Friday, July 25, 2014

Reshaping it all
As in my previous post recommending this book, I began reading and wondered what Candace would have to say about health and spiritual fitness.  I got rather nervous reading some very secular statements about identity (don't worry she later clarified and redeemed those statements.)  I pressed on and praised God that I did.

"Priorities have a way of squeezing out the less pleasant activities, unless we make a point to prioritize them." p 43 

This statement caused me to pause.  Things that I find difficult to get into in a day must be less pleasant and if so, what does that say about me?  Yeah, I got to think things like that through - is internet and TV a priority or is my God and family - which one am I making the most time for?

"My point being that if we become disciplined with the small things in life, we will grow to discipline ourselves even further." p 96

I've heard this saying before - if you want to hear God's direction on the big things, be obedient in the little things.  If you want God's direction on what you are to do with something the Bible isn't 100 % clear about, why not start with following the directions on the things the Bible is 100% clear on and you'll learn how/what God wants in the other thing.  God is all about the small stuff and we need to be too.

Chapter 8 was a wonderful chapter on discipline.  Page 96 had great encouragement to press on through the pain so that self-discipline can be strengthened.  Our bodies need to be discipline until it happens naturally, then we need to keep watch so that we're not disqualified (1 Cor 9:27.)

"To get a biblical view of self-discipline, let's take a closer look at self-discipline side of the woman personified in Proverbs 31:
  • Works with eager hands (v 13)
  • Brings food from afar (v 14)
  • Gets up while it's still dark (v 15)
  • Plants a vineyard (v 16)
  • Works vigorously (v 17)
  • Is clothed with strength and dignity (v 25)
  • Speaks with wisdom (v 26)
  • Doesn't sit idle (v 27)
"Do some of those characteristics speak to you? Have you refused to work out because it would mean getting up a little earlier?  Do you grab something quick to eat because you don't want to take the time to get your food from afar?  Do you waste too much idle time on the computer or television when you could be enriching your mind?  Are you clothed with strength and dignity, or do you throw on a ball cap, slip on a ratty T-shirt, and then head out of the door praying you won't be seen?" pp 99-100

I had to include all of the above quote.  This whole section spoke to me.  I had never really thought/applied of the Proverb 31 to my discipline.  The Proverbs 31 woman is disciplined.  Yeah, I may not ever become that standard - but I won't discount it for it is God's standard that I strive for and seek His help in obtaining.  I accept where I am and focus on where I'm going - Proverbs 31.
Chapter 11 (p 134) describes conscious living and questions to ask to help determine if I'm consciously living.  Yeah, that section spoke to me as well - particularly about surfing the net and channel surf.  Although many of the things on the list are things that were in my past.  I have broke free from those bad habits of unconscious living - praise be to God.

"If you really want to be transformed by the Spirit, as I hope you are seeking to be, He wants every area of your life to be handled in a spiritual way." p 185.

This statement called me out on what I'm not doing - handling every part of my life spiritual.  I didn't consider that I was withholding areas from God.  However, when I don't go to God, when I don't pray about something, when I go on autopilot and 'I can handle it,' I am withholding areas from God.  All things handled spiritually (see Live By the Spirit.)

Candace (with Darlene) really speaks as one who has walked this journey before.  On page 208 she writes about getting to the place where you're over the number on the scale and really want, desires to overcome the bondage food has.  This is precisely where I am.  All the things listed above is God speaking truth to me on how He wants to do this.  Through Him I am free from the bondage.  By His grace I can begin to live it!

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