In January, we began this three-part series. If you have not read the January or February articles, I encourage you to do so. If you have read them, then you will remember that in January we focused on our starting point, which is to surrender our bodies to God. This is our first and most important step. Then in February, we focused on our need to stop making excuses. Remember the three Ts—time, tired, taste?
This month we bring it all together: surrender your body to God, stop making excuses and start making changes.
To start making changes, you need to focus on small steps to life, not on an extreme makeover. The best way to get healthy is to go back to taking the small steps (changes) that lead to good health.
To start with, you must eat less, and with eating less, eat better. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:2 that if you are a man given to appetite, put a knife to your throat. What that means is, take action. Do something to change. This verse is serious in what it is telling us to do. I learned that my stomach was about the size of my fist, so I had to ask myself: Why was I eating the size of my head?
As for eating better, Deuteronomy 8 really spoke to my heart. It says, “The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land” (v. 7, NIV). God describes this good land, and He spends almost an entire verse talking about it. God says, “It’s going to have brooks of water.” It doesn’t say Coke. It doesn’t say Pepsi. It says water. And there are going to be fountains and there are going to be springs that are going to flow out of valleys and hills. It’s going to be a land of wheat and barley. There are going to be vines. There are going to be fig trees and pomegranates. There is going to be honey and olive oil—not Crisco oil!
God talks a lot about food! God is pro-food. He has hard-wired you to thoroughly enjoy your food. Did you know that He gave us 10,000 taste buds? Ten thousand taste receptors! Do you think God is against food? No. God is awesome when it comes to food.
Next, exercise more and move. Start making small steps to exercise more. Maybe you are stuck like I was. When I went into the gym in my community, I could hardly do five minutes of exercise. When you’re stuck and you’ve been stuck, you’ve got to understand it’s going to be that way. But the thing is, you’ve got to keep going because you were made to move. In Genesis 2:15, God said, “Adam, I’m putting you in this garden and in this garden you’re going to tend it and keep it.” God didn’t put Adam in the garden and say, “Adam, just have a seat here and eat Twinkies or whatever. Just go in and sit down here, Adam."
Did you know that sitting is the new smoking for our day? What smoking was in generations past, sitting has now replaced as the No. 1 health crisis. We sit way too much. God designed us to move. God says, “I’m putting you in this garden,” and if you know anything about a garden, it takes a lot of tending and a lot of keeping.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I just can’t do it. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve been sitting for so long. I’ve been stuck for so long.” Isaiah 40:31 gives us great hope. It says, “If you wait on the Lord.” There is a God in heaven that can renew your strength. He says, “You wait on Me, you depend on Me, and I will renew your strength. You can mount up with wings as eagles. You can run and not be weary, and you can walk and not faint.” If you want to run and if you want to walk, you need to realize that there is a God in heaven that will come alongside of you, and He will renew your strength. What a great God we have!
Let’s review: Do you want to get unstuck? Surrender your body to God. Stop making excuses, and start making those small steps to life. The definition of unstuck is “moving forward in your life because you are willing to give God complete control.”
Steve Reynolds is the senior pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Va. He is the author of the books Bod4God and Get Off the Couch. He is also the creator of the Losing to Live Weight-Loss Competition. Steve has lost more than 120 pounds and has led his church to lose over nine tons of weight.
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