I am eternally grateful that God has a process to deliver us from bondage and transform us. We always wish for an immediate deliverance, like those we hear about who are instantly delivered from drug addiction. But even those who have that great moment of breakthrough still have to walk out their deliverance moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day for weeks, months and years. They have to walk toward their transformation one day at a time.
It is absolutely the same with each of us. We have programmed ourselves to self-destruct with the types and quantities of foods we eat. We've done it over a period of years, to the point where we don't see that we are setting ourselves up for personal disaster.
To reverse what we've already set in motion, we have to reprogram ourselves for life and not death, for blessings and not curses (Deut. 30:19). We have to change, which is an uncomfortable word to most of us. Change sounds hard. We want easy.
It's a whole lot easier to change a bad behavior that we've only been doing for a month or so than one we've made a core element of our lives for years and years. The cool thing, though, is that God's strength speeds up the process so that 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years of bad habits can be changed in a relatively short time span.
Quick Weight-Loss Schemes Don't Work
The diet mentality of our culture tells us we can lose weight very quickly. We can, but we will not have changed our habits and will regain the weight we lost plus more even more quickly than we lost it.
Habit change is a process. It's something we have to desire so much that we will work on it every day. We will give up the things that are killing us and begin to add back into our lives things that are life-giving.
It's like getting any kind of college degree. If we really want that diploma, we have to be present at every class, pay close attention to assignments, get papers written and turned in on time and show we know how to apply the lessons taught come test time. Only then do we get the reward of a good grade. We are committed to the process even if it seems difficult.
Easy Come, Easy Go
We don't appreciate the things that come easy. Easy come, easy go is not just a saying. It's a truth. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, and no one would be keeping the billion-dollar weight loss industry in business.
To appreciate this, we must understand how change works. It won't be easy street every day. For me, giving up sugar and then flour felt impossible. However, I decided I was going to have to do what seemed hard if I wanted to lose weight, live longer, have a better quality of life and fulfill God's destiny dream for me. Seeing God do through me what felt impossible became my greatest desire.
Rebuilding Our Lives
With God's help, I have rebuilt my life. With God's help, we can each rebuild our lives. We can rebuild our foundations strong. We can construct our new framework securely. We can make sure the heart of our home is filled with the right things. We can implement the new, beautiful design He has in mind for each of us. It is a reconstruction process that resurrects His transformation dream for our lives.
We can do this because we have the force living inside us who spoke the universe and everything in it into being. He created everything out of nothing by just the power of His voice. His Spirit raised Christ from the dead. If we have a personal relationship with Jesus, we know that same power lives inside of us (Rom. 8:11).
I spent years wallowing in the world of gaining weight, dieting, losing weight, gaining back all the weight plus more. Then repeating the process over and over. During that time, I looked for books or courses that would tell me true stories about real people who had a lot of weight to lose, lost the weight and kept it off. I couldn't find any.
How Did I Transform?
To date, I've lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off for six years. I sometimes wonder if God allowed me to gain up to 430 pounds and lose the weight so I could share with others, maybe someone like you, how to do the same. Because in reality, I wanted those books or courses not just to tell me the story of how someone transformed but to tell me how to do that same thing.
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, Christian weight loss coach, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor, Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off with God's Help and Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation. Get a free chapter of all her books, plus many other free resources on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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