My devotion this morning focused on Nehemiah 1. I’ve been drawn to this book ever since we studied it at church. It struck me that the rebuilding project led by Nehemiah was applicable to my life—I am in the midst of rebuilding my temple. I can use Nehemiah as an example, beginning with confessing my sins to God, not that He doesn’t already know that I committed them, but so He knows I recognize I’ve sinned and am sorry. I look at it as part of the “cleaning” I am doing—starting with confession. I have to start with all the stuff I done that separated me from God and cluttered my life; all the stuff that contributed to me gaining weight. It wasn’t just that I ate too much of the wrong foods too often, it was also that I was not always disciplined and consciously made poor choices, things that I would not have done had I been following God’s will. Even when I was eating because I was angry or hurt, had I been consistent in my prayer life, and put my faith in action by trusting God, I would not have made some of the choices I did.
Not only was I disobedient, and undisciplined, more often than not, I was simply lazy. It was all made worse because of the way my body is wired, and it all took a terrible toll on my body—and mind and spirit. But I am thankful that God is merciful, and no matter how much I’ve messed up (or will mess up) He have me new chances to get it right, and always will until He decides it is time for me to be with Him again. So what I have to do with these new chances is not waste them. I have to own up to my past mistakes and simply not repeat them. Oh, it’s much easier said than done because some of them felt and tasted very good; but what I know is that they were not good for me. What I realize is that as good as they were, God has something better, and it’s better than anything I can imagine.
So, my first steps in this rebuilding is praying to God and confessing my sins—this is the cleaning part. I can confess them and let them go. I don’t need to carry them around with me anymore. I don’t need to let them, or the results of them, weight me down--literally or spiritually. What I am discovering is the more I let go of, the freer I am. The more free I am, the more equipped I am to do God’s work and live a more fulfilling life, the better able I am to do this work of rebuilding. What I know at this point is I am committed to letting go of those things that separate me from God. I don’t want to be weighed down anymore. I want to be free to live the life God planned for me.
Since I know what my past sins have been, I can make the effort not to repeat them, excessive eating and being lazy is a couple of them. Since I know what kinds of foods are not good for my body, I can choose not to eat them. Since I know that my body needs to be active to be healthy, I can get up and go to the gym. He’s shown me glimpses of what it is, so I am going for it! Since I know that prayer, meditation and studying my Bible are ways to communicate with God, I just do those things so that I stay on track. I believe these are choices that please God, and since that is why He created me, that is what I am going to do. It’s not a cake walk, but it’s far better than what I have been doing, and the outcomes are far greater than my mind can conceive.
I am rebuilding this temple, and this time, God’s will and His way are the guiding forces—I will “come forth as pure gold.” Thank you God!