The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation
of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had
provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the
Majesty in heaven. (HEBREWS 1:3)
Thought for the Day: Unsettle me in the best kind of way. For
when I allow your touch to reach the deepest parts of me—dark and
dingy and hidden away too long—suddenly, a fresh wind of life
twists and twirls and dances through my soul.
The year I finally got my eating issues under control, I started with a
very simple New Year's prayer. I didn't write a long list of resolutions
as I had in previous years. After all, my list from one year to the next
could have simply been a photocopy from the year before. It was the same
stuff, year after year. I started out with great gusto to eat less, move
more, make this a healthy lifestyle, and live in victory. Yadda, yadda,
But each year around January 7, I'd get invited to a party where treats
were plentiful and motivation scarce. My stomach would soon be
overstuffed and my resolve worn quite thin.
Year after year.
But this year I just couldn't bring myself to write the list again. So,
I prayed this simple prayer: Unsettle me.
These are the words I wrote in my journal ...
Unsettle me. These are the two words rattling about in my brain today. I
almost wish it were a more glamorous prayer. Surely more eloquent words
could be found for what I'm feeling led to pursue during this New Year.
But these are the words, this is the prayer for my 2009.
The funny thing is, I've spent my whole existence trying to find a place
to settle down, people to settle down with, and a spirit about me worthy
of all this settled down-ness. All of this is good. A contented heart,
thankful for its blessings, is a good way to settle.
But there are areas of my life that have also settled that mock my
desires to be a godly woman—compromises, if you will. Attitudes
that I've wrapped in the lie, "Well, that's just how I am. And if that's
all the bad that's in me, I'm doing pretty good."
I dare you, dear soul of mine, to notice the stark evidence of a spirit
that is tainted and a heart that must be placed under the microscope of
God's Word. Yes, indeed, unsettle me, Lord.
Unearth that remnant of justification.
Shake loose that pull toward compromise.
Reveal that broken shard of secrecy.
Expose that tendency to give up.
Unsettle me in the best kind of way. For when I allow Your touch to
reach the deepest parts of me—dark and dingy and hidden away too
long—suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists and twirls and dances
through my soul.
I can delight in hope that this is my year to change.
I can discover reasons to appreciate my body and find softer ways for my
thoughts to land.
I can recognize the beauty of discipline and crave the intimacy with God
I can rest assured though the journey will be hard, I will be held.
Goodbye to my remnants, my justification, shards, and tendencies. This
is not who I am—nor who I was created to be.
Goodbye to shallow efforts, self-focus, and suspicious fears that I'll
never find victory in this area of my life. I am an unsettled woman who
no longer wishes to take part in distractions or destructions.
Welcome deeper love for God and the realization I am made for more than
this constant battle. Welcome my unsettled heart.
Are you ready to be unsettled in a good way?
Maybe you are at the beginning of your journey and feel intimidated by
the long road ahead. Or, maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum
and need ongoing encouragement to stay healthy. Whether you're in those
places or somewhere in the middle, will you make a renewed commitment
now? Will you ask God to unsettle you in the midst of where you are? And
then dare to keep turning these pages and holding tight to God's
Dear Lord, make me a courageous woman who isn't afraid to pray this
prayer over and over in the days ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.
What If I Let God Down?
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your
God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my
righteous right hand. (ISAIAH 41:10)
Thought for the Day: I wept as I realized this would be one of
the most significant spiritual journeys of my life. A spiritual journey
that would yield great physical benefits.
I recently received an email from a woman who wrote, "Lysa, one of my
greatest fears in reading Made to Crave is not just letting
myself down, but even worse, letting God down."
I understand how she feels. When you've tried and failed as many times
as I have, you start to feel gun-shy about trying again. I'd lose the
weight, feel great for a couple of months, deceive myself into thinking
I could return to old habits, and all the weight would creep back on.
I'd failed at finding lasting victory with every other attempt, even
with programs I thought were the sure thing. So, why would this one be
And why in heavens would I want to add spiritual guilt on top of my
physical guilt? Why would I risk the shame of making God look bad too?
Guilt wrapped in shame is a terrible burden to carry. Guilt always came
when I knew I was making poor choices and could see the scale numbers
climbing. Shame came when my weight gain became apparent to everyone
else in the world. Battling something so raw, so deeply personal was
hard; knowing my failures were apparent to everyone else added
humiliation to my toxic stew of emotions.
Yes, the physical struggle was hard enough. I certainly didn't want to
drag down my spiritual life with this struggle as well.
But here's the problem: whether or not I wanted to admit it, my weight
issues were already dragging me down spiritually. When I don't have
peace physically, I don't have peace spiritually. I can't separate the
two. Nor should I. I need spiritual motivation to step in where my
physical determination falls short.
So I started reading the Bible from the perspective of someone
struggling with food issues. Though I had read the Bible many times and
have even taught Bible studies for years, I'd missed how much God cares
about and talks about this issue. Tucked within this book written
thousands of years ago are some of the most astounding and life-changing
truths directly applicable to this modern-day unhealthy eating epidemic
that plagues women.
I wept with joy. I wept with relief. I wept as I realized this would be
one of the most significant spiritual journeys of my life. A spiritual
journey that would yield great physical benefits. And what about my
concerns with letting God down?
My pastor, Steven Furtick, put that to rest one day with a simple but
very profound truth, "How can you let God down when you weren't ever
holding Him up?"
