Last week we started a conversation recognizing that if we are ever going to gain victory over our health and weight battles, there are three things that God wants us to surrender to Him.
Last week we discussed the first one—our hurts. We recognized that God does not want us to keep our hurts and pains bottled up and keeping us bound, nor does He want us to try to heal them in our own strength.
This week, let’s look at the second thing God wants us to surrender to him.
God Wants Your Habits
Habits are what we repeatedly do every day. They are the behaviors, patterns, and actions where we keep doing the same things over and over again. Habits are great if they are productive and healthy such as exercise, healthy eating, making our beds, staying organized. etc., but unhealthy habits such as overeating can feel next to impossible to change.
Habits are the reason why we do we do what we do.
They are learned, automatic behaviors and are often unconscious, so most of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing them.
If you’ve ever walked into a room and turned on a light switch in the midst of a power outage, then you know the power of habits. Even though you know there’s no power, you automatically reach for the light switch upon walking into the room.
That’s the power of habits and that’s why we end up eating even when we’re not hungry or laying on the couch when you know that you have more pressing things you need to do.
We spend billions of dollars each year trying to change our habits. Weight loss programs, behavior modification techniques, self-hypnosis, and positive thinking all provide us the promise of changing our behavior. Yet at one level or the other, they all fall short. We even pray that God would change our habits.
Don’t get me wrong—the power of prayer cannot be overstated, but if we have not surrendered our habits to God, then all the prayer in the world is not going to change us.
Surrendering our habits to God means that …
1. We first recognize and identify the unhealthy habit.
2. We let God know of our desire for it to be removed from our lives.
3. We listen to how He is leading us to change the habit.
4. We go to His Word and find scripture that will encourage us.
5. We become attentive to cues that will confirm how we hear Him leading us, and then we stop doing the habit. Now that’s not to say that we will never perform the unhealthy habit again, but it means that we take steps (even baby ones) to stop the behavior.
When we stumble, we renew our minds through prayer and/or repent and keep giving it back to God, over and over again regardless of how many times it takes.
It might not be in this specific order, and you may have additional elements that you add to this like fasting, talking to your spiritual advisor or trusted friends, but here’s what absolutely will not work:
- Trying to change your habits on your own
- Not being mindful of your habits
- Feeling like God will take your bad habits away without you doing your part
- Trying to pray without spending time in the Word
- Trying to pray without asking God to help you
- Praying but refusing to stop the habit
- Feeling like you have to do it cold turkey or like you have to do it perfectly
- Feeling like, because you prayed once, that should be enough
Surrender is about developing a relationship—one where you tell Him that you trust that He is enough to help you manage your unhealthy habits.
Surrender is about recognizing that you are not in control and when you try to be, it’s usually a bad plan. Until we can surrender these habits to God, we will continue to spin our wheels.
Instead of giving in to the habits such as …
- Late-night eating,
- Laying on the couch instead of moving your body,
- Blaming others for your situation and circumstances,
- Feeling powerless (yes, this can become a habit),
- Feeling hopeless (and, yes, this one too),
- And, Emotional eating, … GOD IS CALLING US TO SURRENDER THEM TO HIM.
We are no match for our habits. They are much too powerful and engrained into our subconscious for us to attempt to change them on our own.
Giving our habits to God by inviting Him into our life, admitting our inability to change ourselves and then being obedient to how He is directing us, is the only way to break free from the destructive habits that keep us bound.
Will you give your unhealthy habits to God today?
Next week, we’ll look at the 3rd and final thing that God wants you to surrender to Him and why.
Stay tuned for the final installment of this post: ‘God Wants Your Heart.’
If you want to get to the root of why you do what you do so you can stop spinning your wheels and start losing weight, check out the Weight Loss, God’s Way Program.
Scriptures to reflect on:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1Cor. 10:13
“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.” Proverbs 4:20-27