Author: Joyce Tilney

The Battle for Your Life

We are living in a season that we were not expecting, and it seems to be wearing everyone down.  The bottom line is, we cannot do what we want to do when we want to!

We were enjoying life for the most part, going about our lives without much thought of being prepared for a pandemic to hit our lives!  As a child of God, we are told to be alert!  The enemy roams the earth seeking for an open door!

As a born-again child of God, we have been given uniquely powerful tools to live in this world.   Many of us tend to think of our spiritual life in the context of our church involvement; we are faithful in attendance, volunteer and give money to the church. We confessed our sins and signed for church membership and that’s it.

Our faith is about the basic choices we make every day. It is about the words we use and our relationships. It is about how we manage our resources and how we use our time and talents.

2 Corinthians 11:3 tells us, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

I find it staggering that Eve could be deceived! She lived in a beautiful Garden, God met every need and walked with her and Adam in the Garden. Sin was unknown. Paul was concerned that we would be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  Paul clearly tells us, “it is our minds that can be corrupted!” This should make us stop and think!

Our minds are linked with our emotions and influence our choices. The mind is both a battleground and the key to transformation. Our mind must be trained to think from heaven to earth. It does not come by chance; it takes work and intentionality.

Eve had a fatal attraction; she set her mind on one tree. She had been warned about the tree and knew the consequences, but her appetite won!

Do you understand the power of appetite?  Appetite is a desire to satisfy any bodily need or craving, an appetite for food, power, or pleasure. Addictions are overrunning our world. Addiction to food, drugs,  alcohol, tobacco, porn and gambling to name a few. Addiction starts in our mind.

Eve was willing to risk death to eat from the forbidden tree.  She wanted wisdom and all she had to do was ask God for it.  Esau was also caught at a vulnerable moment, but if he had valued what was his he would not have chosen to satisfy his flesh over receiving a Spiritual blessing later.

Eve could not remove the tree, but she had a choice to remove herself from the presence of the tree. David looked on Bathsheba and allowed lust to fill his heart. Solomon married foreign women and allowed their gods within his home. Yes, the power of appetite has taken over the lives of many as they submitted to it.

There are many examples for us in the Word of God for our learning.  We must value the testimonies in the Word of God, they are to teach us how to live in this world. (Romans 15:4).

Satan’s target is your mind because that is the only entrance he has access to. If we are not sincere in our faith and pure in our devotion to God, we are open to the enemy just like Eve was.

I believe this season of our life is giving us the opportunity to look deep within our hearts and repent where we have allowed a lax attitude in our priorities in life to turn more towards the world for the pleasures of this life.

You must understand the struggle that is going on and where that battle is fought; it is in your mind as Paul warned us. Public officials cannot resolve the problems facing us today because they are spiritual issues.

We must create an environment around us that supports us and where we can hear the voice of the Lord. That is our only safety net! He has promised to lead us beside still waters, to restore our soul and prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies.

Have you ever thought, what would Jesus say to us in the middle of this pandemic, riots and total chaos in the world system? Why are you afraid? Are you reading the Word of God, wearing the helmet of salvation and using the sword of the Spirit? Are you decreeing my Word into the darkness?  Did you think I would leave you and forsake you? Is my shed blood not enough?

We must understand what happened in the Garden of Eden and what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane to build our Garden of Life in this earth!

The Holy Spirit is your helper and only by the grace of God can we build a wall of protection to guard our heart and mind as we walk the runway of life. You must always fight the good fight of faith and be alert.  Remember, it is a “fixed” fight, we win!

The tools we have been given—prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and the authority of Jesus’ name on the lips of His children can change the course of human history, but to be effective they must be used! Read and study Ephesians 6:10-18 to learn about your spiritual weapons.

 

How to Slay the Giant of Obesity

What giants are keeping you from a happy, healthy life?

Everyone, saint and sinner, knows that David, the shepherd boy, won the battle with the giant Goliath. We always love to cheer for the underdog!

As we walk in the light, living in a dark world, we are going to face many giants. Persecution, trials and the tribulations of life are guaranteed, so it is not a question of if, but how we face them.

 There is a giant in the church today that is destroying health, killing dreams and stealing the potential of God’s people. This giant, obesity and out-of-control appetites, has grown to epidemic  levels, and everyone is talking, trying to find answers.

