Abstinent Today:

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

My mind is still digesting the text of Daniel from the other day that described the spiritual battles of the angels.  If there are princes of light warring with princes of darkness, then the children of the light ought to be praying for God’s will to be done in any and every circumstance that comes to their attention.  From what I understand, prayer changes things in the heavenly realms and can be of great advantage to those who fight on our behalf.  (Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 1:19, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, 1 Timothy 2:1, James 5:13-16)  The very image of an angel’s mission to Daniel being delayed by of a prince of darkness was a wake-up call to pray, and I’ve been assaulted for noticing that ever since!

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“With humble acceptance we can quietly say to our Higher Power, ‘I am this way, and only with Your help can I change.’” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 61

I am trying to imagine a Seventh Step Prayer with reservation.  It might go something like this:

“Creator of all perfect things, but certainly not me, I am now willing that You should have most of me, except for that part of me which I’m sure You find unacceptable.  Please allow me to struggle, twist and turn, in an attempt to make the defective part of my character acceptable, and in the meantime You can do as You please with the rest.  I’m just not through with trying on my own power yet.  Please be patient.  Go help somebody bigger, more important, or more in need than I.  I’ve got this!”

It sounds almost comical, but isn’t that the way we sometimes act or feel?  God wants you and me just the way we are; and He wants to clean us up for service in His presence.  Whether we feel like a chipped china cup or a worn-out chamber pot, He is capable of cleaning, repairing, reconstituting the very nature of anyone who is willing to offer themselves to His redeeming care.

 

 

 

 

From Proverbs 19 (NKJV):

Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet.”

11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

Yesterday, I had to audibly remind myself to “Sloooowww dooowwn…” a few times, not because I was running or driving fast, but because I was exceeding my emotional speed limit.  As I repeated the words over and over, I thought of the recovery slogan, “Easy does it,” and was able to let my body and spirit catch up with the emotions of my soul.  Today’s proverbs are good refreshments for my emotional brakes.  Hurry leads to worry and worry is the precursor of relapse, first into self-delusion then into selfish addiction.

 

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Hosea 3 and 4:

God instructed Hosea to go and demonstrate God’s forgiving love to Israel by doing the unthinkable, by doing the same thing in his marriage that God would do regarding His bride, His church, Israel.

3:1 The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.’”

He went to where prostitutes end up after peddling their wares on their own becomes fruitless, the slave-trading post.  There he bought his own wife, Gomer, back from the traders at high price, instructed her to be faithful to him, and promised to keep her to himself, much as God, through Christ, has done for me.

Here is what God said to His children, Israel, the spiritual seed and root of the Church:

4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
because the Lord has a charge to bring
against you who live in the land:
‘There is no faithfulness, no love,
no acknowledgment of God in the land.”

10 ‘They will eat but not have enough;
they will engage in prostitution but not increase,
because they have deserted the Lord
to give themselves 11 to prostitution,
to old wine and new,
which take away the understanding 12 of my people.
They consult a wooden idol
and are answered by a stick of wood.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
they are unfaithful to their God.”

Divine Redeemer, save me from the idolatry of self-indulgence and forgive me for the adultery of turning from You.  Thank You for Your rescue, Your forgiveness, Your cleansing, and Your promise of companionship.  Restore me from my shameful state of rebellion and sin to the noble character of the honorable bride You describe in Proverbs 31, useful, purposeful, diligent, and trustworthy.  Construct out of my humble offering of self a tool useful to bring others help and You glory.  In Christ Jesus’ name, amen!

 

 

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 76:

“When ready, we say something like this: ‘My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.’ We have then completed Step Seven.”  (emphasis mine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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