I had to choose to operate in the reassurance of God's love, the
remembrance of God's grace, and the reality of God's power. And,
according to Isaiah 41:10, God is the one holding me up, not the other
way around. To that I say, "Amen!"
Dear Lord, this is one of the most significant spiritual journeys of
my life. Help me to focus on You as I battle this raw, personal issue. I
need You today. In Jesus' name. Amen.
The Right Questions
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than
human beings!" (ACTS 5:29)
Thought for the Day: I must obey God rather than the scale!
My friend, Karen Ehman, was a great cheerleader during my healthy eating
journey. On one of her "Weight Loss Wednesday" blog posts she wrote
something I found incredibly insightful. The biggest shift in her
motivation from her yo-yo dieting days was replacing the delight of
diminishing numbers on the scale with the delight of obedience to God.
I was very hopeful as I hopped on the scale this morning. I kept track
of my food, exercised five days at the gym for 30–45 minutes, and
my jeans were zipping up much easier than expected. So, I whipped the
scale out ... and I'd lost a measly 1.8 pounds! What!?! I was sure it
would say at least two or maybe even three. I felt gypped. And I felt
like running to the kitchen to make a frozen waffle or two so I could
slather it with real butter, spread it with some Peter Pan, and douse it
with a load of pure maple syrup to stick it to that scale! Then I
stopped and remembered what I felt the Lord saying this week.
Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.
The scale does help measure our progress, but it can't tell us
everything. It can't tell us if too much salt intake is making us retain
a pound or two of water. It can't tell us if we actually lost a pound of
fat, but gained more muscle from weight training. And, it can't tell us
what time of the month it is and give us automatic credit for the extra
two pounds or so that those glorious few days bring to us.
So, I had to stop and ask myself the following questions:
Did I overeat this week on any day? No.
Did I move more and exercise regularly? Yes.
Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? No.
Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I'd had a successful,
God-pleasing week? Yep!
So, why oh why do I get so tied up in a stupid number? And why did I
almost let it trip me up and send me to the kitchen for a 750-calorie
binge? Don't worry. I had a yogurt and tea instead.
Sweet friends, we need to define ourselves by our obedience, not a
number on the scale. We are all in this thing together. And we will get
the weight off, even if it is 1.8 pounds at a time!
I love what Karen says about defining ourselves by our obedience and not
by a number on the scale—or, for me, what size my clothes are or
how I feel seeing models with unattainable sizes on the magazine covers.
Yes, eating healthy and exercising gets our bodies into better shape,
but we are never supposed to get soul satisfaction from our looks. Our
looks are temporary; if we hitch our souls to this fleeting pursuit,
we'll quickly become disillusioned. The apostle Paul wrote, "We must
obey God rather than human beings" (Acts 5:29). I read that verse
differently now: "I must obey God rather than human values—like a
number on the scale or the size on the tag in my jeans." The only true
satisfaction we can seek is the satisfaction of being obedient to the
Dear Lord, I don't want to define myself by a number on my scale or
any other human value. I truly want to be obedient to You each day. Help
me to follow hard after You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face
trials of many kinds. (JAMES 1:2)
Thought for the Day: Triumph in this choice will produce a
This verse can be hard to swallow. When tears are plentiful and answers
are few, it's hard to be joyful. And though I know there are many more
serious trials than my weight struggles, issues in this area make me
feel vulnerable, incapable, and insecure. Not joyful.
I find it hard to "consider it pure joy." However, one reason the phrase
"consider it" starts off this teaching in James is because we will
probably not feel it. In the midst of a trial, we will probably
not feel the joy, the hope, or the encouragement tucked within
this verse—we have to consider it.
On your healthy eating journey there will be times when you face trials.
You may not have considered them trials in the past. But when you're
tempted to stray from the commitment to make healthier choices, it's a
Perhaps you, like me, have faced this scenario. You enter a restaurant
enthused with your plan to order the tropical salad with grilled
chicken. You actually like this yummy salad and know that you will be
satisfied with this healthy dish. But then the juiciest, most tempting
bacon cheeseburger with a large side of French fries presents itself as
an option. Of course, it's the feature photo on the menu and a platter
is being delivered to the next table just before the server comes to
take your order. I know, we've all been there —this is a trial.
We had decided ahead of time on a satisfying salad. But in a moment of
weakness, the justifications for a burger and fries start rolling around
in our minds.
Certainly moderation is good. And had we budgeted for a burger that day,
so be it. But if we decided ahead of time that a salad would be the
satisfying choice, we'd do well to stick with what we'd decided before
the moment of temptation.
It's so easy to slip into an all-out reversal of all our progress, so we
have to be careful. Remember, our ultimate goal is
peace—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If this meal
choice threatens to send us into a tailspin of feeling defeated the
minute we take the last bite, it's not worth it.
Every time we face this moment we have to "consider it." We have to
consider it because we will not feel joyful in the moment. We may feel
deprived, jealous, and deserving. Or we may feel in the moment that the
splurge will not affect us at all. But we have to consider it. Our
feelings may be a true indicator of what we are facing, but they don't
need to dictate our decisions.
We have to consider it and park our minds on the truth that our triumph
in this trial matters. Triumph in this choice will produce a blessing.
According to James, the blessing we have to consider is this: "that you
may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
Excerpted from "Made to Crave Devotional: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food" by Lysa TerKeurst. Copyright © 0 by Lysa TerKeurst. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.