When I began my journey, I never wanted to change my whole life . That was not on my mind at all. All I wanted at 430 pounds was to lose weight.
I felt I had a pretty good lifestyle. I mean I was a Christian and went to church every Sunday. I even taught adult Sunday School. I didn’t drink alcohol, do drugs, have extramarital sex, gamble or view pornography. I fed my mind with good Christian books. I wrote and published a regional Christian newspaper. I did freelance writing and publishing. I had an awesome husband and two great children.
I was happy with where I was. There was just one huge area that was out of whack. My weight was dangerously high and I had been given five years to live if I didn’t lose weight and keep it off. I really needed to change my lifestyle.
Body, Soul and Spirit
Since losing more than 250 pounds I’ve learned that if one part of me is plainly showing that it needs enormous help, all of me needs help. It takes all parts of me working in harmony to be whole. I needed help in my body, for sure, but also in my soul and spirit.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through, that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged—consecrated to Him—set apart for His purpose; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and be found blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you to Himself for your salvation, and He will do it. He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own,” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 AMP).
The generic meaning of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning,” according to the Bible dictionary. To be sanctified means to set a person apart for the use intended by its designer. So, we are sanctified when we live according to the purpose and design God has for us.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 tells us that “God has chosen us from the beginning for salvation through the sanctifying work of the Spirit that sets us apart for God’s purpose, and by our faith in the truth of God’s word that leads us to spiritual maturity.”
What this means is that God has a purpose for me and will bring me to that purpose when I submit my whole self—body, soul and spirit—to Him.
He Makes Us Whole
God will use whatever is the most out of kilter in our lives to bring us into complete union with Him-body, soul and spirit. When we accept Christ many of us have the wrong idea that it only affects the location where we will spend eternity.
That’s just one aspect. He wants to lead us into spiritual maturity so we begin to walk in God’s design and purpose. To do that He has to work on every part of us.
My body was just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, I had to start there. But as Romans 12:2 MSG says, to even begin to lose weight and keep it off, I had to fix my entire attention on God. Then I began to be changed from the inside out.
Fixing our attention on God is pretty much a soul thing. I had to allow my mind to be renewed, changed. I had to allow God to restore and rebuild my emotions.
Holy Spirit, Lead Me
I had to pray Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
I had to allow the Holy Spirit who was already resident in me to lead me completely. The big “I” had to get out of the way, because I had led myself to a very dangerous place physically.
I not only had to hear God, I also had to listen to Him completely and let Him be in charge. That’s not easy when He was asking me to change everything about my life.
My priorities had to change. Even though I said God was first, I had to start obeying what He told me to do with my time. I had to stop eating the unhealthy foods that were bringing death into my life. I had to start eating how He showed me to eat. I had to stop sitting all day and start making exercise a priority. I had to stop drinking anything I wanted, like diet soda, and start drinking purified water.
As I began to do what God had told me to do, the pounds begin to fall off and I started looking better. Understanding I was finally becoming obedient to what God was showing me to do made me feel so much better.
Stepping Into Purpose
Then, God started showing me His design and purpose for me all along was to help others through writing, coaching and speaking.
Weight loss was just the carrot God dangled in front of me. Total lifestyle change so that I could start becoming all He wants me was God’s ultimate purpose.
It’s what He wants for you as well. He promises as you allow Him to work within you to fulfill His call on you by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own. All we have to do is whatever He shows us to do.
One of the things God showed me I was to do is lead others to embark on this life-changing journey. I do that through Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Community, a low-cost monthly group, where we teach, encourage, support, answer questions and walk with you on your journey.
Doors are open now. Take the journey with us. Go here to learn more and join: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/Overcomers-Christian-weight-loss-group.
P.S. I’ll see you in the group.