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I almost forgot it wasn't just about a diet and I gained 5 pounds over Christmas and New Years.
I decided that I would relax my eating over the Christmas season and get back to the BIG Challenge the day after Christmas. I was very successful on relaxing my eating, but a failure at getting back into the routine after Christmas. Don't laugh, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
There is always one more piece of cake or pie that you don't want to go to waste so you just nibble on it through the day. Every day I was thinking, "I'll get started faithfully tomorrow." But you know how that works - It is always today and tomorrow just seems to never get here.
So, why is a perfectly good diet which works so well at shedding the pounds feel so hard to follow? The answer is we forget that it is about more than the diet. It is about a holistic approach to Spirit, Body and Soul.
You see, the reason I have a difficulty being consistent with a healthy diet is that my soul, the part of me which is empowered by my thought process (my mind), my will and my emotions (my heart), gets a taste of gratification and uses it to reawaken the drive for gratifying the desires of my body. In other words, the soul part of me takes control of my life and that part of me has the purpose of gratifying my human nature as its driving force.
Remember the triangle of intersecting circles. The top circle is Spirit and beneath it are Body and Soul. The reason Spirit is on the top is because it is the most important. When our Spirit is connected with the Great Spirit (Our Lord Jesus, the Christ) and we are submitted to his will and purposes for our life, the soul and body are contained by the power of Spirit.
In Romans 7 the apostle Paul seems as confused as we are
Paul begins to explain his confusion in Romans chapter 7 verse 14, "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin." We could say, "I know that the law of diet is good, but I am a slave to the appetites of my body."
This led Paul to confusion, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Does that sound familiar? How many times have we said, "I want to get back on track with my diet, but I don't know why it is so hard." In fact, I said that just yesterday!
Then I woke up this morning having an epiphany (well, at least it was new insight). I realized that I was doing diet the way I had always done diet and expecting different results, and you know what that is called. My inspiration was this; I have the BIG Challenge information that has the slogan, "It's more than a diet - it's a holistic approach to a healthy Spirit, Body and Soul."
I had just been focusing on the part that had always failed me about 20-30 pounds into it: The diet! I realized that if I don't change my focus I will continue to have the same results.
The result of this new insight is that I have purposed to take a more balanced approach to a healthy life. My first focus is Spirit. I will (my will - a part of my soul) each and every morning, commit the first fruit of my day to developing a healthy Spirit by submitting my mind, will and emotions (my Soul) to the authority of Jesus, the Christ, and his word.
Once I have re-affirmed that commitment through prayer and meditating on the Word of God, I then spend time thinking on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). As I do that my soul is awakened to Holy Spirit working within my spirit producing a spirit guided life.
Paul gives us the answer
In verse 21 Paul writes, "I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members."
I think he was saying that there is something on the inside which is moving him to do good, but there is another very strong motivation in his body driving him to fulfill his fleshly desires.
All of this pushes him to declare, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
When we have submitted ourselves to the lordship of Christ and our mind set on God's word, then God begins to restore order to our lives and brings harmony to our spirit, soul and body.
When our spirit (our inner person) is submitted to and motivated by God's Spirit, and our mind is set on right thinking, then our soul is going to be motivated to desire what is healthy for the body and the body will be content with the nutrition and exercise it experiences.
This is indeed the Blessed Intersect of the three components which make up our compound self.
The group part of B.I.G.
Another part of my epiphany is this: I need you! That's right, I need you - but you need me too. Hebrews 10:25 tells us, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another." B.I.G. is an acronym for Blessed Intersect Group.
We have seen how that the point of intersect between the overlapping circles is the blessed point. The group factor is also critical because that is where we come together and share our blessings and our challenges. It is where we gain strength and encouragement from one another. We need each other.
If you have not yet become a part of a BIG Challenge group I encourage you to take these steps: 1) become active on the facebook page, "B.I.G. Challenge; 2) Join or start a local group. You only need one or two others to start a group. There is information on how to start a group on the http://www.biblestudydevotions.com site. You will want to check out several places on that site. First check out "B.I.G. Challenge" on the navigation bar in the left column. And you will want to check out "Small Group Bible Study" for information on forming a small group.
We offer many more resources to help you build a holistic healthy lifestyle. Email me for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org