“We delude ourselves into thinking that if we had a different job, mate, parents, or children, or if we could only move to a different neighborhood or a different town, things would change for the better. That if we had a different figure, body type, or metabolic rate, we would at last be happy. Real growth begins when we are willing to see that all these circumstances are only externals. Real healing begins when we can at last see ourselves as the problem and the love of God as the answer.” (- Clare Cloninger, “Faithfully Fit in 40: A Devotional Plan to End the Chronic Yo-Yo Lifestyle of Chronic Dieting”, Day 2 excerpt)
I wrote this in my journal this morning and then later the author had it as an “Insight” to record elsewhere in my notebook. I find that vert encouraging. God took the very nugget the author was going to have me write out later and prompted me to write it out before I got there. This is a book written by a human based on her journey with the Word and the Lord in her own life. God can and does use these divine coincidences. BUT the verses she used for the basis of the quote were more powerful than that:
Romans 7:24-25a, “24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ”
WE ARE WRETCHED!. Reread that last sentence, letting it sink in and have its true effect.
Verse 24 has to be where we get to BEFORE we can see Jesus as our Savior and THEN let His love for us in Christ on the cross change our hearts and minds.
I will remind you how this whole blame game started. In the Garden. God asked Adam and Eve why they ate of the one tree – out of thousands in the garden – that He had said not to eat, or they would die.
Adam said, “That woman that YOU gave me…”
Then he he turns to Eve and she said, ‘The serpent deceived me and…”
The serpent looked behind him and there was no one else to blame. The end of the line. Yet even the serpent wants to destroy God for his(the serpent’s) own fallen position (this is blaming). The serpent has to resort to attacking God’s children because he himself is doomed to destruction. Why is he doomed to destruction? Because he wanted to be God in heaven when he was yet one of the heavenly host – a creature wanting to be God, deceiving creatures who thought they could do a better job than God. Ironic I think. A tragedy of pride and lies leading to the fall of God’s greatest creation – mankind. Made in HIS image, walking in HIS very presence and thinking HE was the problem. Boom! Mankind fell into sin and passed it on to future generations. Generous of them, yes?!
However, we do the same as Adam and Eve by thinking we know better than God. By thinking the problem is not in ourselves – doubting His goodness, His provision, His power, His sovereignty, His grace, His truth, His forgiveness, His love. Exchanging the Creator for a shadow and then wondering why we feel empty, going in circles, feel anxious and strive after what can never satisfy. When it doesn’t work out we blame God for:
- putting us in a bad marriage
- giving us unruly kids
- not getting us a better job
- allowing bad things to happen to us
- having achy knees and puffy feet (yes, that is a weight reference)
- etc, etc, etc…
The problem is not God or those other things. The problem is ME.
- I am a selfish person.
- I want to be in control.
- I want things to go perfectly.
- I want to change others around me.
- I want to be the center. I want another helping of food.
- I want more chips.
- I want to be skinny.
- I want to be approved of.
- I want to eat whatever I want and stay the “right size” (whatever THAT is!)
- I want without repercussions.
I walk outside His will for what will actually make me truly satisfied and then curse Him for the consequences of my choices. What pride! What selfishness! What ignorance! Romans 1 and James 4 are right. We deserve what we get when we ask outside His will for our own selfish desires, actively ignoring our sin and His right to be our Lord as our Creator and Savior. We want just His stuff, not Him.
Again, I say, the problem is not Him or the circumstances or relationships or bodies we find ourselves in. It is US. It is YOU. It is ME. I need His love, shown at the cross, powerfully released into my life, to change ME into HIS perfect image, according to HIS perfect plan, for HIS perfect purposes. His sacrificial love is the solution to wretched sinners like you and me. He gives us Christ’s righteousness to overcome OUR sinfulness by coming to live inside of us and change us from the inside out. And isn’t that what we need if the problem is US? A true heart transformation.
I am wretched. I need help. I need to repent and call on Jesus to make me new from the inside out.
Surrender is the first step toward allowing Him to do just that for both of us. How about you?
- What symptoms are you medicating instead of going to the Source for healing?
- What situation, relationship, or problem are you currently blaming for your lack of happiness or satisfaction?
- How would seeing yourself as the problem and God as the answer through His love and sacrifice, change your perspective, direction, and growth?
- How can I partner with YOU to help you on this journey? Let me know.
- Do you know someone else in your life who could really benefit from this message? Share, Tweet, or Email this to them. Thanks!
***Coach Kristin’s Weightloss/Healthy Eating/Exercise Update***
- I have had a successful week in that I kept to my eating schedule, struggling only a few meals as I ignored my full feeling and ate extra bites. However I did not eat after dinner, which is a huge win – a victory purely of the Lord and those who are specifically praying for me!
- I exercised intentionally 3 days this past week and then was active the other days – playing with the dog, doing housework, finishing house projects, shopping.
- Things that helped: Processing and journaling goals, creating eating and exercise plan, Scripture, having prayer partners, eating plan marked on calendar, told my husband and friends for support.