Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.     Colossians 3:1-2 MSG

     Just a couple of weeks ago I was gung-ho into another endeavor to lose some weight.  The 17 Day Diet was going to be my miracle and once and for all I was going to be free of this burden.  I did my 22 days, lost 4 pounds and put my eyes to the ground.  I got distracted with what was right in front of me and gave in.  One little slip up, then another slightly bigger until a few days later I was right back where I started, with a plate full of carbs and a guilty conscience.
     I’d like to say that I forgot, or I knew what I was doing and had a plan of action for staying on course, but I would be lying to you and more importantly to myself.  I did know exactly what I was doing, I was giving into temptation because I allowed myself to be discouraged and I gave in to the enemy.  He knows my weaknesses and if I allow him to, he will use them.  I read this, “And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death:  sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy.  That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God.”  Now eating some carbs isn’t in that list, but going against my conscience is and giving into the flesh is.
     “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  I know this verse by heart, but when I am being devoured why don’t I fight?  I imagine a lion actually trying to devour me.  Wouldn’t I fight for my life?  I would kick and scream and pound and run with everything I had.  Sometimes I feel that when it is really happening I look back at myself and shake my head.  How pathetic I am.  I just sit there and let him pick at my flesh, nibble by nibble.  NO!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. “ 
     Be alert!  My lesson for the day.  Don’t walk around with my focus on worldly things and let busyness and excuses distract me.  Live with purpose and pay attention.  Don’t get too comfortable and be ready to pick up my shield.  Put my helmet on every day and fasten my belt.  I know that I will win.  All I have to do is open my eyes and call on Him who saves.  He promises a way out when temptation strikes, but I have to admit I’m being tempted first.