I have a running list of what I think I need to do to be good enough. To be healthy.
To deserve health.
To live the way God wants me to live.
It’s my list.
On my list are good things such as eating real (whole) food and much less processed food. Greatly limiting sugar. Intermittent fasting. Exercising every day. More protein and vegetables. Smaller portions. Getting 10,000 steps every day. Drinking 90oz of water every day. Take Journey for a walk every day. Doing my hair so I feel good about myself.
None of these are bad, exactly. But. I have never once been able to live up to this list for long, if at all.
I’ve been struggling a few days with this (again), in particular with my relationship with God.
Would God heal me if I did all the things on my list? Is God not healing me because I’m not? If I ask God to help me to make healthy choices, will He judge everything I eat? Will I feel shame every time I have a donut? Will I always be worried if I’m not 100% on point? What if I don’t exercise every day? What if I never officially exercise? Does God love me less? Is He judging me? What if I eat too many carbs or processed food? What if some days I make healthy meals and some days I just don’t have it in me and we eat chicken nuggets? Am I always going to be worrying about what I eat? Will food always rule my thoughts? Should I fast? Intermittent fast? What if I should fast and I do most days but then on the days that I don’t, will God be disappointed in me? I’d rather not try at all than to live with God constantly disappointed in me. Because really, I cannot live up to that list. I’ve tried and failed over and over and over again.
So, I’ve been bringing these questions to God. Agonizing over them, to be honest. I reached out to a friend who is passionately on fire for Jesus. I’ve prayed. I’ve tried to rest and wait for God’s answer.
My friend said, “God does not look at you differently whether you ate 10 cookies or a salad.”
I wondered if that was true.
I mean, in general, of course, God doesn’t look at people differently based on how they eat. But what if He’s telling me not to eat the ten cookies and I do it anyway? It won’t change His love for me. But disappointment? Ugh. I hate to disappoint.
My friend also said this, though:
“Just rest in Him and He will guide your daily footsteps. And as you walk with Him you naturally start shedding things that don’t belong. It will be so effortless. Life with Him is hard and is sacrifice and is dying to self but it shouldn’t bring you shame of inadequacy or anything yucky it should draw you closer to Him. One day you will look back and wonder wow when did that happen? All of a sudden I noticed I don’t do that anymore. Wow! I don’t even remember stopping. He does the changing as we just draw closer to Him. He knows our struggles and He’s in all of it. Just focus on Him mama.”– Joy
Again, I thought… is this true? This sounds beautiful. What if I could follow Jesus and He just naturally over time helped me shed the things that are unhealthy for me?
Back to prayer, I went. I asked God – can this be?
He reminded me of a prophetic ministry appointment I had at Life Church a few months ago. Two ladies spoke over me about being a reconciler – I wrote about that. I never got back to writing about what the man spoke over me.
I dug through the videos on my phone to find it. He said that God showed him that I have a list. A list of expectations that need to be met. And that I was looking for fulfillment in that list. He said that my list was not God’s list. The things that I was looking for would only be found in God’s list, not mine.
So this morning, I sat down for my quiet time with God and was prompted to write out the list. I needed to see it again. The things on the list are not bad – but I won’t find what I’m looking for there. So my next question to God was – what do YOU have on my list for me?
God has already been setting me up for this answer. He’s already been preparing me for this.
Number 1: Be in God’s presence. Seek His face. Desire His presence above everything else. (This is a constant message Jesus has been teaching me for weeks!)
Number 2: Give my burdens, self-made expectations, worries, doubts, shame, guilt, and MY LIST to Jesus. He’ll take care of it.
Number 3: Listen for God’s voice all the time. Throughout the day. Invite Jesus into the day to day, moment to moment activities, and listen.
Just those things.
Now, I know this post is already long but I can’t stop here because God is amazing. I asked God to confirm these things for me. Help me to know that I am really hearing His voice in this list.
Then, I picked up my bible to read. Not just any random page. I am currently reading in Psalms and in Matthew. So I opened up to my bookmark in Psalms and I was on Psalm 16 today. Listen, friends. Listen to what God had to say to me today!!
Psalm 16 1-2 Keep me safe, O God,
I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.
3 And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!
4 Don’t just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names
5-6 My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!
7-8 The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
9-10 I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!
11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.
Friends, I’m blown away. Blown away. How does God orchestrate this? From the meeting I had months ago where I was spoken over about the list. To my friend sending me the message she sent me. To God working on me for the last few weeks about being in His presence, to God putting me in the right Psalm for today… Everything had to line up and it is not coincidence! God loves me so much He put this all together for me! (And maybe for you too! That’s why I share!)
And it doesn’t even stop there. Want to hear one of the verses that I read from Matthew today? (Pre-orchestrated by God!)
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
Yeah. That’s the God I serve and love. I’m in awe.
I have a new list moving forward today. Every time I try to mentally pick up my list, I’m going to visualize handing it back to Jesus. I know it will be a process. But focusing on Jesus throughout the day, walking hand in hand with Him, and being in His presence seems a much better use of my time than “the list.”
May God bless you today!!