“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5
I received a very honest message from one of the members. She said, “So I don’t really know how to do this and NOT try.” By ‘not try’ she meant, try not to lose weight in her own flesh and not rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to change her.
I think that if most of us are honest with ourselves we would find ourselves asking the same question, or questions such as:
- Exactly just how do we turn this journey over to God?
- Do we keep eating and wait for Him to tell us don’t eat this or eat that?
- How do we know if it’s God directing us, or if it’s our own flesh taking over again?
- How do we know if the current regime we are on is ‘God approved’, or it’s what we decided to do?
Here are four ways to know whether it’s your flesh—which represents your willpower and your own abilities; or your spirit—which is working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit that’s leading and guiding your weight-loss.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
When you’re led by the flesh, you’re not feeling guilty about what you ate or did not eat; you’re not beating up on yourself or berating yourself for missing a workout; and you’re not feeling deprived. You feel constantly frustrated with yourself and are overwhelmed by how ‘hard’ this journey is.
When you’re led by the spirit, you will have a sense of peace that regardless of the up’s and down’s along the way, God will bring you back in line. You will ask God to show you what foods are right for your body and He will guide you to those foods. And although it will take your body some time to adjust, you feel confident that you are on track.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
When you’re led by the flesh, you will find yourself jumping from diet to diet, program to program, and book to book. You will keep asking God to show you the way even when the truth might have been staring you in the face.
God always provides for his children. It’s His desire to meet our all our needs. In fact, God knows our every need and is there waiting for us to just ask him.
When you’re led by the Spirit, it’s amazing how you will turn on the radio and hear the answer for the exact question you were asking about, or the message the pastor preached on Sunday spoke to your very situation. When you’re led by the spirit, God will confirm whether you’re on the right track by confirmation through someone or something. The key is to listen.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
God has given us a gift of divine health. It looks different to everyone. To some, divine health looks like a 6’4″ elite athlete with 6% body fat and to some it looks like a 5’2″ portly homemaker with thick ankles and great hair. Though it might not seem fair (especially if you fall into the latter category), it makes no difference as long as you’re taking care of your body to the best of your ability making time in your schedule for regular physical activity and feeding your body like it truly houses the living God himself.
When you’re lead by your flesh and your focused on other people’s results, you may covet other people’s appearances and want to copy other people’s programs.
When you’re led by the Spirit, you understand God’s plans for you and understand that it goes far beyond your appearances.
Like the story of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), God’s plan for your health is designed to teach us very valuable life lessons. Managing our health well will teach us a lot about actions and consequences; success, discipline, consistency, stewardship, and trust in God.
“By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” 2 Peter 1:4
When you’re led by your flesh, your hope for success is built on your ability to maintain your diet or your willpower to exercise. As soon as life throws you a curve ball or the enemy starts messing with you, you quit.
When you’re led by the Spirit, your success is built on God’s principles. you understand that behind every one of God’s principles there is a promise that He always fulfills, 100% of the time.
When your goals are based on God’s principles …
• you will find the courage to take risks and try new things
• you will stay motivated even when you don’t feel like it
• you will keep moving towards your vision
• you will not cower when the enemy tries to whisper lies in your ear
The lines between our spirit and flesh can sometimes get blurred if we’re not vigilant and constantly seeking God. Study Romans 8:5, as well as the other scriptures in this post, and then check your levels of peace, your plans, your provisions, and lastly, your principles that you’re basing your success on. If they’re not in line with the Word of God, then chances are, you’re still trying to lose weight in your own strength.
If you need some help on your spirit-led weight-loss journey, click here to join us for our free 21-Day Weight Loss, God’s Way Challenge.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Trainer Academy (https://traineracademy.org)