Category: Articles

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 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!

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.

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.

This Key Truth Can Help You Overcome Your Coronavirus Fears

These Scriptures come just before the long list of heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11, which illustrates confidence and endurance. I am always encouraged when I read about these great women and men of faith. They endured, and they received the promise!

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which will be greatly rewarded. For you need patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you will receive the promise” (Heb. 10:35-36).

These testimonies are written and given to us to build hope and encourage us in times of trials in this world. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3, NKJV). This Scripture mentions “various trials” and a testing of your faith. Trials of this world can be found in relationships, finances, sickness and disease, and world events.

A testing of your faith is a spiritual issue, and faith is a spiritual force. As long as we are in this world, there will be trials and tribulations. Jesus told us this in John 16:33 (MEV), “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.'”

Living in this world requires enduring faith. If you can have faith in God’s love to save your soul from hell, why do you stop there? He sent His Word to heal you and deliver you from all destruction (Ps. 107:20).

God is interested in your day-to-day life. If His power is enough to defeat sin and raise His Son from the dead, surely, He can help deliver you from the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. You had enough faith to place your life in His hands; trust Him as you walk the runway of life!

We are not saved because we endured the trials of life. We endure because we had enough confidence in God to ask Him for help! Endurance is evidence of genuine faith.

One day, I was meditating on the Scripture above, Hebrews 10:36 (NKJV), “… for you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise,” when God asked me a question, “Joyce, do you know the will of God?” As I thought about this, rather amazed that He asked this question, I said, “What is the will of God?” He immediately dropped in my heart, “Ask.”

Ask, I thought, that’s it? Immediately the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). In John 15:7 (NKJV, author’s emphasis), He tells us, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

The secret to “asking” is abiding! “If you abide.” When you are abiding, and trials arise in this world, the first thing you do is ask for His help in your time of need. Scripture says, “you will ask.” It is an automatic response to those who are abiding.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15, NKJV, author’s emphasis).

Sometimes, our biggest problem is just not asking! We think God is just going to take care of this, but He said, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24b). When you know and have confidence in God’s love for you and you know the promises of God, asking is an automatic response from the child of God.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” If you are stumbling around in this world, then turn the light up!

These last few weeks of mandatory separation from others have been a time of reflection on myself, my attitudes and my thoughts. Like many others, I never thought I would see anything like this in my country.

I have had the privilege of traveling to many nations of the world and seeing the devastation of wars, sickness and disease, socialism and communism, and suddenly I am seeing fear like I have never seen in the United States.

I believe this will go down in history as a time the church stood strong and saw the salvation of the Lord! I believe God can part the sea of destruction and disease that the enemy has tried to bring to destroy our nation. Let us stand fast, together in unity, where God’s blessings flow!

How God Uses Biblical Testimonies to Change Your Present Reality

“Whatever was written beforehand is meant to instruct us in how to live. The Scriptures impart to us encouragement and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things” (Rom. 15:4, TPT).

I love this Scripture. God spoke to my heart many years ago, “Teach women today from women of yesterday,” and confirmed this word with Romans 15:4.

I love the testimonies in the Word of God about the women (and men) who have walked before us. Jochebed gives me strength in my heart—a woman living in poverty and slavery who had not forgotten the testimonies of what God had done through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. One woman, Jochebed, set the stage for her son, Moses, to lead her nation out of slavery!

What about the testimony of Eve? She did not value God’s Word. She listened to and allowed Satan to tempt her and lost her relationship with God. When she took a bite of the fruit, it exposed what was in her heart.

The good news is that Eve gave birth to another son, Seth. His name means “to establish.” Eve took courage in giving birth to Seth, for she said, “God has granted me another offspring” (Gen. 4:25, MEV). A great offspring this was, for the ancestry of Jesus Christ was to be traced back to the line of Seth!

Eve’s testimony gives us hope as one who can rise above her transgressions.

The testimonies of those who have walked before us are an invaluable inheritance because in each testimony of what God has done, there is a revelation of His nature and His love for the people who are created in His image.

A revelation of God through a testimony has the power to position us to experience God in what He is doing in the present. As I walked through the grocery store this week and saw the empty shelves, the Holy Spirit began to bring to my mind testimonies I had studied in the Bible.

