I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.  For details, check out my food journal.




From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“If abstinence is not first, I will lose it. Everything that interferes with it must go.” — Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 171


The idea of abstinence first confuses many.  Even the contributor to today’s VOR entry said it made her “bristle.”  I like the qualification on this “abstinence first” statement: “Everything that interferes with it must go.”  It reminds me that what supports my abstinence is not in competition with it.  Neither is my abstinence in competition with the priorities that support it.  The One who has provided my food and my freedom from bondage to it has also set some other standards that go along with my abstinence from self-indulgence.  While I must make staying out of God’s chair first, I also have to make sure nothing else takes His spot either: not food or family, neither people nor politics.  No person, place, thing or idea will come before my God and His purpose and provision for me.  Once that is settled, all other priorities fall into alignment.

  • Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  • Proverbs 4:23, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
  • 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

These are not less important than my abstinence; they represent the reason and the method by which I maintain my abstinence.  Abstinence does not outrank God; it is the attitude and direction by which I, in the name of Jesus Christ, address and reflect God and His will for me.



From Proverbs 25:

28 Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control.”


What is the most important component of a city?  Is it the walls, the homes, the commerce, or the people it all supports?  Is it the government or the populace?  None of them is most important, and yet all of them are most important.  In the Biblical setting, the walls represented a city’s defense.  Without it, nothing else mattered, because enemies would steal, kill and destroy all the rest.  But did that make the walls most important?  What are walls without families, markets, and a social structure to be protected by them?  A container is only as good as its contents and the contents are spoiled without a container.  Like skin without bones, it would be useless to have one without the other.  So it is with abstinence, the walls of my recovery.


My inner workings, my outer shell, my comings, my goings, all the intricacies of the “city” that is me run on my commitment to refrain from self-will and instead run on God’s will.  Everything I am, have and do begins and ends with God.




From my reading through the Bible, currently in Psalm 46 and 47:


What an amazing and wonderful manifestation of God’s orchestration in this Psalm today!  There is a spiritual parallel if one is willing to apply it, to the life of the saved by grace and the holy city of God, just as the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  My earlier mention of my life as a city and the following verse just gives me chills of joy!


4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.”


While the literal text seems to refer to Jerusalem, “the city of God,” and the structural Temple where the Most High dwelt, this text was fulfilled only in Jesus Christ, His death, burial, resurrection, and deposit of His Spirit in those who accept it.  There is no river flowing into the literal Jerusalem, which fell several times; but the river of Living Water is the Holy Spirit in each life who submits to its residence.  It is God within each life, supporting and strengthening each “temple” in which He dwells.


It is with an understanding of that fact that we have the assurance that comes from the familiar verses that follow:


10 ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.’

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”


He builds the container and fills it.  He is all and is in all, and gives all things their purpose.  Praise God!


It doesn’t stop!  Psalm 47 seems to answer a loud “Halleluiah” to the awesome revelation of the previous chapter and the sentiment behind today’s devotion, considering my life as a city and God on His throne:


8 God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.”


From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 47:

“As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way.  It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.”




“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  3 John 2