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Monday, May 3, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Practice, Practice, Practice

"You shall keep my statutes and practice them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you."
Leviticus 20:8

In this chapter, Fitzgerald talks about the challenges of addressing a continual sin pattern. It can be frustrating to continually be caught in the same cycles of behavior and feel like you aren't getting anywhere. She shared that change began in her life when she embraced a verse from 2 Peter 1:3 that says, "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness; through the true knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence." She didn't need to keep searching for contentment, peace, or comfort from food because she learned that God had already given her exactly what she needed to overcome her struggles through the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word. Change doesn't happen overnight, instead it takes a lifetime. She reminds us that our goal in this lifetime is to glorify Him through the victories in our life. In every small victory that we have towards removing food as an idol in our lives, we can give glory and honor to the one that empowered real change in us. A lifetime of change is possible because He is always with us, guiding and encouraging us along the way.

It is possible for God to bring about immediate change, but the New Testament often shows change as a process that is practiced. God uses our struggles to cause hatred of your sin and to increase your love and dependence on Him. Fitzpatrick says that He "trains your hands for war." She reminds us that God has many uses for our struggles, if we continually depend on Him to bring about change in those circumstances rather than trying to find a way on our own.

She moves on to talk about Step 4 of the change process that states,
"Continue to practice these new thoughts and behaviors, even when the struggle gets hard."

Practicing Godliness...
The Bible includes many Scriptures that talk about practicing godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7 says to train yourself to be godly. Fitzgerald defines the word "train" as exercise or discipline; or in the greek to "train naked." The point Paul is trying to make is that we must take away anything that is causing us to stray from godliness in our lives. We must pursue life with thinking and actions that won't distract us from the goal of glorifying God in all that we do. She gives the example of a runner wearing clothes that wouldn't trip or negatively hinder his performance for a race, just as we should not hinder our pursuit of godliness in our eating habits.

Hearing the truth is important, but to be changed by it we must respond to it. In Phillippians 4:9, Paul states "the things you have learned and received from me, practice these things, and the God of peace shall be with you."

It takes a lot of time to continually practice creating new habits. However, after some time of being intentional and deliberate about your thoughts, eventually you will train yourself to a new way of thinking automatically.

Fitzgerald recommends keeping a journal, which is something that we encourage in the True Reflections classes. In this journal, address the D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D eating questions. When you eat, are you violating any of these things? Memorize these questions and the Scripture verses that go along with them. As your journal these things, you will begin to see what areas cause you the most trouble. As God reveals those areas to you, you can begin to pray for God to change your thinking in this area. As you journal about your thought patterns and eating habits, you will discover your weaknesses so that God can change you.

As you spend time in prayer each day, consider praying at the same time each day. Praying at the same time every day will make this become more of a habit. If you're not sure how to pray, use the acrostic, ACTS. The letters in the acrostic are for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

She also encourages daily bible reading. Bible reading is just as important as our mealtimes. We are not meant to live by bread alone, but the word of God. You will only change your thinking if your mind is consumed with truth from His word. You can read it out loud or journal what you are reading . Try to do this as well at the same time every day.

Journal your victories. What areas has God been changing you? Write down areas that still need growth, then ask God to help you in those areas.

Find an accountability partner. Discuss your journals together. Share your victories and weaknesses together. Pray for each other as you travel on your journey towards real change.

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999


These Three Kings said...

I am reading this book now for the third time. ITS REALLY STARTING TO SIT in!!!! Love your blog!!
May the Lord continue to grant us GRACE in this war against our flesh!!!

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Christian, iwspo.net