“Pumayat ka!” (You’ve lost weight.) This is one of greatest compliment I have received last month. Two months ago, I’ve decided to try shedding some pounds off since my weight gain from 52kg to 56 kg. I made a goal to reach the weight I had when I came to SG which was 50kg. I set goals, prayed for it and disciplined myself to eat a healthy diet in the way I possibly can. One morning as I pondered on my weight loss goal, I started thinking, “How you’re managing your weight now is actually similar to how you manage your relationship with God.” Here are a few similarities:
We as believers should set goals with our relationship with God. Like asking myself what’s the weight I wanted to reach, we also should ask how far and deep we want our relationship with God to go? Are we satisfied with plainly knowing Him as the great and mighty God who made us and heaven and earth? Or do we want each day to be platform wherein we can see a different side of Him and His glory? He’s God! Our Lord has a lot of ‘characters’ that we have not even grasped. He’s our Lord, God, King of kings, Holy One, Redeemer, Savior, Abba Father, Almighty, Alpha, Omega, Rose of Sharon, Bright Morning Star, Rock, Fortress, Friend, Salvation, Bridegroom, I could go on and on. The Bible describes Him in different ways and He is willing to reveal Himself to whom He wills as Luke 10:22 (NKJV) says,
“22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Praying for it.
Of course! I prayed for it. Weight loss is hard and I knew that by myself, knowing how lazy, undisciplined, easily tempted and impulsive I could be, I could not do it on my own. I literally cried to God, telling Him that I wanted to lose weight to be healthy. This desire was in my heart. Same goes with our relationship with God. We have to pray for it! Really, really pray hard for it.
Jeremiah 31:3b (NKJV) says,
“..Therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
and James 4:8 (NKJV)says,
“8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Yes, God is the drawing force that pulls our hearts towards Himself but we, while in this fallen world, are easily tempted and distracted with other things. We are easily drawn away from Him with our own desires that this world offers like what it says in James 1:14 (NKJV),
“14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
We must pray for our hearts to be changed and take delight in Him. He is the only one who can enable us to maintain a relationship with Him and not ourselves. We should pray to Him that He will always graciously bless our relationship with Him.
Ha! This is the one struggled with the most! I looooove to eat anything and any time! I love to cook and eat! And I love the feeling of a full tummy! But I hated the results of gaining pounds. I don’t want to be overweight. I’m not getting younger and gaining weight is not healthy for someone who’s gaining years. So I tracked and counted my calories. I tried to eat on time, three times a day, snacks in between if the goal calories permits.
Our relationship with God also needs discipline. We should discipline ourselves to pray to Him, read and meditate His Word. We should really set out alone time with Him, a date with God as my friend says. Yes, He will prompt us and the Holy Spirit will give us a nudge that we should be talking to Him this time of the day but we should also do our part to really make time for Him. Start by making a schedule early in the morning. God told Joshua to read His word and ponder on it day and night.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
“8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you [Joshua] shall meditate in it day and night,”
Daniel prayed to God three times a day knowing that doing so might precipitate to his death (Read Daniel 6).
Daniel 6:10 (NKJV)
“10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Even Jesus Christ set an alone time with His Father when He was here on earth.
Matthew 14:23 (NKJV)
“23 And when He [Jesus] had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”
It will not be easy at first. But as time goes by, as our spirits get full and full of Him everyday as we make time for Him, time would come that it will become a habit, a habit that we cannot get rid of. A habit that we would take delight in and crave for.
Besides my love for eating, I have a sweet tooth and loved salty food as well. I love chips, chocolates, pastries, cakes, bread, all UNHEALTHY UNSATISFYING foods which will eventually turn into UNWANTED UNHEALTHY fats! So I knew in order to to lose weight and become healthy, I needed to eat nutritiously. What I feed myself will ultimately dictate my future weight and body composition. So I started eating nutritious foods. I said no to chocolates and sweets.
In our spiritual life, we should also say no to a lot of things. What we feed our spirits will dictate eventually its future state. If we don’t feed our spirit, it won’t grow. Try saying no to social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) and games, may it be mobile games or video games. Instead of wasting all our time watching videos in Youtube and keeping up with Koreanovelas in the web, we should try spending our time soaking in His Word. It has tons of benefits! As John Piper points out: the Word of God awakens and strengthens faith, sustains life, gives hope and more. (see Ten Benefits of Reading the Bible Part 1 and Part 2 by John Piper). We should meditate in the Word of God as it will enable us the bear much fruit as Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV) says,
“1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.”
We should read books that can help our spirits grow and pray to Him more. We could also read biographies of saints and people like missionaries who can inspire us spiritually.
I’m not saying that doing the former is bad and latter is all that we should do. Rather, we must choose wisely what we feed our spirits and how our time here on earth is spent. The Bible says that we should spend our time wisely like what Paul said to his letter for the Ephesians in Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV),
“15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just press on into His love and grace.
There were setbacks during this program and there will still be in the future. I would let myself eat sweets here and there at times. I would overeat. There were days that the weighing scale tells me, “No change today”. Some days it will tell me worse things like “Oops, you gained.” I knew I couldn’t keep up with it perfectly. I felt guilty and ashamed. However, I learned not to be too hard on myself and just let my mistakes be a lesson. After a mistake, I try to press on and go back to the diet plan.
In the same way, we will have setbacks in our relationship with God. We will neglect Him here and there. We will sin here and there, becoming a stubborn child who refuse to obey to his Father’s commands. By the time we realize the mistake we did before our Lord God, it would be too late. It cannot be undone. Shame and guilt will creep in and we would look at ourselves unworthy of His love. The good news is, God loves us and is gracious and merciful to forgive us through Jesus Christ as Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV) says,
“7 In Him [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”
Psalms 103:8 (NKJV)also states,
“8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.”
We just need to acknowledge our sin before Him and ask for His forgiveness. He is faithful and just and will forgive us as it says in 1 John 1:9 (NKJV),
“9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Maintaining and sustaining.
From 55kg, I am now 51kg! Finally!Now the real challenge is how to maintain this weight. I have lost and gain weight over and over again and I’m tired of the cycle. I’m now determined to maintain this weight this time by making the change in my eating habits and lifestyle permanent. I needed this permanent change to maintain this weight.
Our relationship with God will be maintained by His grace through Jesus Christ. We can do all of things above but without His sovereign grace, all will be in vain. We are like frail, weak branches getting our needs from the Great Vine, Jesus, and apart from Him we are nothing as John 15:5 (NKJV) says,
“5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
We need Jesus to sustain this relationship with God. We need to abide in Him and in His Word. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. His gift of grace will be sufficient in our weakness as we go deeper in this relationship with Him as 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) says,
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
It all comes down to His grace and His grace alone. We should do our part in this relationship and have faith that we are recipients of His abounding and sustaining grace. We may feel helpless and powerless at time but we must believe and press on that our God is a loving Father who is faithful and able to keep us His chosen ones in this relationship till the very end.
I pray that God has moved your hearts through thus article. God is our creator and He loves all of us. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to died on the cross for our sins that ALL who believes in Him, Jesus, will be forgiven, reconciled back to God and enjoy eternity with Him. It is not by accident that you have come upon this blog. God is calling you right now. Let Him save you from your sins and reign lovingly in your life. If you want to know more about salvation and how to receive Jesus in your life, you can click on our ‘Jesus Offers Salvation‘ page. Just come to Him as you are. He will lovingly welcome you as His son/daughter. May God richly bless you! ❤️