Encouragement for Today - July 22, 2008
July 22, 2008
Full to the Rim
By Lee Merrill, She Speaks! Graduate
“…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:13 (NIV)
I am what you might call a perpetual dieter. My husband says I should get an honorary degree in fad diets because I own most of the diet books and magazine articles that have ever been written on the subject!
In my heart, I know that all I have to do it eat less junk, move my body more, and the weight will come off. But, the dreamer in me hopes that one of these miracle diets will actually work and cause me to "lose 48 pounds by Labor Day."
Today, the Lord gave me a brand-new “diet.” As I was reading in Ephesians, I came across chapter 4, verse 13, which deals with the body of Christ being united in faith so we can grow to be fully mature and overflowing with the character of God.
I completely understand the context of this scripture, but the Lord made one phrase stand out to me in a little bit different light: "attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (V.13b NIV)
Now, when this professional dieter sees the word "full" I only think of one thing: full of chocolate pie, cheese enchiladas, sweet tea, or double cheeseburgers.
This morning, when that phrase lit up with holy neon lights, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to my hungry soul, Child, if you will work on being full of Me, I'll take care of the rest.
Do I think the Lord will make my weight fall off and my muscles firm up overnight as a reward for spending extra time in His word? Uh...I wish, but no!
I think the Lord is trying to tell me that I spend way too much time worrying about changing myself when what I really need to be concerned about is letting Him change my heart.
With a changed heart, I will be focused on the comfort He provides rather than the french fry “comfort” I am so used to wolfing down.
With a changed heart, I will seek His approval rather than the fleeting approval of people, which usually throws me into a pit of despair.
With a changed heart, I will develop the discipline I need to move my body more and move my jaws less, so my body can keep up with my spirit.
Dear Lord, Change my heart. Fill me up to overflowing with Your spiritual sustenance so that my spirit will be full, not my stomach. I know that if I’m full of You, there will be no room for the sins of gluttony and emotional eating. You are my portion, and I want no more than that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
She Speaks conference
When your stomach starts to rumble, use it as a reminder to pray for a hunger and thirst for God and His Word.
Use the money you would spend on purchasing one more fad diet book to sponsor a hungry child through Compassion International.
What activities can you participate in today that will push you toward the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ”?
Which sister-in-Christ could you partner with on a mutual journey to seek “more of Him and less of me”?
Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (NIV)
Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the [woman] who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105