Sunday, January 2, 2011

Getting Healthy

“The Fat Belongs to the Lord”

The following is a brief "word picture" that came to mind as I was praying at the end of a recent church service. The sermon that day dealt with having a heart after God and not being distracted (even by "good" things) from our devotion and obedience to Him. I felt there was a message for me in this image, but it could also be a blessing for others - especially in January, as many of us are beginning to act on our New Year's resolutions to "get healthy" or make positive changes in our lives. I've simply described the thoughts that came to me below. I'll leave it up to individual readers to consider or pray about any spiritual and/or practical applications in their own lives. Happy New Year!

As I was praying and laying everything down before the Lord, I found myself thinking about the Christmas cookies and snacking that lead to weight gain around holiday time - not "big sin" but enough to cause unhappiness and a desire to "trim the fat" - also relates to watching TV, wasting time, not obvious evil but distractions from God and "not truly nourishing"...

I recently saw a "Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?" special on TV, and there was a segment with the medical doctor who works with contestants in which he showed a diagram of unusual fat deposits around internal organs that can become life-threatening for people who have been obese or had a problem with overeating for a long-time. I’ve never experienced obesity – I’d like to lose about 10 to 20 lbs, so my struggles may not be as obvious to others – but I think this, too, relates to the fact that these dangerous fat deposits were “hidden” and internal, not necessarily external or visible to people around us.

As I "saw" this picture (at church) of large fat deposits near the heart and lungs (pneuma = spirit = breath), I remembered that the Israelites were commanded to sacrifice the fat as an offering to the Lord - the fat belongs to the Lord. (see scriptures below) In my own life, I felt this related to "trimming the fat" & giving distractions over to the Lord, offering up things that are possibly permissible but still self-indulgent as “firstfruits” (giving it all up first to God, and letting Him give back what He wants us to have); asking Him to burn up or remove those unseen fat deposits that build up over time through long-term habits that, in & of themselves, on a day-to-day basis, may not seem as detrimental as they are.

Lord, help me to see where I’ve been carrying hidden hindrances to life and health, both spiritually and practically, and what You want me to do about these things. I offer these issues up to You and ask that You would burn up everything that needs to be removed from me. I yield these things to You freely, as a sacrifice of love for You, that I might be free to pursue You with all of my heart. And I pray all of these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The sons of Aaron will burn these on the altar on top of the burnt offering on the wood fire. It is an offering made by fire, very pleasing to the LORD…

Part of this offering must be presented to the LORD as an offering made by fire. This part includes the fat around the internal organs…

The priest will burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire; these will be very pleasing to the LORD. Remember, all the fat belongs to the LORD.

[Leviticus 3:5, 14, 16 NLT]

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