The enemy has not changed his tactics since the Garden. He is still tempting people to take one more bite! One more bite leads to food addictions that are very hard to break. The world is making money on “a new magic cure for weight loss” and making sure that as we eat their processed foods we become addicted to the taste and not the need for nutrition.

For years, I was on the roller coaster, riding the scales up and down, struggling with guilt and shame, feeling helpless to stay in control. After giving up and coming to the conclusion I would never try one of the world’s new magic cures again, the Lord stepped in.

While visiting a friend, I looked up to see a sign and it simply stopped me in my tracks. It said, “The devil wants you fat!” This hit me right in my heart. I hate the devil, and the last thing I wanted to do was make him happy. I realized that I had a lot of emotional baggage from my weight problem. I had seen the devil try to kill and steal from my family with drugs and alcohol, but I had not seen the truth: that I was addicted to food.

We are dependent on food. God not only created us to need food, but also that we would enjoy food. Eating should be pleasurable while we are benefiting from the nutrition we receive from it.

Food has served the devil well over the years. It started in the Garden, and we can see that for generations food has been a stumbling block. Esau sold his birthright for food. Psalm 78:18 tells us, “They [the children of Israel] willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved” (NIV).

Food is fast overtaking smoking as the No. 1 cause of preventable disease. The problem is when we become emotionally dependent on food to cope with everyday life. When food becomes our source of joy and comfort, it becomes an addiction that traps us and holds us in bondage.

Most Christians don’t drink or smoke, so we feel we have the right to eat. The potluck has been one of our trademarks for fellowship. Unfortunately, the potluck has gotten out of hand and packed the pounds on our body to kill, steal and destroy our health, our mental strength and our emotional stability.

How did this young, unimpressive shepherd boy slay a giant whom everyone in the army was afraid of? He had confidence in the power and protection of God and fought with the strength of the Lord! We must understand that there is a power greater than our taste buds.

Food disorder, whether anorexia or obesity, brings disease to our body and soul—disease that is debilitating to our bodies and depression that clouds our minds, brings death and defeat, and is one of the chief weapons of the enemy. We pray for healing in our bodies but refuse to pick up our cross of out-of-control eating. We have refused to discipline ourselves and have filled our minds with the trash of the world.

I love the question that David asked when his brothers questioned why he was there: “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam. 17:29, NKJV). I challenge you with this same question: Is there not a cause? If you are serious about the Great Commission, there is a cause. How can we go into all the world and preach the gospel when we are bound to a food addiction or any other addiction? All we can do is get to the refrigerator.

Please hear my heart. I know the struggle, the hurt and the heartache of overcoming an addiction.

I thank God that I had a shock of reality: “The devil wants you fat!” Now, three years later and 80 pounds lighter,it is still a daily walk. Has the journey been easy?  NO! I still have to make daily decisions and still fighting for 20 more pounds!

 Only by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit can we defeat the power of the enemy that  steal, kill and destroy!

How Much Do You Value Your Kingdom Citizenship?

“But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).

The Bible tells us that we are aliens, strangers on the earth. Jesus is ultimately going to establish His kingdom with His values on earth. As born-again children of God, we are given the power and privilege of leaving the world’s flawed value system and living for eternity.

But at this time, we are living in a sin-filled world where we are not only overcoming the temptation of sin in our personal lives, but we can see the impact of sin all around us.

Our family moved to the United Kingdom, where we lived for 12 years. When I took my first drive on the wrong side of the street, my first roundabout, I was hanging on to the steering wheel for dear life.

I had gone out to get bread for my family. I was quite pleased to find a parking space right in front of the store. After shopping, I left the store to discover a policeman standing next to my car writing out a ticket. I approached him and asked what he was doing, and he said, “You broke the law. You have no right to park here.”

I tried to explain that I had just moved to the U.K., and he said, “I don’t care where you came from, the laws of the United States don’t protect you in the United Kingdom, and ignorance is no excuse!”

That hurt! But I have never forgotten those words, “Ignorance is no excuse.” I told him I was sorry and promised to study the rules of the road for the U.K. I was a citizen of the U.S., but I was living in the U.K., and I had to learn the laws of the land where I was now living.

