Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: Spoon to Mouth
By Laury Hubrich
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Paul wrestled with the big question in Romans 7:17-24 from The Message, although I am pretty sure he was not wrestling with the weight issue, him being a man of course! “…For if I know the law but still can't keep it, (I know too much food makes me plump!) and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! (HELP!) I realize that I don't have what it takes. (That’s the truth!) I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. (Is that fickle or what?) My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. (Laziness perhaps?) It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. (The rumble in the belly!) I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. (While I charge to the fridge!) I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?”
Oh, I do have the desire alright – I desire to eat that bowl of ice cream. I desire to eat those slices of bread when I know it is what packs on the weight. I eat beyond full and then feel uncomfortable. The clothes getting tighter are a sure wake up call to stop this sin in its tracks but so far – NOT happening! I, like Paul, desire to do the right thing but sin reigns for a time, hopefully, prayerfully, only a short time and I, in my own bumbling ways, continue to do the same old things, eating and eating and not reaching in to the hidden places and finding out what war is being waged in my soul.
Paul goes on in Romans 8:5-8, “Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle (using the scale of course) but never get around to exercising it in real life. (Paul, are you telling me to get up off the couch and go for a walk?!) Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. (With a body fit and healthy!) Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self (and how a chocolate candy bar would satisfy self) than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.”
The answer to the unwanted pounds around the waistline is getting back to God and His Word. When the spiritual body is full and satisfied, the outer body will be more content and obedient. I realize now that my life is out of balance and I need God to take the reins once again and then I will be drawn to His Word instead of ice cream. I will desire a walk and enjoy His creation rather than hibernate. “This resurrection life you received from God… is adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" (Romans 8:15) In all of our struggles, God has an answer for us, the question we need to ask Him is, “What’s next, Papa?” and invite Him in to that struggle.
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