Welcome to Week Five of Commit to Live Fit! 40-Day Challenge.
This Week’s Lenten Focus: Nourish your life
What is Lent? Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. 
Jesus invites you to take time to feed your body and feed your soul.
We work to feed our appetites; meanwhile our souls go hungry. –Ecclesiastes 6:7 MSG
You’ll notice that the disciplines each week are easy to do, but just as easy to let go of. Lean in; engage with God as we take this journey. You carry the treasure of the Spirit of the Living God in you! Ponder this week the power of God’s cleansing work in your life. He’s made you new! No spot or stain on you! Care for your physical and spiritual health in a way that honors God.
Last Week’s Disciplines:
Work Your Heart
Guard Your Heart
This Week’s Disciplines:
Nourish Your Body
Nourish Your Soul
Physical Discipline: Be Nourished
When was the last time you slowed down long enough to really taste your food? How often do you eat on the run? This week’s discipline is all about presence, moderation, and variety. Here are a few tips to help you with physical nourishment:
- Stay away from fad diets. Think of healthy eating more as a lifestyle. If you view your current endeavor as a ‘diet’ you’ll eventually fall off your diet and may end up dealing with the self-condemnation that so often follows. One day at a time, sweet Jesus! Eat smaller portions and enjoy every bite.
- Be present with God, with others, and with your food when you eat. Take the time to thank God for the nourishment He provides. Slow down long enough to taste your food. Thank Him for friends and family and the freedom to enjoy them. Slow down and be present in the moment. Food, friends, and family are gifts from God.
- Add color. If you already enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables, you’re good to go. But if not, start here: add a piece of fruit and a side salad to your daily routine. Just that first step will strengthen your health and will retrain your palette.
- Wait for hunger pains – listen to your body. Dr. Rita Hancock suggests that unless we actually feel hunger pains at least twice a day, we’re most likely overeating. Don’t force your body to abide by an imposed schedule. Follow its rhythm and you’ll feel much better. Do what you can do accommodate your hunger in a healthy way and any excess weight will most likely melt away!
- Budget treats. Have your treats, but plan for them! If you eat a chocolate bar while hiding in the closet, it’s still fattening. So eat a few bites out in the open, and save the rest for later!
- Practice partial fasts. Every day, a couple times a day, say no to yourself and make yourself deal with it. Don’t give in to every hunger whim you experience. It’s good for your body and good for your soul when you exercise some kind of self-restraint on a regular basis.
Spiritual Discipline: Be Nourished
Just as we acquire a taste for healthy nourishment, we also acquire a taste for spiritual nourishment. The more we feed on the Word of God, the greater capacity we have to be nourished by it.
- Keep it colorful. With the exception of Scripture, don’t overload on only once choice of nourishment (one musician, one preacher, one author, etc.). Jesus has equipped a multitude of His children to build up His Kingdom. When you feast on the fruit of only one of His servants, you run the risk of becoming narrow in your thinking and acceptance of how things should be communicated. Scripture says there’s wisdom in many counselors.
- Take responsibility for your spiritual health. It’s not your pastor’s job, or your husband’s job, or your friend’s job to keep you on track. Love your life and your calling enough to dig into the Word and to listen for God’s voice, no matter what. Be so rooted in Jesus that if the whole world around you shakes, you’ll still be standing when it’s all said and done.
- Be present with God. Scripture says that it’s in His presence the fullness of joy is found (Psalm 16:11). When you sit down for soul nourishment, pause and think about who it is you’re connect to. You’re connected to the Living God! The One who put the mountains in place knows your name and loves you deeply. Read the Word and pray as someone who is deeply loved, profoundly called, and wonderfully equipped.
[*These tips taken from my book, ‘Balance That Works When Life Doesn’t’ (Harvest House Publishers)]
Be nourished physically and spiritually this week. Pay attention to how you nourish your body and your spirit. Thank God for the blessings you enjoy; and walk strongly with God.
Let’s do this! May you flourish in health, both physically and spiritually!
Lord Jesus – give me a renewed love for my life and my calling and inspire me to care for my body and my soul. Increase my hunger and thirst for times in Your presence, times in Your Word. Give me a taste for all that’s good for me, and help me to lose the taste for all that diminishes me. I am Yours and You are mine. Your banner over me is love. Help me to live as one who is spoken for. My life matters, thanks to You. Amen.
Do you have a favorite power food? What keeps you energized?
Do you have a favorite power verse? What guides your daily activities?