When God grants us citizenship in the kingdom of heaven, we become “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17). We become citizens of an eternal kingdom where our Father is the King! He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirits, and our bodies become His temple. His goal is to make us as much like Jesus as possible in this life. As we learn to submit our thoughts and ways to Him, the Holy Spirit begins to transform our hearts to glorify God, our Father in heaven.

Our focus turns toward eternal things and storing up treasures in heaven. We are reaching out for something different than the people who are not in Christ, and this means we have another set of values with different goals to attain in this world.

We are finding His ways are higher than the world’s ways. Forgiveness releases us from our past and we now have the power to forgive others who have hurt and betrayed us. This allows us to walk in the freedom of joy and peace in this earth. We do not have to live under the bondage of others, trying to get even.

We must remember, our eyes have been opened to the ways of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 13:11). Anyone living on this earth who has not accepted Jesus cannot see the kingdom principles that we now live in. If you have not been awakened to this fact, I urge you to step back and evaluate how you are spending your time, who you associate with and how you view the world you are living in. Do you have the peace of God in your heart that comes with being a citizen of heaven?

We are in this world for now, but my citizenship is in heaven. I’m just passing through this world, but I live with my ultimate destination with the Lord firmly fixed in my heart and mind.

We live for a short time in these physical bodies, joyfully anticipating our future in our real home. I value my citizenship in heaven, and daily seek to know God and His principles. His principles are far above the laws of this land; they teach us how to live in this world as we prepare for our eternal home.

The Word of God tells us very plainly why we stumble in this world. Hosea 4:6a tells us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you love God and value your citizenship, the only way you can know Him and be led by the Holy Spirit is reading and meditating on His Word. Joshua 1:8 (NLT) gives clear directions for achieving success in this life, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Eve did not value the Word of God and believed a lie. She was in a perfect location physically, but still fell into sin because she believed a lie! When you believe a lie, you empower the liar. You must know the truth to discern a lieAll sin starts with a lie!

As we walk the runway of life, we must keep our focus on our true citizenship and eternal destination, sharing in Abraham’s experience: living “like a stranger in a foreign country … looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:9-10, NIV).

What does God really think about women?

I’m always amazed as I travel and minister that I still have women coming to me saying they are not accepted because they are a woman! “My church won’t let me preach or teach or pray for people. They only let me serve in the kitchen or clean the church.” I always say, “You need to look to God, not man, for open doors for your gift.

What does God really think about women?

Long before He formed the woman’s physical body from the rib of man, He had her in His heart. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth'” (Gen. 1:26-28).

In the New Testament we find the man, Paul, whom some quote as being against women, saying, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

It is very important to understand the beginning of mankind. Women, you are not an afterthought. You were clearly in God’s heart before He formed you according to Scripture. Women have graced this earth with insight, sensitivity and beauty, spiritually and physically. Eve entered the physical world not in a dominant or subservient role, but equal to man. “Let them” is repeated several times in Genesis.

It was God who said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). God created woman and brought her to man! Adam had nothing to do with her creation other than taking a nap!

When God formed woman, He took the feminine, the nurturing and tenderness of His nature that had already been breathed into Adam, and gave woman those strengths. Man was left with the stewardship of the earth; to guide, guard and govern; the disciplinarian, the tough one.

When we begin to understand how God originally created men and women, and the uniqueness that was placed within each one, then we begin to comprehend the problems we are facing in the world today. Men and women both have a uniqueness that needs to be fulfilled.

Unfortunately, religion has twisted the scriptures to their ideal to lift up men. In the Jewish culture, women were not treated much better than their Roman and Greek sisters. We know that God used women in the Old Testament with great influence, but in general, women were considered a commodity. Women were not permitted to learn, to speak to men in public, even to her own husband.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and to restore God’s original design for men and women and their purpose in this world. When Jesus saw women crushed and hidden behind closed doors, He flung the door wide open! He took these abused female image bearers and put them center stage to play leading roles in God’s redemptive plan for the world.

God made the way for mankind, including women. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12). You, men and women, are children of God if you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

No wonder women followed Jesus. He satisfied their uniqueness as women. He treated them as peers, and joint-heirs with Him. God created man and woman to be unique; and where that is impaired there is division, and division opens the doorway for deception.

