Moving on to the twelfth week of this challenge. Last week we worked on adding a body benefitting goal. This week, we are going to go on our final treasure hunt.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
Treasures In Heaven
Most of us would nod a hearty amen at the verse above. We know we can’t take our earthly “riches” with us. We picture houses, money, cars, clothes, and jewelry… to name only a few. It is valid that we must keep all of these in proper perspective. We already know our “stuff” shouldn’t come before God and others.
But how does this relate to our pursuit of weight loss? After all, God wants us to take care of our bodies, right? I am so hopeful that at this point in our twelve week journey you have begun to pursue God above all else… even weight loss.
We have seen that we can certainly worship our boundaries, tools, exercise plans, or even 12 week challenges. Expecting these things to “save us” from our harmful habits and behaviors is futile at best and destructive at worst. Putting our faith in them is no different than laying “up for yourselves treasures on earth”.
If you treasure the tools and methodologies more than you treasure the Lord, your heart will be subject to the whims of this world, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We want our hearts focused on God because He is faithful and He will not abuse that responsibility. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is our constant. This cannot be said of anything else in our universe.
You can test where your heart is by asking yourself if you are still seeking after “self” or if you are seeking, above all, a true, thriving, and satisfying relationship with the Lord.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
“How great is that darkness” indeed! Remember week two? We began speaking directly to our souls by looking ourselves in the eye as we spoke truth. I hope you’ve continued that practice. It is so important that we remain in the light. We don’t want to be full of darkness. Our old identities were dark, but our identities in Christ are light.
Where we were once enslaved by habits, we can now walk in liberty in Christ Jesus.
Are you still viewing yourself the way you were almost twelve weeks ago? When we focus on earthly things or the world’s vision, our spiritual vision is hindered and we are unable to see Truth.
Or, have you begun to believe you are who God says you are? I certainly hope so. Some things will take longer than three months to transform, but progress should be there if you’ve kept your focus in the right place.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” ~ Matthew 6:24 (ESV)
In studying this passage from Matthew 6, I was thinking how it seemed like Jesus harps on this way too much. I mean, shouldn’t we get it when he talks about not storing up earthly treasure? But He always has a purpose. He’s gone from something we all concede is really obvious and then He zeroes in tighter and tighter as we go.
He takes us from earthly treasures (external) to the condition of our souls (internal). Then, He goes one step further for those who think they are “managing” both God and their “idols”. They think they can follow both. Perhaps they will say, “Of course God is above all these things”, but their actions prove otherwise.
What do we put first? If we wrote out a timeline of our days, what would this reveal about our priorities? If I only have enough time one morning to have time with the Lord or exercise, and I know whichever I don’t choose will not get done that day (if I’m honest with myself), what does my choice reveal?
If I spend time tracking food and exercising, but fail to carve out time with the Lord, which master am I serving?
The irony here is that serving anything other than God crowds Him out of our vision. We become slaves to that which we give reign over us. When we surrender our freedom to earthly things, we are taken captive by them.
However, the opposite is true by allowing God to be our master. When we bow to Him, seek His face, and obey His commands, we realize we are free. The beauty is, we are then free to choose boundaries and an exercise plan with God’s blessing and help. As we continue to bow to His authority, He gives us the strength to keep our boundaries.
I agree, it makes no human sense to be mastered by something and yet be free. This is only possible when God is the master.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
~ Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
So, as we go through this final week of the challenge, we are going on another treasure hunt. It is my prayer that by treasure hunting the past three weeks, you will become even more convinced that the Master you have chosen is more than worthy of this position in your life.
Week 12 – Alrighty, we’re keeping the daily 20 minute appointment with God beginning with praise/worship, confession of sins, and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 20 minutes with any method you wish. Don’t forget to get that background music going and to renew your mind any time you are tempted to or actually do break your boundaries. Be sure to take full advantage of Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.
For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download this week’s PDF.
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 20 minutes 6 days, + God glorifying music 4 days, kept my food boundaries 7 days, and exercised 7 days for at least 15 minutes.
Released 4.8 lbs the eleventh week :)*
Challenge Total: -9.4 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.