Abstinent Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time.  †

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Food and fear blocked my connection with people and any hope for a spiritual relationship with a Higher Power.”

The only thing standing between me and God is my will, wish and way.  That is why I put them to death every morning as I recite Galatians 2:20:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This statement not only affirms my sacrificed will, but it turns open the fountain of Living Water that becomes for me the source of abundance I need – that of power, purpose and esteem.  I am a child of God; and He demonstrated my value by dying for me.  The Creator of the universe died for me!  Who am I to contest His valuation?
Romans 8 explains this better than I could.

11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

 

 

From Proverbs 5 (NKJV):

Therefore hear me now, my children,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.”

This message keeps drumming on me lately: Do not turn away!   I do not understand the recent urgency, but I will remain vigilant regardless.

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Ezekiel 40, 41and 42:

While in exile, Ezekiel was taken by the Spirit to see a new city on a high mountain in Israel.  There, he saw a man who looked like bronze, who served as his guide, and charged him with a task.

The man said to me, ‘Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the house of Israel everything you see.’”

The bronze guide showed Ezekiel the dimensions and architecture of a new Temple.  While I read the details of the measurements and decoration, I was amused to note that God is interested in the details.  As a temple of God’s Spirit myself, I sometimes allow myself to forget that God is interested in my minutia.  I think He is too big or I am too insignificant to bother Him with my trivia.  The intricate description of \][pkthese verbal blueprints demonstrate God concerns Himself with the scrollwork and decoration as well as every precision measurement from the Temple foundation to the apartments of the priests.

Another thing I noticed was the call for the priests who minister before the Lord to change clothes between serving before God and serving mankind.

14 Once the priests enter the holy precincts, they are not to go into the outer court until they leave behind the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they go near the places that are for the people.”

There is a time to put on holiness, and a time to put on compassion.  I thought of the many times when people in need were put off by the self-righteousness of the pious because they felt judged, and most would rather go without basic necessities than to be made to feel inferior or inadequate.  I thought of Colossians 3:12, which I have posted as a daily reminder in my dressing area:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

When my patience was tried recently, I found myself praying repeatedly, “Help me forgive as You forgave me,” and my trouble quickly passed.  I have to remember to keep donning kindness and tying it up with humility.  One thing I have found is that it is nearly impossible to hide arrogant undergarments.  The stink of death and shame go with them regardless of fake coverings.  They don’t cover up well, but need to be washed in the bleaching blood of the One who is holy.

God, make me clean.  Wash me with Your presence, and prepare me for service.  Let my going between be by Your Spirit of forgiveness, humility and grace, and never by any self-serving attitude or motive.  Make me a clean reflection of Your Light, that any who look at me would find You and be drawn to Your loving kindness.

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 49:

“People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves.”

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.

In order to shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to the New King James Version (NKJV) just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  

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