So the other day I thought it would be fun to ask my Facebook friends if anyone had any blog topic requests. I got one response (thanks, Trudy!) and it was meant to be a silly one. She said, “Fast weight loss for women 40 and older.” Little does she know that I’ve actually thought of the analogies between weight loss and growing in the Lord before.
We’ll take out the specifics of gender and age, though. Almost everyone wants to lose weight. And as Trudy pointed out, we all want a way to do it fast. We want a fast track to being slim, trim and maybe even gain a muscle or two.
I don’t how many diets have been peddled over the years, hundreds, thousands? There is the Cabbage Soup diet, the low fat diet, the low carb diet, the high carb diet, the cookie diet, the grapefruit diet, the maple syrup diet, the Apple Cider Vinegar diet, and there are even people who resort to ingesting tapeworms to eat up their calories before their bodies do. Hm.
But when all is said and done, what healthy weight loss really comes down to is always two things: eating fewer calories and exercising. But for some reason many people would rather skirt around the real issue in favor of one fad diet after another, chasing after the promises of quick weight loss. I think our flesh just wants to find that magical way to lose weight and eat chocolate chip cookies at the same time.
And I think a lot of believers in Christ do the same thing in their relationship with the Lord. Some continue to work their way to God’s love through works. There are some who believe that in order to know God you have to manifest the Holy Spirit by laughing or barking like a dog. There are some people who allow themselves to be pulled into any group of people that meets in a building on Sunday morning simply because something “new” is going on there, or the teacher is highly charismatic, thinking that must mean that the Holy Spirit is present, even if the teaching doesn’t line up with God’s Word. There are even some people who will get caught up in what amounts to be a cult in their quest to know God. Maybe you haven’t done anything so extreme. Maybe you’ve simply gotten caught up in the world and day to day living and wonder why the light of your faith is down to a flicker, if that.
When all is said and done, what a healthy relationship with God comes down to is always two things: praying and reading God’s Word.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
But for one reason or another, those are not enough for some. And again, I think it comes down to the fact that those same people want to find a way to “be spiritual” and still satisfy their flesh.
But the way to know the Spirit is not through the flesh but by the spirit - by one on one communication with the Lord.
And the ironic thing, is that whether a person is looking to lose weight or draw closer to God, the “quick” tangents will actually lead a person away from their intended goal; but the steady, consistent pace of the things which are necessary will be the most successful. The wise turtle wins the race.
I’d also like to add that just as a person who is trying to lose weight is much more successful when they have the support, encouragement and accountability of others, so believers in Christ are much more successful in their walk when they have the support, encouragement and accountability of other believers. And that means regular fellowship at a good Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, worshipping body of believers.
The thing I love is that no matter what we were doing last week, or yesterday, today is a new day. We can choose to walk with the Lord by the means He has given us – daily prayer and the reading of His Word.
And really, how much more exciting can it get that we have an open door to talk to the God Who created the Universe and that we have the privilege of reading His written Word - His love letter to each one of us?