Congratulations! 31 days. One month. We did it! I say “we” because I pray you are absolutely marvelously ruined to the truth that God is the hero of your story. You and I just partnered up with him for 31 days as he fought the fight you could not win apart from Him.
I pray your old ways of approaching health and fitness feel like chains around your feet. But most earnestly I pray that you are aware, more than ever, that you are a whole person. That Jesus came to proclaim good news to the whole you, to bind up the whole you, to release from prison your whole self, and to set your captive heart free to follow after God. That wherever he is going, he wants your whole self to come along, too. In the words of Elizabeth Elliot, “You can’t give God your heart and keep your body for yourself.”
In Christ, YOU ARE whole.
Whatever Satan can separate he can dominate.
So the question on everyone’s mind today…”What’s next? What do I do now?” Before we move into the “what’s next” let’s take a look at the “what’s been done”. What God has done.
I have included all of Deuteronomy 8 below. It’s imperative you take a moment to read this. This is what God says to the Israelites, after 40 years of wandering in the desert and being trained up by the Lord, as they are about to CROSS OVER into the good land that God had promised to His beloveds.
Do Not Forget the Lord
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.
So maybe it wasn’t 40 years for us. But for some of you, 31 days felt long and very hard, at times. You’ve been humbled. You’ve been tested. And God was faithful. You kept reading these posts (even if you didn’t complete every assignment) because God is calling you towards himself – towards a new way of life. A free life. A better way of life. Not easy…but the BEST way for you to go.
The takeaway message of Deuteronomy 8 and our 31 days together is this – don’t push God back into the box.
Pride is real. And it’s lurking around the corner. It wants you to come back into its camp, get selfish, and work against the love, grace, and power of God. Pride is the real heart disease epidemic that kills a soul and dashes hopes and dreams.
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, (or pursue health) and so confirms his covenant… (Deut. 8: 17-18)
So please…I beg you…stand your ground. Do not follow other “gods”. Tap into your body’s cues of anxiety and fear, and remember an idol is close by, hoping to have you back.
Here’s how you know idolatry is creeping into your territory.
Idols consume you as you pursue them, disappoint you when you get them, and destroy you when you lose them.
Let me now answer some of our BIG “what’s next” questions below.
What about the scale?
Yeah. So what about the scale? Given the above descriptions of idolatry… what about the scale? If you were to step on it today and it told you a number you did not like…would it disappoint you? If the answer is yes…then perhaps God is saying stay off the scale. Pray about it. Ask God what he wants you to do. Then do what you have to do to stay free. That’s called obedience. And should you go to the doctor and/or need to be weighed, and you know that scale can consume, disappoint, or devastate you…then ask God to protect your heart and your mind. Unless it’s necessary for you to know your weight…ask the doctor not to tell you. NOW IF you find yourself back-sliding and neglecting your body…it would be a good idea to step on the scale, just like we did at the beginning of this challenge. We all need a reality check with lost sobriety.
How should I continue to eat?
Since Day 19 you have been asked to reduce or remove from your food intake the thing that you knew was mastering you. Now it’s your choice, really. Again I say….pray about it. Ask God. It’s important we don’t develop food fears – negative feelings towards food. It’s just food. It has no power over you. You are the one who is to be free and not mastered. Fear is not freedom. Fear masters us if given too much time and authority. But that being said…food, like drink, drugs, or anything else that is consumed and broken down into the blood stream of the body, changes the body’s chemistry. False “feel good” hormones are released when one begins to abuse food. So for some of you who have abused sugar, (which tends to be the BIG one for all foodies) to have or not have sugar must be discerned. My biggest piece of advice to you is this…
- Pray and ask God what He thinks. I take this “relationship thing” literally with God. He wouldn’t tell us he has given us the helper, the counselor of the Holy Spirit, if he didn’t want to help and counsel us. So get counsel. PRAY! Ask!
- Eat with grace. Grace is the power to live by the Spirit. Stay present to God’s presence. Not your flesh.
- If/when the flesh takes over, be QUICK to recognize! Then immediately practice your 4 R’s from Day 23 (make active link)
The 4 R’s:
o Repent – Get the Spirit back in the driver’s seat.
o Receive – Receive forgiveness and right standing from God.
o Rebuke – In the name of Jesus, tell the spirits of dread, fear, failure, and condemnation to leave (and mean it)!
o Replace – Put good things back in you. First, the word of God. Second, food that will give you life.
You are free to stop writing down the food you eat daily if you have found some freedom in your food. If not…keep being accountable to God until he brings you new freedom. Then you can consider stopping until you feel like you might need the accountability again with God. You have the mind of Christ. Food journals will not save you either.
Get free. Stay free. We live by that around here. It’s founded on the charge to God’s people in Galatians 5:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
What about my workouts and training now?
I WANT to continue to train you in ALL these areas. At the very least….please join VIP-tv. For as little as a $10 tax-deductible donation you get access to a library full of fitness videos for ALL levels of fitness, as well as fresh monthly workouts AND monthly soul work-INs.
And finally…in closing…I am certain that some who are reading this right now are called to lead a fitness revolution like this in your community. WE are praying, ready, and able to equip you through our Revelation Wellness Instructor Training program. Our instructor training is unlike any other Christian fitness instructor certification program out there. It’s truly sets the bar! Be brave, join the revolution! Come join our motley-crew, rag-tag band of fitness revolutionaries! There are no pre-requirements for our training program other than this one – you know that fitness, nutrition, and wellness are meant to be about so much more. It’s God’s way of loving you and loving others.
Friends, it has been an honor to meet with you each and every day for 31 days. For me, you are a vision come to pass – a child of God, living healthy, whole, and free. Thank you for trusting me with your WHOLE self. Now…keep on keeping on!
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
His love never quits!
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