Acts 1:8 tells us, “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect.”
For the last few months I have been coaching a dear friend, and she has allowed me to come alongside, helping with her diet, exercise, spiritual growth, and so much more. From the beginning of our healthy journey together she has given me full permission to speak truth and wisdom in whatever way the Lord leads. All I asked in return was her openness about how things were going; the good, the bad, the uncomfortable, and I explained that I expected her full dedication with the tried and true methods I suggested.
With both of us in agreement, we began the healthy journey together. I explained in painful detail that changing lifelong habits would be a difficult challenge, but assured her that if, and only if, she allowed God to help her with everything, she would succeed. This special friend has done quite well, and I am more than pleased with her efforts, and the successes she has experienced. But, life happens, and just when things were going so great…she decided she did not feel like exercising for two weeks. Of course we had been communicating about exercising, but I had no idea she had taken so many days off!
Now, I totally understand this, I do. I don’t get up in the morning saying, “Yippee, I can’t wait to exercise and eat foods that are healthy!” Oh contraire, there are days I want to sit home and eat cake. You know, chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing, and then cleanse my palate with chocolate sorbet. The thing is if we turn and go south, it will be very challenging getting back on track. Everyone has a bad day. Everyone messes up. The important day is the day after, and whether or not you give the reins of your life back to God.
Sometimes our mess-ups are not in the way we are eating or taking care of our bodies, but instead, the way we are speaking or acting with others. We all have flaws, but don’t keep grooming your flaws. Let’s learn from our mess-ups and keep moving in a positive direction.
So when I called her the call wasn’t just a call from a friend, it was a call from her coach. We had both agreed I would hold her accountable. She admitted not feeling like exercising and having a few bad eating days. As our conversation continued, I reminded her how far she had come and that I didn’t care if she felt like exercising or not! This was not an option, nor will it ever be! Harsh as it may have sounded I was speaking to her in love. As her coach, and friend, I could not let her walk blindfolded off a cliff. Sometimes in love we must speak candidly, directly, to save others from themselves. Keep in mind some will not be as receptive to your wise counsel as others, so be in prayer before offering unsolicited words of encouragement.
I knew what was going on with her. She had allowed the enemy of her soul to come in and wreak total havoc on her mind and body. That is exactly what happens when we say, “I don’t feel like (whatever that is for you)…showing love to others, or being nice to others because they hurt me, or I am going to eat whatever I want because I can.” The enemy of her soul was sitting right beside her sharing a low protein, low fiber bagel, while she was fully complicit, marinating in his toxic talk. The enemy talked the talk, encouraging self-pity, while excusing the starch content in the bagel by saying, “Everything’s got sugar in it, how you going to avoid it?”
In another face to face conversation later in the week, she expressed some concern over how people were taking notice of her body, and her weight loss, and she wasn’t exactly sure what to think of all this attention. I wanted to laugh, in fact, I think I did laugh. I reminded her that she is a walking billboard for the Lord. I reminded her that God is shining his light on her brand new life, providing a healthy, changed platform for all to see and hear about. I reminded her it is all about Him and the change He is making in her life! Get over yourself and give Him the credit! This can be difficult for people. We put in the work, sweating and sacrificing foods we crave to get healthy. But my friend understands, and will give God the glory for the great things He has done, and will do, in her life.
We are the walking billboards God uses to bring others unto Himself. Look around you, there are people everywhere weathered, frayed, and their natural glow sullied by the struggles of a life without hope. When God shines His light on our life, we stand and testify to God’s miraculous Power of Healing and how he has helped free us from obesity, depression, addictions, secret sin, hatred, bitterness, adultery, jealousy, gossip, past hurts, pornography, or narcissism.
In John 6:44 Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. You’re not in charge here. The father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the end. This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, ‘And then they will all be personally taught by God.’ Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see it with their own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father—and you can see me.”
Acts 1:8 promises you will not be doing life alone, “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect.”
Theresa Rowe is the Founder of Shaped by Faith, Author of Guideposts’ Shaped by Faith, 10 Secrets to Strengthening Your Body and Soul, a Motivational Wellness Speaker, and Host of Shaped by Faith Radio every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 am on 99.1 FM and 1490 AM WOMI. http://womiowensboro.com/listen-live/popup/