Do we have cravings, or do cravings have us? Here Lysa TerKeurst offers encouragement and tips for when beating our cravings feels like a pipe dream.
If you don't have issues with food, I think you'll be surprised at how relevant Made to Crave is for you, too. Lysa's writing plumbs the heights and depths of our craving hearts. (Excerpt from Made to Crave Devotional: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food.)
- Adam Forrest, Zondervan
From Made to Crave Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst
There are days I don't feel victorious. Like the day when the upstairs toilet clogged and flooded my kitchen ceiling. Or the day I got stuck in traffic, yelled at my kids, and missed an important meeting. Those are the days when my long-term goals to get healthy don't feel as important as my need for immediate comfort. I just want to blow my healthy eating plan out of frustration with something gooey, sweet, and cream laden.
I bet you've had something occur this week that doesn't make you feel very victorious either. A sick child, a missed deadline, tension in a friendship, or a number on the scale that almost made you cry. I understand. But may I encourage you? Even in the midst of trying circumstances and bad days, you can be victorious.
You can be victorious even when the distance between your present reality and your desired goal seems so far apart.
Set mini-goals. Losing twenty, fifty, one hundred pounds, or more can seem so far away. And faraway goals are hard to hang onto when life drains us and it feels like those French fries sure could fill us.
Set mini-goals physically by getting a strategy for making healthy choices. How can you prepare now to drink eight glasses of water today? What is a healthy snack option you'll turn to when those afternoon salty and sugary cravings start calling? Are you going out to eat at a restaurant? Use the Internet to look up the nutritional information for their menu so you can make informed healthy choices. If hit with an unexpected temptation today, what healthy go-to script or Bible verse can you arm yourself with in advance to combat justifications and compromises?
Each mini-goal you accomplish today is a moment of victory.
We can also set mini-goals spiritually. We will always be most victorious when we are in the center of God's will. When we are in God's will, we are able to see our trials from God's perspective — through the lens of His grace and truth. But what is God's will?
The apostle Paul wrote, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks ... for this is God's will" (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). This is an explicit description of what God's will is. To be in the center of God's will is to be [someone] who is joyful, prayerful, and thankful.
Now, I turn my temptations into triggers to pray.
Be joyful: Intentionally look around for measures of joy each day. There is joy in simply being alive and in being redeemed by God. Remember, joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances. It's good to look for the good, to celebrate it even in small ways. Doing so is a moment of victory.
Be prayerful: Focus your thoughts on God through prayer. When I was tempted with unhealthy choices, it used to trigger a pity party. Now, I turn my temptations into triggers to pray. Turning to God rather than turning to food is a moment of victory.
Be thankful: When I focus on how much weight I still need to lose, it brings me down and I start entertaining thoughts of defeat. However, when I focus on all that I’m gaining with God through this process of losing the weight, it makes me all the more determined to keep going. What is something positive you've gained during your weight loss journey so far? God’s activity can be seen much more readily when we focus on what we do have rather than what we don't have.
We can't control our circumstances, but we can control our choices. Setting mini-goals physically and spiritually positions us for victory today. Indeed, you can be victorious even when the distance between your present reality and your desired goal seems so far apart.
Dear Lord, help me to remember that no matter how far away my goal may seem, I am most victorious when I am in the center of Your will. Today I will intentionally look for Your joy as I pray out of a thankful heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Learn more about Made to Crave Devotional: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food
Your small group may like the Made to Crave Action Plan, a video-based group study.
Follow Lysa TerKeurst on Twitter (@lysaterkeurst)
(This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its representatives. The writer's personal opinions are shared for information purposes only. To receive new Zondervan Blog posts in your reader or email inbox, subscribe to Zondervan Blog.)