I once listened to a training session where a coach told her client to ask God what I felt no one should ask. The minute I heard the question, my stomach lurched as though someone had just hit it. There was no way in a million years I would ask God that question. The thought of His answer scared me to death.
I had already lost 250 pounds by then. But I had just hit that mark, and I hadn't had time to accept the fact that I was living in an entirely different body and actually following God in a way I hadn't for years. Despite my gut reaction, God wanted me to ask Him this question because He had something important to tell me. I was still reluctant because I was afraid of what He might say to me.
Compensating for My Weakness
It felt as though I spent my entire adult life trying to compensate for my weaknesses of overeating and gaining a tremendous amount of weight. I thought I could make up for my utter failures by working harder, doing more tasks which I dubbed "kingdom work." What I was really trying to do was work harder to be noticed by the Almighty. Yes, I admit it. I thought I could earn brownie points with God.
I knew this wasn't how God operated, but I still felt like I had to do something. I just didn't think I could do the one thing God wanted from me: lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Because I didn't think I could do that, I'd try to approach things from a different angle.
Cognitively, I knew I couldn't earn God's favor. I knew that His grace saved me and that it is always freely given no matter what I've done or not done. However, there was still a part of me that needed to ask: "Have I done enough to be called your daughter, God?"
I Have To Know His Answer
When I heard the question, I panicked. I was certain whatever God's response might be, it wouldn't be good. Even though I knew my sins had been removed as far as the east is from the west, just as Psalm 103:12 says, I still believed they were a part of me. It was really hard to understand that God considered my sins gone. And yet on another level, this one question was gnawing at me, and I had to know His answer.
The message I was listening to was supposed to help me understand who I really am to God. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I stopped the recording. I felt like I would die if I didn't take the plunge and ask God what felt like a huge question. I wanted to know ... but I didn't want to know. You know that feeling, like you're standing on the edge of the rest of your life, and this one step will define everything?
When I finally asked Him the question, His answer to me changed everything in my life. I share this specific question, how God answered it and how you can do the same on Episode 70 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey Podcast: The Big Question. Check it out on Charisma Podcast Network.
This article originally appeared on teresashieldsparker.com.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.
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