of God's purpose for sure.

God's main objective, though, is what I needed to understand. More than that, I needed to understand why God had to reinforce it to me in the first place.

I Am Weak, But He Is Strong

Somewhere I had gotten off the track. I had begun to rely on my own self-effort to get me through life. I had stopped understanding that "when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God's strength]" (2 Cor. 12:10, AMP).

I had to come to the end of myself to understand that God's strength is the only thing that could help me. All along, He wanted me to rely on Him, but I thought I was self-sufficient. Of course, I reasoned this was because He made me that way.

I didn't understand that I am only self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency. On our own we can do a lot, but when we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, anything is possible!

Trusting God

Getting to that point of totally relying on God has been the best part of this journey. Understanding I can trust Him to lead me is the crucial issue.

To walk in faith is difficult. It means we aren't relying on what we can see, feel, taste, touch or hear. We are relying on the power of an invisible force to lead us.

The problem is we operate in a very physical realm. The spiritual is difficult for us to understand. Many times, things in our childhood have made us feel we can't really totally trust God to lead us. So we figure out ways to get what we want.

Over-Compensating

We over-compensate for our felt inadequacies. We become workaholics, perfectionists or control freaks. We feel the stress and the emotional weight of trying hard to get everything done and done right. We self-medicate with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling and any number of other things.

We are one of the most overworked societies ever to live on this planet, and yet we are also one of the most unhealthy physically.

It's the cry that Paul defined so well, when he said, "For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do" (Rom. 7:19, MEV).

We are caught in a rut. We want out but it feels impossible for that to ever happen. Who will rescue us from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers us through Jesus Christ.

Our Deliverer

He delivers us when we want to be delivered. When we will do anything and everything it takes to get free. When we will seek and knock until we find the answer. I knocked on every door until I found someone who could lead me by the hand and help me see where I had gone off track and then, ask me the right questions to reconnect with God and get back on that faith walk.

Because someone helped lead me there, I now am able to do the same for others. I love coaching others. It feels a lot like paying it forward to be able to work one on one with someone who is ready, really ready, to cast off the baggage and go all the way with God.

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and free gifts.

This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.

 

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