Walk in your uniqueness as a Woman and Man of God. You are to honor God with the life He created in you. Men feel they have to perform and women feel they have to conform, but God says we are both to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. When we honor each other as we function in our divine purpose, God commands His blessing.

I thank God every day that my husband has given me the freedom to develop the gift that God has imparted within my spirit. He has encouraged me in every step of my ministry and supported me in everything God has called me to do. Have we had some disagreements? How can two become one without a few good disagreements, and yes, a little shouting!

The Silent Goliath in the Church

Everyone, saint and sinner, knows that David, the shepherd boy, won the battle with the giant Goliath! We always love to cheer for the underdog! As we walk in the light, living in a dark world, we are going to face many giants. Persecution, trials and the tribulations of life are guaranteed, so it is not a question of if, but how we face them.

There is a giant in the church today that is destroying health, killing dreams and stealing the potential of God’s people. This giant, obesity and out-of-control appetites, has grown to epidemic levels and everyone is talking, trying to find answers.

The enemy has not changed his tactics since the Garden of Eden. He is still tempting people to take one more bite! One more bite leads to food addictions that are very hard to break. The world is making money on “a new magic cure for weight loss,” and making sure that as we eat their processed foods we become addicted to the taste and not the need for nutrition.

For years I was on the roller coaster riding the scales up and down, struggling with guilt and shame, feeling helpless to stay in control. After giving up and coming to the conclusion I would never try one of the world’s new magic cures again, the Lord stepped in.

 

While visiting a friend, I looked up to see a sign and it simply stopped me in my tracks! “The devil wants you fat!” This hit me right in my heart. I hate the devil and the last thing I wanted to do was make him happy. I realized that I had a lot of emotional baggage from my weight problem. I had seen the devil try to kill and steal from my family with drugs and alcohol, but I had not seen the truth, that I was addicted to food.

We are dependent on food. God not only created us to need food, but also that we would enjoy food. Eating should be pleasurable while we are benefiting from the nutrition we receive from it.

Food has served the devil well over the years. It started in the garden, and we can see that for generations food has been a stumbling block. Esau sold his birthright for food. Psalm 78:18 tells us, “They (the people of Israel) tested God in their heart by demanding the food that they craved.”

Food is fast overtaking smoking as the No. 1 cause of preventable disease. The problem is when we become emotionally dependent on food to cope with everyday life. When food becomes our source of joy and comfort, it becomes an addiction that traps us and holds us in bondage.

Most Christians don’t drink or smoke so we feel we have the right to eat! The potluck has been one of our trademarks for fellowship. Unfortunately, the potluck has gotten out of hand and packed the pounds on our body to kill, steal and destroy our health, our mental strength and our emotional stability.

How did this young, unimpressive shepherd boy slay a giant whom everyone in the army was afraid of? He had confidence in the power and protection of God and fought with the strength of the Lord! We must understand that there is a power greater than our taste buds!

Food disorder, whether anorexia or obesity, brings disease to our body and soul—disease that is debilitating to our bodies and depression that clouds our minds, brings death and defeat and is one of the chief weapons of the enemy. We pray for healing in our bodies but refuse to pick up our cross of out-of-control eating. We have refused to discipline ourselves and have filled our minds with the trash of the world.

I love the question that David asked when his brothers questioned why he was there: “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam. 17:29, NKJV). I challenge you with this question: “Is there not a cause?” If you are serious about the Great Commission, there is a cause. How can we go into all the world and preach the gospel when we are bound to a food addiction or any other addiction? All we can do is get to the refrigerator.

Please hear my heart. I know the struggle, the hurt and the heartache of overcoming an addiction.

I thank God that I had a shock of reality: “The devil wants you fat!” Now, three years later and 88 pounds lighter, I can enjoy my life and share the Good News of Jesus with the world. Truly, Jesus is the answer, He is the author and finisher of our faith, and only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we conquer the giants in our life.

God knows where you are and if you are ready to destroy the giants in your land. He tests your faith so you will know if you are ready to slay the giants. (Charisma archives)

The Key to Passing the Test of Faith

“Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matt. 13:11, NKJV).

A mystery is a truth to be revealed. As a child of God we thrive on revelation. John tells us that the truth will set you free. As always there is that little word with significant meaning. Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32, NKJV).

