This Proverbs 31 Journey has not been an easy one for me. Sometimes I feel like these studies only tear me down by pointing out my areas of weaknesses and failures. Do you think the Proverbs 31 woman ever felt like a failure? Don't you think she had days where she was too exhausted to meet anyone else's needs let alone her own? Don't you think she had days with her own heart battles of maybe bitterness and frustrations? She couldn't be perfect...only one is perfect and that is Christ.
I believe the Proverbs 31 Woman was able to rise to battle any issue she faced because she used the Lord's strength to defeat those things that would bring her down emotionally, physically and spiritually. Her relationship with her God was one that was so tight, so real that she choose to trust Him in all things. All things.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5&6She knows when to get more involved with some things and when to distance herself from others. She leans towards those things that glorify her God in body, in mind and in spirit. So lets take a different perspective into this Proverbs 31 Woman this month...(I am groaning here)...this month lets look at another perspective of the Proverbs 31 Woman--her health...her body, her mind, her spirit.
Are you happy with your weight? Are you happy with the way your body is aging physically? Are we ever, as my husband would ask? What is it about middle age and weight gain? What about our emotional and spiritual health? I know all the theories of pre-menopause and menopause but you know what...though these theories are true, I think there is a bigger theory or concept out there that was brought out in the open this past January. I'm sure you didn't miss this...
Lysa Terkrurst new release Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, not Food, has hit the best sellers charts. This book has zoned in on the concept that we are what we crave, not just in body, but also in mind and spirit and they all work together. Think about it for a second. When you are frustrated or upset, what do you turn to? When you want to relax at the end of the day, what helps you do that? When your driving down the road, where do your thoughts lodge? What do you crave?
"We were made to crave--long for, want greatly, desire eagerly and beg for --God. Only God." (pp. 21)Lysa points out a very simple but incredibly powerful concept that if we want to "conquer our cravings we'll have to re-direct them to God". Don't you figure the Proverbs 31 Woman was able to model this?
She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. ~ Proverbs 31:14-15These are the only verses referencing food (or health) that Solomon correlates to his mother but there is a deeper meaning here than just having a mother who is thrifty and thoughtful to the needs of her family's nutritional status. Read these verses in the amplified version:
She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household's food from a far [country]. She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.Hummm....loaded with "foodstuffs"...we could get humorous here with that one but lets get serious instead and journey towards the spiritual food instead. Spiritual food can be for the body and for the soul. Lysa points out that "we consume what we think about. And what we think about can consume us if we are not careful... (this in not just taking about the food we eat, this also applies to the food we see or place in our mind, in our hearts)...we crave what we eat (what we think). If I make healthy choices over a period of time, it seems to reprogram my taste buds" (pp.23). If I choose to dwell on thoughts that are spiritual, it too changes the way I think and the way I live.
"All things are legitimate [permissible--and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]." ~ 1 Cor. 10:23 (Amplified)So is it possible to love other things more than we love God? To crave other things more than we crave God? Has food, a job, even a hobby taken up more precedence in your life over your own relationship with God? Does the TV get more time from you than God? Do you miss church for sports or other activities?
"God never intended for us to want anything more than we want Him." (pp. 29)We were made to live a life that honors God...in our weight and outward appearance, in our thoughts, in our actions. We were created to ....
"The more we operate in the truth of who we are and the reality that we we were made for more, the closer to God we'll become." (pp. 54)So were do we go with this topic this week? Lets take a long hard look at (1)what we eat and drink, (2) what we spend most of our time in or doing, (3) what we put into our mind, and (4) how we have honored God in our day-to-day living. Create a journal and record what you eat and drink. When you are stressed and frustrated, how did you handle that situation? How did you react or respond to others? How many hours of TV did you watch? How many hours did you give to God in Bible study, prayer and meditation? How did you honor God with your life?
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. ~ 1 Cor. 6:19-20 (Amplified)I heard a minister on the radio last month give this illustration...
"Suppose you were given $1440 each day to spend as you wished but at the end of the day, any dollars not spent would disappear...they would be lost forever. How would you use that money? Could you use that money? God has given you 1440 minutes each day to use as you wish. At the end of that day, those minutes are lost forever. How did you choose to use those minutes? Did those minutes honor God and what of those minutes will further the kingdom of Heaven?This week, lets take a good hard look at how we are spending our minutes, what we are putting into our body, our mind and our soul. Take the time to log it and be honest with yourself. Then we will spend the remainder of this month diving deeper into Lysa book and her thoughts on craving God. This book goes so much deeper than just a weight loss plan...its a self-denial plan that results in eternal gain!
And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me]. ~ Mark 8:34 (Amplified)The Proverbs 31 Woman craves more of Him and seeks for Him to have more of her. In return, there is so much more of her to go around for others and I am not implying there is more of her in pounds! There is so much more of her spiritually to give!! Lets begin praying our memory verse for this week for ourself, maybe even praying the Amplified version:
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
Believing Him~ Pamela