Monday, September 22, 2008

Love God with all Your Mind

God defines sin as disobedience to Him. In 1 Samuel 15:22...."Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." Man, on the other hand, defines sin as murder, theft, adultery, homosexuality and such things as anger, envy, resentment, negative thinking, worry as human frailties.
When asked what was the most important commandment God gave to man, Jesus stated in Mark 12:30 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and with all they strength, this is the first commandment."
Recently I began a new Weight Recovery class at our church. This is a topic I've studied and lived for fifteen years now, and a needful topic for many of us in the Chrisitan realm. Giving up all worldly vices, we cling to overeating as a lifeboat to survive the cruel world.
I speak for myself, though I doubt I'm the only culprit. I love God with all my heart and soul. I long to please Him, to serve Him and to tell others about His love, His salvation. My strength belongs to the Lord. I work in my church and in other ways to further the gospel of Christ. But, when I read that verse in Mark, I skip over that little "with all thy mind" business. Of course, I give Him my mind. I pray, I read His Word, I often think of Him and talk about Him.
During my class, we talked about why we overeat, why we're willing to sacrifice everything in life to binge on our favorite foods knowing how depressed, guilty and inept we become when we do. Being overweight most of your life, eating more than you intend despite your determined efforts to diet represents only a symptom of a larger problem. As fever tells a person there's an internal problem in your body, fat tells a person there's an internal problem in your mind.
As we begin to eat healthier, leaving off such drags as sugar, fats, white flour, God brings to the forfront our resentments, our anger. If we're angry with ourselves for overeating, we can't focus on the envy we feel when another worker gets more attention or commendation than we do. We eat better and all of sudden, we're faced with our envy. We fall on our knees in repentance at our "sin."
Since starting this class, the devil has battled my mind harder than he's done in fifteen years. He prefers I don't help others learn to give their minds to God. He'd lose a big battle with God for everyone who learns that lesson. God gives faith, not worry. He gives love, not resentment. When we're thinking clearly and positively, conviction comes to us at the first sign of anger toward our parent, child, friend. This is the walk of faith that God desires for us to have.
But, when I binge on sugar, I don't think right. I suppress any other bad feelings with guilt and low self-esttem. The devil has won.
With food, I am powerless. But when I love God with all my mind, He guides me and lifts my feet over the pitfalls even if only day by day. After all, is that not what faith is all about?