Let’s just dive right in today and talk about why Christian women get stuck and can't succeed at their fitness goals and find worth. I want you to know about them so you can spot them, overcome them, and when they come up against you, you have a battle plan to win!
Here are three things that will come against you as a Christian trying to get fit, so let's hit them head-on, deal?
Confusion causes legalistic religious attitudes about self-care and dismisses any focus on your health and fitness as vanity. To address the vanity issue head-on, let's look at the Biblical definition of vanity. The key word in Ecclesiastes is vanity," the futile emptiness of trying to be happy apart from God." The preacher, traditionally taken to be Solomon-the wisest, richest, most influential king in Israel's history, looks at life under the sun and, from the human perspective, declares it all to be empty.
Power, popularity, prestige, pleasure – nothing can fill the God-shaped void in a man's life but God himself! But once seen from God's perspective, life takes on a new meaning and purpose, causing Solomon to exclaim, eat, drink, rejoice, do good, live joyfully, fear God, and keep His commandments! Skepticism and despair melt away when life is viewed as a daily gift from God.
I want to point out how this intro of Ecclesiastes says vanity is the futile and unsuccessful attempt at being happy apart from God. This is exactly why God must be the center of our lives, including our fitness. But when we go it alone and think if we lost weight or looked a certain way, we'd be happy, this is why it hasn't worked. We can do nothing apart from God.
Fitness without God is, according to Ecclesiastes, vanity, but when it is with God, it's not. Unfortunately, this vanity issue has caused many of us to think it's okay not to take care of our bodies, but that is not God's will.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Tells us," Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy."
If you need to get out from under a legalistic cloud of "It's vain to take care of your body," write down that scripture and ask God to do a new thing in you. Tell Him you want to be fit so you can do what He has called you to, to feel alive, motivated, energetic, and free in your body to go after the mission He has assigned you boldly.
Takeaway, We all have a God-shaped hole that only God can fill, and fitness has left a gaping hole in many of us. So let Him fill you with security, peace about your body, the right heart, motivation, wisdom, and self-control so you can live your best life for Him.
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Let's talk about something that hurts our fitness, rejection. I think you'll be surprised by the harshest source of rejection…
1 Peter 2:4 says come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious. Have you been rejected? Does the way you look make you feel rejected? Our emotional response to rejection is painfully deep and because it's one of our deepest human fears,"
The opposite of rejection is acceptance, which our hearts long for, iBelieve wrote, "Do you ever long for approval? I do. Sometimes I fear the real me isn't enough and I'll be rejected. I want to be seen with all my weaknesses and flaws, including all the gunk I hide deep inside, and still be wanted and valued. Acceptance means to be received as I am. Not having to achieve or prove anything or meet someone's expectations. It's the freedom to be me, and that's enough."
"God sees us as we are, loves us as we are, and accepts us as we are. But by His grace, He does not leave us as we are." — Timothy Keller
Rejection causes us to shrink back, play small, and live in our minds. It is not from God! Rejection from others is one thing, but there's a worse rejection. It's self-rejection. Self-rejection is a form of self-sabotage people often resort to achieving perfection. People who self-reject themselves often believe they are not good enough or do not deserve the things they have. Self-judgment is a common and powerful form of self-rejection. Are you aware of how you feel when you judge yourself? It creates feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and/or anger.
Can you see how this fits into fitness? No one can maintain perfect eating and working out and look perfect, so instead of rejecting yourself, remember Jesus welcomes and accepts us just as we are right now. If you've been rejected, I feel your pain more than you will ever know. To be honest, I was rejected last week by a huge opportunity. They said yes at first, and then they said no. I immediately felt the Holy Spirit say shake the dust off your feet. And I literally shook each leg at a time. We need to shake off rejection from others, and especially ourselves. Practice accepting yourself as you are right now; Jesus does. It will hinder your fitness if you don't accept yourself now and continue rejecting yourself.
I learned something about myself, I'm only sharing because God freed me of it, and I think it can help you. If you self-sabotage, do you know why you do it? This is the hard work Jesus did in me. He showed me I did it because I wanted to control the outcome. In fitness, it looks like this; you don't believe you deserve to reach your goal, so you eat a bunch of junk or skip your workouts, sabotaging your success by controlling the outcome.
Take authority, pause when you feel self-rejection or self-sabotage, and turn to the Word. The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy you. He hates you, so he will tempt you with the comfort of sabotaging you.
Titus 2:12 says to train us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. I think this point is of specific importance because, as a Christian seeking worldly answers can cause us to live in confusion, we get stuck not knowing what to do, we doubt or fear that what we're doing won't work, we don't have peace, and that's because we left God out of it.
Take authority! Shift your mindset from turning to the world and instead turn to God. Examine your eating, workouts, how you see yourself, and your body.
Is Jesus at the center of it all?
- Take thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:2
- Renew our minds in the Word of God Romans 12:2
- Try Godly healthy whole living with the Fit God's Way 7 Ws
I created a Simple formula, found in my new book Fit God's Way, and you can get the daily steps by downloading the free guide at http://fitgoddsway.com.
Jesus loves you so much that He wants to do life with you, and without His help, life can feel overwhelming and impossible. We need Jesus in our day-to-day- life, at our jobs when we are choosing what to eat, trying to find the proper workout, as we work to be godly wives, mothers, and friends, and while serving our communities.
When you see these 3 coming against you, I hope you take authority by turning to God, rooting your identity in Him, and holding onto your peace and confidence, knowing that what has been impossible for you is possible for Him.
Before you go, let's pray.
Father God, we take authority. We take our temples back by standing in your presence and falling on our knees. We pray the blood of Jesus over our minds to be filled with the truth and freedom He died to give us.
Test our hearts, and create the right heart motives within us. Help us spot the deceitfulness of the enemy- the lies we believe- the confusion, and the legalism. Give us clarity and wisdom that we are accepted in You, and we are not rejected. Show us we can do all things through Christ Jesus, who gives us strength.
In Jesus' name, Amen!
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