If you abide in My word, you will know the truth. Only the truth, the mystery that is revealed to you, will set you free. Until we receive the revelation of the truth, we will go around that mountain one more time! It is time to turn, go north. That is what the Lord spoke to the children of Israel. “You have skirted this mountain long enough; turn northward” (Deuteronomy 2:3, NKJV).

Conversion gives you the ability to see. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, NKJV). Jesus also told the disciples in John 16:7 that you have an advantage over the world, and the Helper will come to guide you into all truth. Read John, chapters 14, 15 and 16. It is just as important for you as it was for the disciples when Jesus was preparing them for His departure.

In Ephesians 1:15-17, Paul says, “After I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, [I] do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Notice, it was after he heard of their faith. He knew they now had the ability “to see.”

When you embrace mystery in one hand and revelation in the other one, you are on your way to building a life full of faith and walking in the promises of God. That is where you live, at the corner of mystery and revelation! You must read the Word, meditate the Word, ask for revelation of the Word and then you will live the Word and experience the promises in your life!

In Exodus 23:29-30 (NIV), the Lord told the children of Israel, “But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”

God knows where you are and if you are ready to destroy the giants in your land. He tests your faith so you will know if you are ready to slay the giants. James 1:2-3 (NKJV) says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Various trials are in the world. They come in relationships, finances, health and matters of everyday life you face in the world. Faith is a spiritual force. James is talking about your faith being tested so you will know where you are. Are you able to slay the giants?

The “key” to this testing is found in James 1, verse 12, NKJV: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” Blessed is the man who endures temptation, not the man who endured the trial or test.

The temptation for the child of God is to doubt God’s Word. If you have a revelation of the promises, you will stand tall and walk in faith and see the end intended by the Lord (see James 5:11).

Time is your most valuable asset, and choice is your only real freedom. When you choose to invest a small amount of time, over time it will bring increase in areas that matter most! God is looking for men and women of God to be intentional and consistent in learning to navigate the pain and disappointments of life.

Finding the Rhythm of Life

I love the Lord, go to church and study the Word, but sometimes things just don’t seem to click.

Jesus promised us an abundant life.  He told us to be of good cheer, He had overcome the world. One day as I was meditating on some things in my life, things that I didn’t understand, I heard a whisper in my heart,  “Find the rhythm of life.”

After meditating on this for months, little by little I began to feel like I was beginning to get a glimpse of that rhythm. I had fallen into a trap, I was busy doing the Lord’s work, but I had neglected my time with Him.

The Holy Spirit began to bring to my remembrance scriptures that I had hidden in my heart years before. One was 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (nlt): “ Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”

We are to keep our whole spirit, soul and body blameless.   I realized in that moment how each area affects the others and that our spirit, soul and body had to flow together in “rhythm” so we would not stumble and fall in life.

It is hard to get out of bed a little early to read the Bible and have some quiet time when you are totally exhausted because you have not taken care of your body, have not exercised, eaten a healthy diet and  are stressed out over money.  It is also hard to be a positive influence on your family and friends when you are discouraged, depressed and disappointed, a reflection of an unhealthy soul.

After serving the Lord on the mission field and traveling to the nations for several years, everything in my life seemed to collapse.  I could not cope with my life. I was totally exhausted, I had no desire to study the Word of God and I felt totally alone. What happened?

After a year in this condition, the Lord sent an “angel” to tell me that God loved me.  I had never met the woman face-to-face, but I had encouraged her with a letter after reading her book.  She was cleaning her desk one day and found the letter I had sent. God spoke clearly to her, “Call her and tell her I love her.”  When I heard those words, I began to weep and the healing process started in my heart.  God had not forgotten me.

I had gained 75 pounds during this time, and  now I was fighting guilt and condemnation in this image-obsessed world.  I cried out to the Lord for help.  “Lord, I need a word from You.”  I love to hear God’s voice, and I knew that Jesus said that His sheep follow Him because they hear His voice (John 10:4,27).

One day the Lord spoke, “Break the habit.”  I knew immediately what He meant –  my food habit.  From that day He began to reveal to me how I had to walk in unity with myself to conquer this battle.  I had to pursue health in my spirit, soul and body to overcome in this world.  I had to keep my temple strong and take care of it, so I had the strength to renew my soul and build a strong spirit.

