Am I on Hidden Camera?

10:08 AMHeather

I'm being punked. By God.  I'm not even kidding.  There must be hidden cameras all around, just waiting to catch my reaction.  I suspect that at any moment, Jesus in his white robes looking like the picture in my childhood Bible, will pop out from around the corner, and say, "Gotcha!" 

This was my text to my girlfriends, Amy and Rhonda, last Friday:

"Sorry it's early. [6:46 a.m....why yes, yes, I did get up for boot camp!]  But I have to tell y'all.  I swear I'm being God.  Started reading 7 last night.  Blown away...How can I want so much to both run to and run from being ruined?  Can I really give things up and do this fasting thing?

Then my devo had me in Philippians 3 today.  A-hem.  Verse 8--all things lost in order to gain Christ are garbage."

(Side note: realizing this was a very wordy text.  My friends all regret my conversion to the iPhone.  I am as long winded there as I am here).

Here's the Scripture that zapped me early Friday morning...just twelve hours after diving into the first chapter of 7:

But whatever were gains to me 
I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.   
What is more, I consider 
everything a loss because of 
the surpassing worth of 
knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, 
for whose sake I have lost all things. 
I consider them garbage, 
that I may gain Christ and be found in him, 
not having a righteousness of my own 
that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—
the righteousness that comes from God 
on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—
yes, to know the power of his 
resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
Philippians 3:7-10 

It's official.  The apostle Paul is in on this conspiracy.  God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the  apostle Paul, and Jen Hatmaker.  And to be completely transparent, I can't decide if I love them for it or loathe them for it.  It's too early to tell.  But what I do know without a doubt is that I'm being pursued, pounded, convicted, and cornered and I cannot run from it.  Even if I tried, and I'm not sure if I want to?  

So Thursday night, all wound up with enthusiasm on this incredible book I'm gonna be a part of, I started reading what it was really all about.  Gulp.  Chapter one is about fasting on food.  I've never fasted from food.  I'm a migraine patient.  Skipping a meal is a major trigger.  I've fasted from other things, mind you.  But not food.  Dad-gum-it, Jen Hatmaker.  You just had to suggest ways that I CAN fast from food and not be comatose from migraine pain meds.  She researched it and made a list of 7 healthy foods to eat.  And that's all she ate for a month.  Nothing to drink but water.  That means no coffee.  See?  She is evil.  Some of her "Council" chose another route and picked 7 poverty stricken countries.  They ate what people in those countries ate for a few days per country.  They used this time to learn about that country and pray for it.  

Okay, this was all sounding so fabulous and amazing and the momentum and frenzy carried me along.  Until I started reading details.  I went to bed Thursday night with a slight tremor of trepidation and anxiety in my heart.  Eating healthy is a good thing, and some thing I could definitely stand to improve on.  Water?  No worries.  That's about all I drink after breakfast.  But, coffee?  No sugar?  No desserts?  No chocolate?  (Unless I made chocolate and coffee part of my 7 foods?).  Doubts were creeping in.
But, BOOM.  Right there in Philippians 3, God massaged my anxiety into a conviction when he divinely had me in that passage with my You Version devo.  This is how it hit me:

Whatever were gains to me...chocolate, coffee, processed & quick & easy foods...I now consider loss for the sake of Christ...not for that Hatmaker girl or my girlfriends or some new Christian trend.  But for CHRIST.   What's more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...on one side of the scale, you have my typical diet.  On the other side, far outweighing that--you have knowing my Lord and Savior in a new more intimate way.  For whose sake I have lost all mediocre, complacent approach to my eating...I consider them garbage...reallyHow important is food or any other area from 7 compared to the King of Kings?  that I may gain Christ and be found in him... here's the trade-off.  Cut excess in 7 areas of my life in order to gain eternally by gaining depth in my walk with Him and pleasing Him with my submission...not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law...or comes from food, clothes, spending, waste, possessions, media and stress... but that which is through faith in Christdo I have FAITH that He can equip me for what he is obviously calling me to do?  the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith... so, here's the trade offexcess for righteousnessI want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his I REALLY want to know Him?  How serious am I about that?  How serious am I about participating in sufferings & becoming like him in death?  Is this 7 journey of fasting really suffering?  Really?  In the grand scheme?  Can I not even endure the death of my typical cravings and life style?

Punked, I tell ya.  That Omnipotent God ain't playing around here with me.  The question is, will I let Him?  Better yet, will you?

Here's the thing.  I love to watch The Biggest LoserIt's so inspiring to see the before and after pictures at the end of the season.  It's just mind boggling.  It's intention is to motivate people to get to that end result.  But, in between, you have the hours and hours and hours of blood, sweat, tears and vomit.  You have the challenges and the temptations.  You have the trainers screaming in your face.  You have fellow participants that you grow to loveIt's a long journey.  It involves a ton of sacrifice and change.  You can't get to the pretty "after" until you've endured the long emotionally and mentally and physically draining process.  

Thursday night and Friday morning, I realized something.  I'd been looking at the idea of Jen Hatmaker's little "after" as she described it in the intro.  Wow!  To be that unleashed and freed from excess.  To have shed the pounds of materialism and stress and consumerism and unhealthy habits.  A-MAZ-ING!  I want to look like that.  

But, there's a process here, too.  There's blood, sweat, and tears.  Maybe even vomit if I choose to eat only 7 healthy foods for a month.  There's challenges and temptations.  And the trainers of my "Council" and fellow journeymen, and not to mention, the Holy Spirit, screaming in my face to press on!  There's my fellow participants (I hope!), who will choose this road with me.  And it'll be a long journey, with tons of sacrifice and change.  I'll be called to lose a lot.  I'll be challenged to consider all that fluff and excess as garbage compared to the gain of knowing Christ more.  

Will I push through the emotionally, mentally and physically draining process?  Will I become The Biggest Loser?  So that I might gain Christ.  So that I might have an "after" picture that looks way more like my Savior than what I currently see in the mirror?

Good questions.  Time will tell.  Stay tuned, bloggy friends.     

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