Friday, August 12, 2005
Weakness Requires Restriction
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand...(Romans 14:1-4)
As my pastor read from this chapter of Romans on Sunday, the Lord dropped an unexpected application in my heart: weakness requires restriction.
This thought or rather things associated with the thought of my weakness and need for restrictions has been swirling around in my mind for the past month or so. It didn't solidify or crystalize until Sunday when the Lord said "weakness requires restriction."
Since I hit the one year mark, I have felt strong urges both to "take it easy" and to be even more diligent. The "more diligent" feelings tend to be stronger. I have just really felt this overwhelming sense of urgency lately...like this is a very crucial time...the choices I make now could either make or break all that has been accomplished over the past year.
I know that God is sovereign and that He alone can sustain me and see the work He has begun to completion...but I also know that it is my submission and humility plays a part, too.
The upshot of all of this is: now is not the time to ease up.
I have been praying about exactly how I need to walk this out...what restrictions need to be made...should I adopt the 40 day plan again...do I need a list at all...should I restrict carbs or snacks or non-food things???
I don't have a clear vision yet...but I know I will. I have acknowledged my weakness (even after a year of victory) and my utter dependance on God and that is always a good place to start.
Then, as a sort of confirmation/blessing, in my reading this morning I read Psalm 32, which has sort of been my theme passage for this whole journey.
32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted awaythrough my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,and I did not cover my iniquity;I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;surely in the rush of great waters,they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;you preserve me from trouble;you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,which must be curbed with bit and bridle,or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Be not like a horse. I love that!
Lord, let my obedience not be out of compulsion or because I am driven to it...but out of humble submission to your authority in my life...out of a confidence in your steadfast love...because I truly trust in your ways. Show me the straight path...the way I should go...and help me to be glad for the protection you are guaranteeing me through your direction and what you lead me to deny myself. Thank you Lord that you are ever present and that you are trustworthy and good. Thank you for your constant and tender care of me. Thank you for what you have done...and what I know you will do!