I believe that is what is missing in this “diet-crazed, body-imaged world,”  which has crept into the Church.

The devil has always used food to destroy God’s people. Why can’t we stop eating when we know certain foods are not good for us? Why does all the information about health seem to go right over our head?  You cannot fix a spiritual problem with a natural solution.  Food addiction is fast overtaking smoking to being the number one cause of death from a preventable disease.

One day, I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat!”  My heart was pierced.  The last thing I wanted to do was please the devil.  “God,” I cried, “please forgive me for not taking care of my body.”  When I submitted my food problem to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out, and took 90 pounds from my body.

  I had found the rhythm of life! My spirit, soul and body had

to walk in unity to overcome in this world.

When Jesus promised us abundant life, it was not an abundance of things; it was an abundance of  joy, peace and righteousness. Romans 14:17 says, For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (NLT).

 

The Simple Way to Access Your Free Heavenly Treasures

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7).

Though we are born again through faith in Christ, we still have the same physical body. We know that if our earthly house, this tent, were to be destroyed, we have an eternal building of God in the heavens, a house not made with hands” (2 Cor. 5:1).

As a new creation in Christ, we still live in the framework of ordinary human lives. Yes, we are “earthen vessels,” frail, vulnerable, inadequate, originally fashioned from dust.

We have been likened to clay pots (see Job 10:9). The Lord fully understands our makeup, and the Lord does not expect anything from us but to be a container for a heavenly treasure. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, the excellency of the power being from God and not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:7).

When Jesus was preparing the disciples for His departure in John Chapters 14-16, He knew what they were facing, and He knew they were fragile earthen vessels and they needed help! Read and study these verses in John, because you and I need help walking in this world.

John 14:16-17 (NKJV) says: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you..” This truth assures us that we are never alone.

How will the Holy Spirit help us? “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:25-26). Once again, Jesus uses the word “Helper” to describe the promise of the Father. He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance the Word that you need to face any temptation or challenge you face in this world.

In John 16:7, Jesus once again confirms to the disciples He is leaving, but they will not be alone. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” The disciples were full of grief that Jesus was leaving. He was their leader, He was the way maker, the miracle worker!

Jesus understood their feelings. He explains more about the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives in John 16:12-14 (MEV): “I have yet many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive from Me and will declare it to you.”

These verses are full of amazing promises, Jesus wants to tell them more, but He understands where they are. He also understands where you are in your daily walk with God. You and I, as born-again children of God, have the same promise of the Holy Spirit, a treasure in our earthen vessel!

The bottom line is quite simple: We need help as we walk the runway of life!

First Corinthians 2:12 tells us, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.”

The Word of God is full of treasures waiting to be discovered. We have been given everything for life and godliness through the promises in God’s Word (See 2 Pet. 1-3). These treasures are not hidden from us, but for us so that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God!

You, child of God, have Someone living in you who knows the will of God for your life! You are invited to a friendship with this treasure that is within you. You don’t have to stumble in this world. All you have to do is ask!

John 16:24 says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

God’s plan is to impart heavenly treasures into ordinary earthen vessels so that the attention will go to the contents, not the container, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

The Effect Words Have on Your Eating Habits

“The devil wants you fat!” When I read these words, they pierced my heart.

These words were a jolt to my mind. It became very real to me in that moment what was going on in my life. I hate the devil, and the last thing I wanted was to please him.  There is no doubt about it, the devil wants you fat!

The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance John 10:10, “The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

For years I had struggled with the roller-coaster ride of weight issues, fighting all the emotional ups and downs that go with this battle. There is much information today on obesity, but as a nation, we get fatter and fatter. Information shows us the need for change, but transformation gives us a desire to change. The power to change comes from the One who created us.

In this moment, when I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat,” I had an  immediate, burning desire  in my heart to change. It was a moment that brought  repentance and an awareness that I was responsible and accountable for  the way I had cared for my body.

Once I surrendered my food addiction to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 90 pounds from my body. Yes, I said “addiction.” I did not realize until that moment that I was addicted to food. I had seen members in my family with addiction to alcohol and drugs, but it had not occurred to me that I was addicted to food, and the enemy was using this to destroy my health and well-being. Unlike alcohol and drugs, we must have food to survive. It is what the enemy used in the Garden to tempt Eve, so why should we be surprised that he is still using the temptation of our hunger for his benefit to steal, kill and destroy?

