These are the words that cried out to me this Sunday when my pastor read Ephesians 4:17-19:

“…you must no longer live…darkened…
…and separated from the life of God…
…given…over to sensuality so as to indulge…impurity…
…with a continual lust for more.”
(NIV1984, drastically excerpted for emphasis)

The insatiable hunger for more self-indulgence, and my giving myself to it, were the mortar and stone that made the wall between God and me. Destroying that wall took the utter humiliation of total defeat, which culminated in my admitting I was powerless over food. Food had become my substitute for joy, relationship, and even God Himself, since I served my cravings and appetites before considering Him.

“You shall have no other gods before me,” God said clearly and carved in stone (Exodus 20:3). I knew the command but never recognized that I was guilty of breaking it every time I put myself before others, every time I fed myself sludge that would paralyze my cells with inflammation and disease, and every time I pitched fits of fury when my will, wish and way was not followed by all mankind.

“The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23a). What comes between God and me kills me. It kills my spirit, then my body, and ultimately my soul. But Jesus Christ came not to condemn the world (John 3:17a), but that we may have life to the fullest (John 10:10b). So rather than beat myself up about not having embraced the relationship that was offered to me all along, I choose to spend today in that relationship, loving God, because I believe that He is, and that He rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Romans 8:10-13 NIV
[10] But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. [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 because of his Spirit who lives in you. [12] Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. [13] For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Dear Father, today, may I live firmly in the grace You orchestrated on my behalf, and remain true to it first and foremost of all. Keep my wandering heart from ruling me, and let me enjoy the peace of living submitted in relationship with you. Your will be done, Lord! I am Yours!