We all struggle from time to time following through with what we know we should/want to do. Even Paul expresses this in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do." Shallyn's Physical Therapy and Wellness Services has hosted recent FREE Talks on choosing the correct exercise for one's self, how to read the symptoms of too much and too little exercise, and what specific individual diet one could adhere to to accomplish one's individual life goals. Following through is the hard part - stuff gets in the way.
The pinnacle of making anything happen, is winning the war in our mind. The first step is being aware of what we're thinking about. Many meditation practices encourage one to empty the mind; to focus on nothing. But, what happens when we allow the mind to turn back on? In these forms of meditation, one has not dealt with the thoughts running through one's mind, but rather just avoided them/escaped from them/numbed themselves to them for a period of time and ultimately allowed them to persist.
Let me introduce you to Christian meditation practice. Phil 4:8-9 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." We need to dwell on (take these thoughts captive) what we should/want to do...and bring them into obedience to Christ. Get real with Christ - and He will make your path straight!
Once you know what you're thinking, you can identify your hang ups. For example, "I know I should be doing my exercise snack right now but I have to get the dog taken care of before work. I can't do it all." "I know I should not be snacking like this but I just can't make it between meals anymore. I'm hungry. It is healthy food."
Welcome to the Replacement Principle: remove the lies and replace them with truth. In the above examples, one can see the "excuses" and the perspective of that individual is their reality. In order to change it, once we've identified what we're thinking, we need to confront it. Our fight is not against flesh and blood (ourselves in our physical form), but the enemy, and he is lying to us, deceiving us, persuading us on the wrong path - a path that robs us of health, peace, and joy. Choose to break free of your false prison.
If I keep dwelling on not being able to do it all, I won't do anything at all after a while. Define it - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I'm currently not showing up for what I should be doing - walking the dog AND doing my personal strengthening/stabilizing exercise. This will also defeat the second lie - by increasing my exercise, my stress levels will decrease and I won't be driven to snack as much. The enemy diverts us from our purpose - if I lose my stability, my body won't be able to perform my job, distracts us from God's voice - instead of trusting in God's strength through me, I hear the overwhelm of everything I "have to do" and, ultimately, he destroys our potential.
Declare the truth! "I do need help; I can not do all of this on my own. I need God's help! What I'm saying in my mind may numb me to my problem (getting me not to do anything) but that does not help me (keep me comfortably employed with a healthy body, being energetic for my kids, maintaining the body I desire, etc.). God tells me to come to Him when I am weary, burdened, or overwhelmed. He tells me to cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7), and He promises to be my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Ps 46:1).
Meditate on His truths and set yourself free from the lies of the enemy!
If you are interested in joining me for a Christian meditation class this summer,
contact me for more information.
Stay tuned for Part 2 on overcoming one's lack of follow through.