Has God ever called your name? Like Samuel have you heard Him calling you and thought for sure it must be someone else?
I have to admit, I’ve never heard God speak to me audibly. However, I have heard Him speak to me in my spirit.
Several years ago a prominent pastor, I think it was Dr. Adrian Rodgers, announced he was stepping down from a national denominational position because God told Him to.
A reporter asked, “Dr. Rodgers, how did God tell you? Did you hear an audible voice?”
He answered, “No it was much stronger than that.”
This inner knowing that fills your whole being is hard to deny. When it happens to me, I know it. And when I turn my back and go the other way I know it.
When you ask God a question and He gives you an answer, Listen
I have journaled my prayers to God and His answers for years. In 1977, I have written in my journal, “How do I get rid of this mountain of flesh?” At that time I probably weighed about 250 lbs.
God gave me an answer, which I wrote in my journal: “Stop eating sugar. Eat more meats, fruits and vegetables. Stop eating so much bread.”
I dismissed it as impossible. I loved my sugar and bread way too much for that.
Jesus said, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”1
I heard His voice. He knew me. However, I didn’t do the last part. I didn’t follow.
Doing it your way, never works.
When you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is leading you to do something and you decide you’ll do it your way instead, you have to realize from that point on all your efforts are futile.
I knew God was right but I thought I could attack the issue by just cutting back. I could do it for a short while but soon I would be buried in sugar again. Not just a few sprinkles, but huge piles of it covering every pore of my body.
When I look back at that addictive pull, it just makes me sick to know what I was doing to myself all because I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat it, too.
One scripture stood out to me during this time. “I can do everything through Christ.”2 I always thought of that verse as the Christian pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps verse. I can do this. Jesus wants me to take care of this.
It was more of a self-effort verse to me. I forgot to put the ending on the verse. “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” If He doesn’t give me the strength, I can’t do it. So the I can’t do this thing was right where God wanted me.
God wants us to come to Him for direction. He gives us an impossible task, so we will draw closer to Him for the strength and ability to do it.
Doing it God’s way, always works.
I had to come to the end of every trick known to man to get rid of my weight issue. Nothing worked. I was dead in the water, literally.
I could feel my days shortening. Although all the days of my life were written in His book before I was even born3 it felt like I was close to ending the book early.
Sometimes insight comes when you least expect it. I was listening to a mentor tell the group I was in about his ongoing recovery from alcohol. At that time he had been sober for more than 25 years.
I had heard his story before. But this time in the midst of the story, he said, “Alcohol is just one molecule away from sugar.” What he meant is alcohol is liquid sugar.
It felt like a neon sign began flashing in my brain saying, Sugar Addict, Sugar Addict.
I can even remember shaking my head as if to rid the thought. Could I be a sugar addict? Is there even such a thing?
Then I remembered the many times I had cried out to God for the answer to my weight issue. He had always given me the answer He gave me in 1977. “Stop eating sugar.”
Although it is not a simple thing to do, I began the journey that day and will stay on it until the day I am called home.
I am a processed sugar addict. I live a fasted lifestyle. Every time I pass up something with processed sugar I do it as unto God, who by His grace has shown me the way to freedom from my addiction.
He tells me in His word, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.”3
God will not pull the power card on us until we admit we are weak and need His power. When we try to do it ourselves, in our own self-effort, totally opposite of what He showed us to do, we will fail.
Thankfully, God has a plan and had it all along. He has this awesome plan for our good and not for our disaster.4
So if His plan is for good, the disaster was of our own creation. I can certainly attest to that.
Instead of disaster, through He will do “far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing around ,but by working within us His Spirit deeply and gently within us.”5
On our journey, He will place others in our path to help us. Because of where I was and where I am now, I have a passion to see others set free from sugar and other food addictions. It is literally killing us. I have many resources, including posts on this website, encouragement through my Facebook page, my memoir, my study guide and most importantly Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching & Accountability Group. Click on any of the links below to find out more.
God’s calling. Are you listening? Are you following?
1 John 10:27 NIV
2 Philippians 4:13 NLT
3 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
4 Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
5 Ephesians 3:19-20 MSG
Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching & Accountability Group is Teresa Shields Parker’s new group on living healthy through a total renovation of body, soul and spirit. Teresa chronicles her journey in the memoir, Sweet Grace, and the practical application workbook, Sweet Grace Study Guide. Get a free chapter of her memoir at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.