Temptations rarely ever knock on my door when I’m feeling my best. They usually show up at my door knocking like an 8 year old selling girl scout cookies, loudly, unannounced, full of giggles and sparkles and I’m usually drained from my chaotic life so I shout an enthusiastic YES before she can even get her question out.
Speaking of cookies, my arch nemesis it seems, always find a way to my chubby little body. Take for instance this week when one of our customers brought us amazing little cookies to my work. These weren’t just any cookies…..they were creations of art! I popped one dusted with powdered sugar and filled with a brownie like substance inside and my heart leapt! Apparently I’m not the only one obsessed with these cookies as my co-worker told me she ate one and couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. She kept checking the time to see if enough hours had passed that she could get another one. The cookie hijacked her thoughts and for a few hours she couldn’t even think of anything else. COOKIES ARE EVIL YA’LL….I’m sure of it! I love them and hate them all at the same time. Can anyone relate??
Cookies, just like temptations, abound daily in our lives. But the truth is that temptations are a means of DISTRACTION. Think about it, you’re rocking along kicking butt and taking names in your life-maybe working on a degree or a weight loss goal-when BAM you have these inconsolable urges to go off the deep end and sabotage your efforts. But you don’t see it that way. You just feel like you need a break because the pressure is unbearable and a minute of escape would help release the valve so you can get back to working hard and being productive etc. So you cave, you eat the cookie so to speak, and you don’t even know WHY you ate the cookie or jumped off the deep end but you did. And now that split second decision sets you back a few hundred yards. BUT WHY?
I believe it’s because we lose focus. We forget WHY we are doing something. We take our eyes of the vision that God gave us and we get tired. We lose momentum because we are striving in our own strength. We can only sustain the drive for so long because we have very limited resources on our own.
I actually told the Lord that this morning. This season of my life feels like it’s been going on FOREVER and I was kind of whining about it to God. I felt the tears welling up and the propensity to lose it and throw a pity party for myself but I felt Him remind me that He is ALL-SUFFICIENTLY powerful in my life if I will but ask for His strength.
I think the reason I eat the cookie is the same reason I binge watch TV series most days. The focus is so intense that I feel like I’m going to lose it if I don’t distract myself with something fun. And eating cookies is fun ya’ll. But it comes with a price-it derails my weight loss effort and it sets me back in my progress. And then it makes me mad…mad at myself for eating the cookie. Mad because I can’t eat cookies and be skinny. Mad at other girls that CAN eat cookies and stay skinny. BUT in the end it boils down to being distracted. I let myself get distracted enough to make a bad choice.
What if we started our day confessing our great need for God and his grace, strength, provision, whatever it is and RECEIVED from Him the resources that He longs to give us. Instead of stuffing our face with cookies or filling our mind with pointless entertainment we could somehow tap into His limitless supply and be filled to over flowing so that we no longer needed a cookie to make us feel better or a NetFlix TV series to drown our sorrows in. Yes that would be so much better, right?
It’s kind of like my eating lifestyle. I have found over the years that if I put a mix of healthy protein, fat and carbs every 2-3 hours I never really get depleted and go into starvation mode, eating everything in sight. It keeps me satisfied so I can control myself. I think it’s the same with the Lord. We need to meet with Him constantly-maybe even more than daily-perhaps several times a day through a prayerful connection so that we never fully deplete ourselves and run to other things to fill us up. I’m not suggesting that we have to pray hours every day but just try and keep a constant open connection with Him, confessing our needs to Him and letting us fill us up and spending time in worship every day and His word.