Recently, I got an email from a friend expressing concern over some comments I’d made a few weeks ago in our weight loss group, detailing what I’d been eating (I haven’t posted anything like that recently, because to be honest I’ve been too embarrassed to write about what I’ve been eating lately!) She was concerned that I was falling into some anorexic tenancies and “mental misconceptions” about myself.
My very first thought when I read her email was to laugh. Anorexia? If she could see what I’ve been eating lately, anorexia is the LAST thing she’d be worried about! I’ve been furious with myself over the last week or so, because I haven’t just been overeating, I’ve been eating in ways I haven’t since I first started my weight loss journey. But the more I think of it, the more I see the similarities of what I’m going through now and what I used to go through.
Anorexia is an eating disorder. It’s one of three eating disorders (the other two being bulimia and binge eating disorder) that affect perceptions of self-worth and are characterized by a preoccupation with food and weight, obsessive dieting (in the case of anorexia and bulimia) distorted body image, depression and guilt (over food.)
In that sense, I still struggle very much with an eating eating disorder. It’s not a constant struggle (for that matter, sometimes it’s not a “struggle” at all – sometimes I just give in!) and it’s not as bad as it’s been in the past, but it has been made very clear to me recently that the demon of addiction/obesity/eating disorder – whatever you want to call it – is still alive and well in my home and my victories, thus far, have only been temporary.
So how do we fight against the demonic? Prayer? Well, I’ve been praying a lot lately – praying not only for myself, but for others who hare trying to lose weight. And in return, Satan has upped his game, and I’m floundering.
Yesterday, I was faced with a bit of a challenge. I had to tell Bitty’s violin instructor that we weren’t comfortable participating in the Halloween recital coming up in October. (Hang in here with me, because this does have something to do with my current struggles.) Jon and I wrestled with this decision for a while… I even tried to convince myself in various ways that it would be okay. They’re required to dress up and I could put her in a nice dress and call her a princess. I could even put a spiritual spin on it and say she’s a “daughter of the King.” (1 John 3:1… see, I have a scripture reference and everything!) But ultimately all my arguments were reduced to a simple question: “What does God want?” We know that God has convicted us, personally, not to celebrate certain holidays, but does really matter whether Bitty participates in a recital? I think it does.
In the spiritual realm, there are no neutral zones. I don’t think there is much in my life that God doesn’t want to be Lord over. I don’t think there is much He doesn’t want me to hold up to Him and seek out His will about. What I felt that God showed me today, or rather re-iterated (because this is not the first time I’ve been taught this lesson), is that in every action I take, in every decision I make, I’m serving someone. I’m either joining forces with God or with Satan.
Now, I’m not saying that celebrating certain holidays or participating in certain events is sinful for everyone. Certainly eating an extra slice of cake isn’t a sin for everyone! But God has revealed things to me personally that lead me to believe that certain things are sinful for me to participate in. (Romans 14:23)
Each time I indulge in my desire to overeat, each time I reach for that extra piece of cake or second sandwich, I’m serving someone. I’m either holding a sword against the demonic, or waving a white flag. Or worse, I’m holding a sword on their side.
The implications of this, for me, are huge. Lately, I’ve been doing things that I know aren’t God’s will for me. Little compromises here and there, or small acts of disobedience (if God asks me to do something, and I don’t, that’s disobedience, too!) If it’s true (and I believe this is what God is showing me) that every single thing I do serves either God or Satan, and has some type of affect on the spiritual wars I’m waging (prayers I’m praying, etc), then there are a lot of ways I’m fighting for the wrong side. Remaining passive isn’t an option.
I once heard a man say that he wants to be a target for the demonic. He wants to become such a threat that Satan knows him by name and actively seeks to destroy him. THAT is a stand against the devil!
I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but apparently, I’ve become enough of a threat for Satan to have initiated a massive throwdown on my weight loss journey (gained seven pounds in less than a week… and I don’t attribute any of that to “water weight” or “salt retention”… I’m telling you, it’s been that bad.) And I’m okay with that. God just taught me another way to fight back…
By seeking His will and turning toward God by turning away from things that are not His will for my life. By approaching every situation with the questions foremost in my mind: Will this bring me closer to God? Is this inside God’s will for my life? Can I do this to the glory of God? Because if not, it will ultimately work to serve the devil.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Cor 10:31