The enemy also tempted Jesus with food. Jesus had been fasting, and when He came off the fast, He was hungry. Satan tempted Him saying, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3). Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” (Luke 4:4b). Job 23:12b says, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”

“For the word of God alive and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). The Word has the power to bring deliverance to you and cut asunder the thick cords of the enemy. When you study the Word, receive a revelation of the Word and speak the Word, the enemy and his temptations have no power over you!

The food industry also knows how they can cause us to become addicted to food cravings. The Holy Spirit led me to study nutrition. I became aware how certain foods affected my body. I strongly urge you to study how chemicals that have been added to foods to stimulate our taste buds, strip their nutritional value and cause cravings that demand our attention.

Dan. 10:19b says, “When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'” I needed strength! I had a word from the Lord, but I knew this battle was not in the physical world but a spiritual battle against the principalities and powers of the world.

As I began this journey, the Lord spoke several different words that gave me strength to face the battle. One of those words was, “When you get a revelation of the purpose of your body, you will not abuse it.” I immediately remembered 1 Cor. 6:19: “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own?”

“Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it …” (Prov. 16:22). Understanding gives us wisdom and strength to walk in obedience to the Word of God. Obedience is the key; weight loss is a side benefit! He has prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Ps. 23, 34:8).

Denying the Flesh: Break the Habit of Reckless Eating

“Break the Habit.” This was the word the Lord spoke to my heart as I earnestly sought Him for direction in my weight battle.

I had a bad habit of eating the wrong food at the wrong time. I did not “think” about what I was eating or when I was eating. I ate to stop the craving that screamed for my attention. I had opened the door to the enemy through my eating habits and he was happy to take advantage of the situation, planting seeds of thoughts about food until I was totally addicted to certain foods. The cravings were consistently screaming in my head to be fed.

At this time, a big change had come into my life and I was having trouble adjusting to the change. During this time, I gained 75 pounds! I was shocked when I stepped on the scales! I cried out to the Lord, “I need your help!” In His great love and mercy He spoke to my heart, “break the habit.” I knew this was my eating habit.

Food addiction becomes a habit when we eat wrong foods that create cravings that we find impossible to stop in our own strength. A habit is a constant, often unconscious inclination to perform some act acquired through its frequent repetition, an established trend of the mind or character. I soon found out that it is not easy to break a habit and that the enemy is not happy about giving up his territory.

In Romans 7:15, Paul shares about a struggle he was having, “…For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I have, that I do” (NLT). I have heard many people say, “if Paul couldn’t control his flesh, how can I?”

Keep reading! Romans 8:1-2 (MSG) “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.

“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.”

As a child of God we have a helper. Jesus knew what we were going to face in this world. He came to show us the way and to learn from His walk in this world. He did not forsake us but gave us the assurance to walk the runway of life. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). We have an advantage over the world; we have a helper.

Paul received a revelation, the Spirit of life in Christ, brings freedom to us and breaks the yoke of bondage.

Revelation is the language of the Spirit. We thrive on receiving revelation of the knowledge of God. As Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-18 (NKJV), we must ask for “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

Paul recognized he was practicing a habit he hated and felt powerless to stop. In his own power he could do nothing, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, his helper, he could overcome any trial that tried to destroy his joy and peace.

As I changed my focus from food and weight, the Lord spoke quietly in my spirit one day, “when you receive a revelation of the purpose of your body, you will not abuse it.” Immediately, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

My body was created in His image and was the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. I carried the message of Christ, the gospel of peace in my body! I had been fearlessly and wonderfully made. His thoughts are precious towards me. I began to meditate on Psalm 139 and Philippians 1:20 that Christ would be magnified in my body.

The revelation from these Scriptures gave me the strength to make the choice that I would glorify God in my body and spirit. When I surrendered my food addiction to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 80 pounds from my body.

You can read this battle plan in my book, Why Diets Don’t Work—Food Is Not the Problem. The problem is the daily choices that we make. Right choices activate your faith in God to bring deliverance to your challenges of life.

You are made for more. You are not created to survive and be in bondage to anything. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4)

Join the Walk! “…Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).