I remember the widow who was cooking the last meal for herself and her son. Elijah just happened to come along, and he told her to make him a small cake first, then he spoke, “‘The barrel of meal will not run out, nor will the jar of oil empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth'” (1 Kings 17:14b). She stepped out in faith and obedience to the word of the Lord, and her household ate for many days. I am so thankful for this testimony that assures me I am not dependent on man for my resources.

David encouraged himself in the Lord. Study the testimonies in the Word of God and receive a prophetic vision of the goodness and faithfulness of God.

Proverbs 29:18 (TPT) says, “When there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.”

The spirit of prophecy changes the present, creating an atmosphere for the release of God’s supernatural power in your life, creating the miracle you need.

Testimonies carry the spirit of prophecy, leading us into the peace Jesus gave us (see John 14:27). In peace, we can hear His voice and follow Him.

Testimonies in the Word of God reveal to us God’s version of history and give us insights on reality from His perspective, which enable us to live supernaturally as a child of God, living this new creation life.

Long before there was a problem in this earth, God had the answer! Remember, He promised to never leave you or forsake you and that nothing could separate you from His love.

Are you fully persuaded that what He has promised He is also able to perform?

Bear This Truth in Mind When You Hate How You Look

Body image and weight issues are two of the most overwhelming issues a person deals with daily. We receive constant reminders on billboards, radio, TV and in the news about what our body should look like and how we are to act. One day we are to be superwoman—the next day, Suzy Homemaker.

We soon find that we are living in a tug-of-war between the world’s unrealistic standard of beauty and God’s reality for our body. When we buy into the world’s unattainable standard of outward beauty we believe a lie of the enemy. When we believe a lie, we empower the liar.

Buying into the world’s unattainable standard of outward beauty is easy to do in today’s world. As we try to gain acceptance by the world’s standard, we find bondage that leads us to discouragement and depression. We have been caught in the snare of the enemy that our happiness depends on our outward beauty.

Your outward condition reflects a deeper inner turmoil. Captivity does not start on your exterior frame. It began deep within and has worked its destruction from the inside out. It starts with seeds from a word, rejection or a disapproving glance. How can you overcome the bondage caused by deep wounds to your heart?

The first step is to understand who you really are. As a child of God there are multiple dimensions of you: You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body (see 1 Thes. 5:23). Your physical body, which you see in a mirror, is the image reflected and projected to others. It is the outer shell that houses the real you, your spirit. Your body can be broken, scarred, wounded, healed and strengthened.

Your soul—your mind, will and emotions is the place of expression of your personality. It houses your thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears. Your will draws information from your mind in making decisions about your body.

The third dimension is your spirit, which is often described as your heart. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This Scripture gives a divine order to our life. Our spirit (heart) should direct our soul and mind, which will guide our physical body. As we keep this divine order—spirit, soul and body—our spirit, which is instantly born again when we receive Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior, will direct our soul and body.

The world is full of information—good and bad. We must discern what is good for us and what is bad. The information from the world tells us the need for change. But only the Word of God can bring transformation to our soul and body.

You are unique, created in the image of God for a purpose. When I accepted my body as He created me, quit comparing myself with others, forgave myself for abusing my body and accepted my responsibility in taking care of my body, change started deep within.

You are so much more than a body. Remember, God looks on the heart. The world judges you by body image. You are not of this world! I thank God every day for my health. I have been blessed even as an overweight person. But I was coming to a point that travel was much harder, and I grew weary in doing good. Like Martha, I had become distracted with busy work for the kingdom and lost the focus of my life, Jesus.

It is impossible to reach the world’s unrealistic standard; they have planned it that way. God leads by the desire of your heart. That desire comes as you abide in His Word (John 15:7). God gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 88 pounds from my body. It did not happen overnight; it’s a lifetime walk. We are learning daily to walk in the Spirit so we will not fulfill the desire of the flesh (see Gal. 5:16).

Weight loss is a byproduct of obedience. As we learn the ways of the kingdom of God, we don’t have to seek success; it will follow us as we follow Him. Ask the Lord to instill desire in you that motivates you in the perspective of eternity, not just day to day. Live for eternity, die to your flesh and represent Him to the best of your ability.

My testimony and walk in this journey of freedom is in my book, Why Diets Don’t Work—Food Is Not the Problem and a workbook designed for individual or group study.  

Joyce Tilney is the founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is an author and a conference speaker. Her books are available on amazon.com.