“Every ‘no’ to the flesh is a ‘yes’ to God’s promise.” Pastor Juan Martinez
Those of you who have been around this blog for a while know about my struggle with emotional eating … and you also have heard me say that God has been working on healing the inward part of me so that my outward part would be a reflection of that healing.
I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Juan Martinez last fall and while we weren’t talking about emotional eating (or food at all), when he said the above phrase, my unhealthy relationship with food is what immediately came to mind. Because, when it comes to obeying God, while I’m not perfect, this is the one area in life where I have continued to struggle and continued to resist completely surrendering over to Him.
But God isn’t done with me. He knows how much I want to obey and how much my flesh keeps getting in the way, so God used those words to remind me of what I already knew … it’s my choice. Every day I wake up and I have a choice. I can choose to say “no” to my flesh (choose self-control), which is ultimately saying “yes” to God’s blessings, or I could give into my flesh (ignore self-control) and ultimately tell God “No thank You, I don’t want to be blessed by You today.”
A few weeks later, while having improved some in this area, but not fully surrendered my will, God used a Bible verse to further cement this truth for me, again in the area of my unhealthy relationship with food. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV): “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
This is significant for three reasons. The first is that the context in which I read this verse had nothing to do with food issues. But God used a fiction book which I was reading for enjoyment to add another layer of truth in my soul and remind me once again … I have a choice. Secondly, I love God’s blessings. I want God’s blessings. I try to live my life in a way not to block God’s blessings. Yet, twice in less than a month God is telling me the choice is mine. I can choose whether to have His blessings blocked (choosing “yes” to the flesh and choosing death and curses) or I can choose to have access to His blessings but saying “no” to flesh and “yes” to life and blessings. Third, I love my children fiercely and I take being their mom seriously. When God lays out to me that my choices (and since He was speaking to my soul about food in this instance) in regard to what I put into my mouth will bring about life and blessings or death and curses and those choices affect my children, it changed everything for me. I want to make choices “so that you (me) and your (my) children will live.”
Every day I have been waking up asking myself, “Am I choosing life and blessings today? or am I choosing death and curses? Do I want me and my children to live or do I want to make their life harder by passing on my food issues to them and their children and … ?
I love that God is so persistent. When He knows that we honestly want to obey but are struggling in certain areas, He will provide the tools we need to help us succeed. However, bottom line, it’s still my choice. And my choice? Yes, Please! to life and blessings!