Ahem. Moving on.
For anyone that doesn't know (which is probably pretty much everyone) I joined a bible study a few days ago with Proverbs 31 Ministries. We're reading 'Made to Crave' by Lysa TerKeurst and talking about, among other things, struggles with food and how to overcome cravings. I actually already read most of it...but I'm starting over, because I am still not enacting what I've been reading.
The main point here is - we are born with an innate desire to be filled. Ideally, we would fill ourselves with the love of God and crave His presence in our lives.
Me? I crave ice cream instead. (This news is not new.)
I won't even go into the whole thought process that takes place when I binge on a bunch of crap. It's basically along the lines of 'WHAT DID YOU JUST DO AND WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!' Then I tell myself that my body is supposed to be a temple for God to dwell, and although I'm pretty sure the Lord probably thinks ice cream is awesome, I'm also pretty sure He doesn't need all that sugar in order to inspire me.
Then I feel bad, which causes me to eat more - it's a vicious cycle. And you know what? God doesn't want that. He doesn't want me to struggle or berate myself.
It's just not spiritual.
So this weeks word in our study is #empowered. When I first heard that word (and scratched the picture of Oprah out of my head) I thought of the apostle Paul.
In 2011, my husband and I were blessed to be able to visit Greece for our belated honeymoon. One of the highlights of the trip, for me, was being able to stand at Areopagus where Paul preached in Athens in Acts 17:16-34.
See that marble hill in the bottom right? That's Areopagus (also known as Mars Hill). Can you imagine standing on top of that hill and screaming to the masses below?
Ya, me too. Takes my breath away thinking about it.
I'll never forget the feeling I had while sitting atop that rock.
It was peaceful, and powerful. I remember an eeriness about it as well. To know you're standing where Paul stood? For someone like me, it felt like my internal elevator shot to the top floor.
No one else has an internal elevator?
Once again, moving on.
Let's take a look at Acts 17. Paul is in Athens and he's upset because he sees so many idols in the city. As he's attempting to tell the people about Jesus, the 'philosophers' took him to Areopagus and and asked him to explain.
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
It said 'Remember, you have a personal relationship with God.'
What, I ask, is more empowering than knowing that?
Yesterday, I was feeling very defeated. I felt like I was failing. I reached out to friends and felt like no one understood.
My idol? Something I place above God?
Today, not so much. Not after reading that.
My food cravings are cravings for love, deep down. I have so much love in my life - my husband, my child - so it is obvious that the love I am craving is a love they cannot give me.
It is the love of God I crave, and He has that in abundance to give.
I am #empowered by His love.
I know, there is a whole lot of corn rolling around in this post. Feel free to collect it and make popcorn to enjoy as this tale unfolds.
Without too much butter, because you know...watching the waistline.