Why can’t I just say no?
I was a slave, bound by my own desires and cravings. Food was my master and I regularly did its bidding. Hungry or not, it didn’t matter. Delicious food or mediocre, it didn’t matter. I couldn’t stop myself. I hated living this way, but I felt powerless to change.
I knew the right answers, like: Christ in me is greater than sin. I can do all things by Christ’s power, and I am more than a conqueror through the God who loves me. But that’s where it stopped—in my head. New resolutions, shaming myself, dieting … none of it worked.
But then I learned to think differently. After literally crying out to God for deliverance, He began retraining my mind. I had been trying to fight this battle with “fleshly weapons,” giving myself rules to follow (diets), heaping up shame and self-condemnation, trying harder. All those things are fleshly weapons because they center on self and on human effort.
We, as God’s children, have divinely powerful weapons that enable us to experience consistent victory. As we walk with Him in faith, He trains us to use those weapons. And that is what Christianity all boils down to—walking with Him.
The word stronghold can mean “anything on which one relies.” I had relied on food. When I was bored, it entertained me. When I was sad, it comforted me. When I wanted something pleasant, it tasted good. But God began teaching me to rely on Him and to seek Him for fulfillment.
Victory is not about following rules. It’s about staying connected to Jesus and letting Him live His life through us. I learned to recognize His voice as He said, “You’re full; stop eating now” or “That food will help your body; choose it instead.” My heart thrilled at the ability to say no and to choose, rather than being controlled by desire. This newfound freedom spilled over into other areas of life, and I experienced deeper intimacy with God than I had ever known before.
What strongholds are you relying on for fulfillment? Will you tell your Lord you want Him more than anything else?
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and anatheme.)
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