weight loss through sacrificial living

weight  loss through sacrificial living 

Our Weight Loss, God’s Way Challenge is in full swing! It’s sobering that out of the 1000 plus women that signed up for the challenge only about 75% of them actually started. It’s even more sobering that less than 1/2 of those that start will see it through until completion.

These statistics are not meant to make you feel bad but to show that our ‘human’ nature, though well intentioned, struggles with the concept of sacrificing.

So, why do we continue to struggle with our weight (marriages, parenting, finances) especially when there is a life of freedom, peace, and joy available to us in Christ?

It’s because most of us are not willing to sacrifice what we currently have for the greater gifts that Christ has for us. Let’s face it, sacrificing anything is not pleasant at the time. Even the word itself conjures up feeling of pain and struggle. Yet our Bible teaches us that living a life of sacrifice is the only way to enjoy a life of freedom in Christ. In Matt. 10:39, Jesus says,  “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” 

I believe that when we get a better understanding of what sacrificial living means then we will learn how to embrace it and achieve the benefits associated with it.

The Reality of Sacrificial Living

The reality is that many of us are stuck but unwilling to maintain the necessary sacrifices it takes to get unstuck and achieve a healthy weight. We’ve been struggling with our weight for most of our lives and it feels like things will never change. Despite our feelings of hopelessness, we keep grasping at short-term worldly solutions to end our pain. We keep trying solution after solution but they eventually get too difficult, time-consuming or we just get bored and move on to the next thing. When we can understand that short term sacrifice will lead to long term fulfillment then the concept of sacrificial living will not be so scary.

The solution is found in God. Until we know the true heart of God, sacrifice will always seem like deprivation or punishment, but it’s the exact opposite. Freedom is found in dying to ourselves every hour of every day so that we can live an abundant life.

The Reason for Sacrificial Living

  1. God calls us to sacrifice because he understands how easily we are led away by our flesh if we don’t exercise restraint. He knows our propensity to make idols out of everything and how these idols will turn our attention away from Him.

    “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”~Matthew 6:24

  2. God calls us to sacrifice because he knows that our insatiable desires for food (money, power, sex) will always keep us wanting even more. We try to fill our needs with worldly things instead of Godly things, so no matter how much food we eat, we will always want more; or no matter how much money we make we will always want more or no matter how much sex we have, we will always want more (ok, maybe this one is only true for the men 🙂 )

 “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.…”.~ James 1:14-15.

3.  God calls us to sacrifice because he knows that He is the only one that can fulfill all of our needs. When we sacrifice our appetites and draw closer to God, He honours our actions, meets us in our time of need and draws us closer to us.  Satiety and satisfaction are found in Him alone.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” ~Matt 5:6

The Repertoire for Sacrificial Living

I’m all about making the spiritual, practical. As Christians, we can get so spiritual sometimes that we give up our common sense and waste too much time waiting on a word from the Lord for deep, super-spiritual answers when the answer is right in front of us. I’m guilty of wasting so many years of my life as a result.

Here are some practical tools and tips to begin living a life of sacrifice to benefit your health and your entire life.

1. Spend time in the Word (everyday) understanding God’s heart for you. When we align with God’s purposes and plans for us it lessens the hold that food and other desires will have on you. He calls us to seek after him and promises us that it will be worth it. More time with God equals less time worrying about being hungry of feeling deprived.

”It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” ~ Proverbs 25:2

2. Count the costs associated with sacrificing. This means to plan, plan, plan. If you plan to wake up early to exercise, then you can’t stay up late at night binge-watching shows on Netflix. If you plan to eat healthier, then get yourself to the grocery store and buy some foods that you will enjoy; get off the phone or the internet and get in the kitchen and prepare some healthy food.

We want change but we don’t want to put in any effort or make any changes. It will take sacrifice. It will cost you but you must understand that the return will be more than worth it.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?~  Luke 14:28

3. Understand the process of change. Change takes time, patience, discipline, commitment and a whole lot of grace. For example, if one night you break your boundaries and eat after 7:00 when you said you would not, don’t beat up on yourself and sabotage your entire plan. Pray, renew your mind and keep on going. No guilt, no condemnation, no shame just keep on going. Too many of us think that because we set a goal it should be smooth sailing without any setbacks and then are distraught when setbacks come and quit altogether. Know that they WILL come and gird yourself us so that you will continue on in victory from glory to glory.  

“Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.~ Exodus 23:30”

4. Get over your fears. Have you ever seen someone lose 20 pounds and then go into self-sabotage mode? Maybe you’ve done it. For many of us there are painful memories associated with getting what we really want. Fears of success, failure, rejection or loss of control all keep us from stepping out of our comfort zone and so we never receive our breakthrough as a result. So for many of us, sacrifice is associated with self-sabotage. The solution is to allow the Holy Spirit to do the gentle work in you of showing you what’s at the root of your fears. You’ve got to deal with the underlying roots to break the cycle.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”~ Psalm 139:23

5. See the higher goal.  If we keep looking at where we are now, our circumstances can seem overwhelming and even hopeless. But when we can lift up our head and look to our higher calling then sacrificing in the short term may not seem so painful. Our lives, though meant to be enjoyed are not strengthened when we satisfy all of our ‘fleshly’ desires. Rather, set your sights on things higher than just short term satisfaction. Sacrificial living will help you to accomplish this. It’s amazing the deeper meaning that not having that cookie can have. It can feel so freeing, empowering and strengthening– even though it’s just a cookie! See sacrifice as a way to reach for the higher things of God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. ~ Romans 12:1

Once you begin to see the word, ‘sacrifice’ as a form of worship; as an opportunity to draw closer to God; a way to strengthen our body, mind and spirit; and God’s way of saving us from our destructive selves then sacrificial living won’t be so scary and overwhelming. Continue to seek God’s best for you as you offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God.

Love and blessings,

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Comments

5 Comments

  • Medina

    Reply Reply September 10, 2016

    So glad you use the very biblical language of “sacrifice”. Oftentimes in an effort to coach others toward life change of some nature, words/phrases like ‘exchange habits” are used. While there is nothing wrong with that type of language, I personally think it suppresses the truth and functional reality of our sinful natures. Your use of “sacrifice” really exposes the darkness of my tendency of laziness, idleness, choosing the unprofitable over the beneficial for the sake of convenience (ex: fast food drive-thru cuz I’m lazy to get out of my car and choose Subway), intimidation to try new healthy things (like group exercise), etc. Seeing our reality gives me the opportunity to ask God’s light to shine in my darkness. However, “exchanging habits” language has no power behind it and implies that I need to reply on my own abilities. ????????

    • Profile photo of Cathy

      Cathy

      Reply Reply September 10, 2016

      I hear you Medina. We tend to want to run when we hear the word ‘sacrifice’ but we can not sugar-coat the truth. We must sacrifice the temporary, the superficial and our comfort in order to obtain the higher things of God.

  • Judy Suthard

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    Wow! I an see that a sacrifice as small as a cookie can have a strengthening, empowering effect on my victory over my fleshly desires.,
    My fear is that of not satisfying my flesh. It’s not ” just one cookie” it’s letting go of an idol.
    Sacrificial living is my goal for this year. To be able to walk closer to my Lord is my greatest desire.i had no idea how important those baby steps are.
    Thank you for sharing this truth.

  • Sherice

    Reply Reply January 19, 2016

    Thank you so much, I needed this word today. I’ve been doing pretty good with everything except yesterday my family went away for the day and by evening time I was exhausted. When I got up today I was still tired so I didn’t go on the face book page, I didn’t exercise and I didn’t eat well and kind of felt like giving up. I like the different view on a sacrificial life and I know that I need to apply it to every area of my life especially my eating.

  • Phyllis Sather

    Reply Reply January 19, 2016

    I too am encouraged by this word. I’ve ONLY lost 6 pounds, but…

    I didn’t gain any weight over Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years.

    I only ate 6 Christmas cookies – that’s the total over the entire holiday not just one day!

    When I’ve missed a day of exercise I’ve done it the next day.

    I don’t discuss exercise with myself anymore. I can always talk myself out of it. Now I just do it!

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