The holiday season is here. This is the time when people begin to think about the New Year’s Resolutions they will put into action to change their lives for the better, supposedly, forever. Very often, health and fitness goals are among the list of changes to be implemented. However, when it comes to health and fitness and many other changes in life, the time to act is now, not in the future. The Bible gives us a prime example of how procrastination could bring about great harm, but a timely response to God’s Will for your life will produce a harvest for you and those in your sphere of influence.
In the Book of Esther, we learn about how God uses ordinary people to bring about extraordinary change and exemplify His supernatural power. The people in this case were an orphan named Esther and the cousin who adopted her named Mordecai. They were both a part of the remnant of Israel living in captivity after the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, but these slaves were called to spiritual greatness. They were specifically chosen by God to be the conduits He used to protect His people from genocide.
It started with something that neither of them wanted. Mordecai adopted his orphaned cousin, Esther, and raised her as his own child in obedience to God’s Will. Later, Esther was one of the virgins rounded up to possibly be chosen as the next queen after the king divorced, so to speak, his wife, Vashti. Those who were not selected as queen would be concubines. It was not a life Esther wanted for herself or that Mordecai envisioned for her. However, their perceived predicament led to Israel’s salvation. When Haman, the enemy of Mordecai and all of the Israelites, convinced the king to slaughter the entire remnant of Jews, God prompted His rams in the bush to action. Because Esther had the encouragement of Mordecai, the love of her husband the king, and most importantly, the favor and blessings of Almighty God on her side, she was able to influence the king to change the decree allowing the Jews’ destruction, making her the savior of her people. In other words, God specifically placed her in the time and place where she was needed most, and her obedience to Him brought deliverance to her people.
What does that have to do with your health and fitness journey? I know your current state of affairs seems hopeless. Whether you have to lose 300 pounds, are unable to convince yourself to eat instead of starving your body, or had another episode of bingeing and purging last night, your circumstances probably seem impossible to overcome at this point in time. I understand your fear, lack of faith, and basically, unbelief that being healthy and fit can happen for you. The Bible teaches us that Esther also doubted that she could change the plight of her people even though she was queen of one of the most powerful nations at the time.
However, King Jesus set me free from obesity, and He is still fighting for me now! God gave me dominion over my body and cravings for unhealthy foods and beverages not just so I will have peace, prosperity, favor, and blessings in His Kingdom even in regard to food and drinks, but also so that His people will be saved from the spiritual genocide wrought by the ruler of the darkness of this world through the obesity epidemic, obesity related diseases, and eating disorders. I was not delivered solely for my benefit, but my husband lost weight, and my children are being taught to love, worship, and serve the Lord by eating and drinking for His glory in order to honor God with their bodies, which are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 10:31). Even though the battle to defeat the enemy and his new weapon of hypothyroidism is in progress, it is still my spiritual purpose and divine directive to share all that the Lord has taught me with you for such a time as this.
This is not just my story or Queen Esther’s story. It is God’s Will to make it your story, too. I know all you can see, all you want, and all you are probably praying for is your own deliverance from the Wilderness of Obesity and Eating Disorders. However, God will deliver you not only for your sake, but also for the sake of those in your sphere of influence. He wants to save you and your people, meaning your family, friends, church members, colleagues, and neighbors. In order for that to happen, like Esther, you must submit to His Will and set aside your selfish motivations for health and fitness. While you should desire to look and feel better, your primary reasons for taking care of your body should be to, “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 NIV
The world teaches you to get healthier for selfish reasons, in order to take care of yourself first. God’s Word says selfishness is a sign that the end is near because men will be lovers of themselves more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5). When you obey God’s commands to take care of His Holy Spirit out of love and obedience to Him and out of love for your family who needs and loves you, God does what the world only promises to do. He blesses you first! You are the one who loses 50 pounds. You are the one who drops 4 dress sizes. You are the one who gets flat abs. You are the one who no longer takes insulin or hypertension medication. God gets glorified and your family gets a long, abundant life with you, but those things come after your obedience.
God’s Will to save you and your people is dependent on your willingness to act now in accordance with His Will. Imagine what could have happened if Esther had not acted on behalf of her people in faith when she did? As the queen, she might have been saved even though she was Jewish, but her cousin and many more of her people could have died. The same thing would happen in your family, at your job, and in your neighborhood if you do not obey God’s command to stop now and begin to eat and drink for His glory. You do not know if you are one more cheeseburger away from a stroke. You do not know if your next bout of bingeing and regurgitating will lead to hospitalization. You do not know if one more day of starvation will land you in the hospital. Likewise, hoarding God’s blessings of deliverance from obesity, anorexia, and bulimia will have a similar effect. People you love will die needlessly because you were too selfish and/or fearful to give God the glory for doing what you have been unable to do through countless other health and fitness schemes, meaning, finally achieving permanent health and fitness success.
I encourage you to follow Queen Esther’s lead and obey God’s commands today! Then you will receive the favor, mercy, and blessings of God for both yourself and for the sake of your people. Like Esther, your obedience is direly needed for such a time as this! If you are ready to stop obeying the lust of your flesh and submit to the Lord’s plan for you and those you influence, register today for the Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries Health and Fitness Master Class! Purchase your copies of the Eating as an Act of Worship Workbook and the Eating as an Act of Worship Teacher’s Edition online today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. In the books, you will learn the biblical principles regarding the body, dieting, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body for the glory of God. Read our weekly blog for motivation to stay healthy and fit through Christ. Follow us daily on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for recipes, and diet and exercise tips. Tune in to our syndicated radio show on the DFW Den Radio Station, the StudioW Buzz Radio Station, and Victory KVDW 100.9 FM, 95.3 FM, and 1530 AM in Little Rock, Arkansas for interviews and health and fitness trends. Lastly, make your tax-deductible donation to Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries at www.eatingasanactofworshipministries.org!