I read a wonderful devotion this morning on the difference between having faith and living faithfully due to a sense of duty or out of obedience (as the Bible calls us to do.) 1 John 1:7 call us to "walk in the light." I want to share a couple of different versions from different translations of the Bible. I find it very helpful to do this.
-If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin. -The Message
-But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, andthe blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. -ESV
-But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. -NLT
There is a major difference between living faithfully out of duty and living faithfully out of obedience. When we do something out of duty, and not because of joyful obedience, there is a good chance we may end up feeling resentment or frustration in our faith walk. But when we wake up every single morning, and tune into the Joy and Mercy that having a relationship with Jesus offers, we will squash the frustration when it comes our way.
I believe that this same principle can be applied to anything we are dealing with in our lives. For instance, our health and fitness. If you wake up every day and see eating well and exercise as a "duty," I can almost guarantee you will burn out and resent it in the near future. However, if you can pray, meditate, and truly spend time considering how God created our bodies to move, how He created healthy natural foods for us to enjoy and nourish ourselves, you will find yourself wanting to move and treat your body right.
This can take time for some of us. I know for years, I thought I was "healthy." However, I would say words like "I earned this pie," or "I can eat this today, because it's my treat day." I remember years ago my husband would tell me that people gain wait when they worry about food and are not grateful for each bite. I used to actually feel upset with him for saying such a thing to me, but mainly it was out of my own insecurity and envy that he seemingly could eat "whatever" he wanted without ever gaining a pound.
I am not sure when exactly this truth clicked for me, but it was after having our daughter, and in my mid to late thirties. Seriously just one day it clicked. I think I did fake it until I made it, but I can tell you truly that now I do not worry about food. Do I eat just whatever I want? No. But when I want something I eat it in moderation, and enjoy every single bite. I pray a prayer of gratitude, knowing that there are many in this world that live off of very little food. I choose to eat the delicious foods that God created for us to eat. I love cooking and experimenting. I no longer look at food as a reward or punishment, which is not easy because it is very common in our society.
Exercise is a joy now. I love going solo or meeting girlfriends to walk or run. I love signing up for races that raise money for a good cause. I do this not out of duty or a sense of responsibility. I do it because God gave me this gift - the gift of a body that can walk, run, bike, swim, play, and dance. I do it because I feel good when I do. I do it because it is good for my mood, my stress level, my overall well being. I do it because I can, and I never ever want to take that for granted.
I would love to hear from you now, why do you do what you do? What inspires your healthy lifestyle? What changes have you made, or want to make?
My prayer for you today, is that you choose to Walk in the Light. Walk tall, and strong. Know your purpose and why you do what you do.
Your Sole Searching Sister,