Last week during a provoking message our senior pastor discussed obesity among American Christians as he shared some troubling stories about this disgusting issue. One example he highlighted happened while on a mission trip to Russia when he was told he was the first Christian missionary that wasn’t obese.
Unfortunately, this revealing truth is something I also noticed when I first visited Calvary Chapel. Either a result of ungodly gluttony or poor health habits, our church’s congregation is a visual disgrace to God’s commands and an obvious sign of the times among Christians. A certified health and fitness specialist, my wife Elizabeth reluctantly describes many Calvary Chapel members as being “a bacon strip away from a heart attack.”
Talking about obesity is one thing. Confronting those who struggle with the so called disease is something completely different. I believe in provoking with love and substance. By love, I mean God’s love because quite frankly, I have no love loss for gluttons however, I am filled with God’s love for those who seek Him and joyfully obey follow His ways.
What do I mean by provoking with substance? This is where I share both scripture AND method how to take steps toward recovery.
When it comes to obesity, anyone with minimal bible savvy can quote 1 Corinthians 6:19. Most people can pray with a glutton or a clueless brother in Christ however, very few can provide specific guidance that will have long term impact on people’s lives.
The first step in recovery involves scripture so that those affected realize they are disobeying God’s commands.
“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21)
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Next comes prayer. By asking God to forgive and strengthen us we allow Him to open doors that lead to a healthier more godly lifestyle. A simple prayer can make a world of difference, something like “God I know I have been weak and I know you love me. I ask you to forgive my sins against the body that you gave me at birth. I pray Lord that you will give me strength and allow the holy spirit to guide my footsteps as I surrender my body back to you and offer it to you as a living sacrifice each and every day.”
Now that we have taken the first two critical steps, we need to equip ourselves with tools that will make recovery possible. The first tool provides a revelation and a starting point. It’s called BMI or Body Mass Index. Used in diagnosing possible health issues, BMI is a number calculated using a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a body fat indicator according to specific guidelines set by the US Department of Health and Human Services. To calculate your BMI, click here.
The second tool necessary in recovering from obesity helps people evaluate their food intake versus energy output. In plain English, everything you eat is transformed into energy which is either used in daily routines or stored as fat. Visit www.fitday.com, create an account and start keeping a food journal. Be sure to use the Fit Day daily activity section which will allow you to produce energy input/output reports showing details analysis of your current lifestyle. I hope and pray what you will see will inspire you to take significant action toward a better, healthier you.
Some of you may require assistance with increasing your fitness level. Through this ministry or from her purpose driven website (www.ross-fitness.com), my wife Elizabeth gladly answers questions pertaining to health and fitness and will often provide custom home fitness programs designed according to ACE and ACSM standards.
Another tool is the list of foods that are acceptable to God. Find below an outline of some of God’s approved foods to help you get started on the road to proper eating.
Barley – Ruth 2:23
Bread – Luke 22:19
Butter – Isaiah 7:22
Corn – Ruth 2:14; I Samuel 17:17
Cheese – I Samuel 17:18
Dates – Genesis 3:2
Eggs – Job 6:6
Figs – Numbers 13:23; I Samuel 25:18
Fruits (All) – Genesis 1:29
Herbs (Leafy Plants) – Genesis 1:29
Vegetables – Genesis 1:29
Honey – Deuteronomy 8:8
Meats (Beef, Fish, Lamb, Poultry, Venison) Deuteronomy 14; Leviticus 11
Milk – Isaiah 7:21-22
Nuts – Genesis 43:11
Olives and Olive Oil – Leviticus 2:4; Deuteronomy 8:8
Salt – Leviticus 2:13
Wheat (Bread, Cereal, Pasta) – Psalm 81:1
Now that you know what is commanded by the Lord and what foods are acceptable to God, it is up to you to decide if you will accept the rewards that come along with a true Christian lifestyle.
“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” (Romans 11:21-23)
God knows our hearst. He knows why we fall and He is ready to accept us when we get back up. Obesity is the result of conscious decisions me make over an extended period. It is not easily resolved but it is part of the Christian walk.
If you are struggling with obesity or know someone who is, I invite you to follow the steps found in this message which have proven to produce miraculous results. As an added incentive, I recommend seeking motivation from fellow church members or, from a reliable faith based motivational network managed by this ministry (Click here to find out more about the National Motivation Network).
There you have it. A complete how to guide for obese Christians. All that’s missing is the will to please God and the desire to live according to His word. The good news is both these ingredients flow from the spirit within each believer’s heart. Tap into this great power and become the miracle. Let’s pray!
We thank you for all your blessings
For looking after us, our families and friends,
We thank you for providing for us
Like only you can.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day
And allow us to resist temptation brought on by the enemy,
We pray you will surround us with people who can help us
Redirect our energy toward your divine Kingdom.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us
And answer our prayers and the prayers of those in need,
Giving us all that we need
Rather than what we want.
May your will be done
In my life, for my life.
We thank you for your love and all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre