Scott Davis is a Christian comedian and author of the new book, “If My Body Is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch: My journey of losing 132 pounds with no exercise” (Ampelon, 2011). He shared some thoughts from his book on what it means to trust God to help us make the necessary changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle. You can learn more about Scott at www.scottdavis.com.
I’ve studied the Bible enough to know the temple in Jerusalem featured large courts as gathering places for different groups of people. King Solomon’s Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians around 586 B.C., had two major courts, the Great Court and the Inner Court. Jesus visited Herod’s Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. It featured several courts, including the Court of the Gentiles, the Court of the Women, the Court of the Priests, and the Court of the Israelites.
However, if your personal temple is in dire need of remodeling, here’s the tough place I had to start from more than 130 pounds ago: Swallow the Truth.
For years, I swallowed the truth and everything else I could get my hands on. I refused to admit I had a problem, especially in one intensely personal way I will detail later in this chapter.
I told myself my eating habits were fine. All I would admit to was, yes, I had a spaghetti stain on my shirt. I rationalized in ways that now seem laughable: If God didn’t put all those burgers, fries, and desserts on Earth to enjoy, then why did He make them so finger-lickin’ good? I had different ideas on displaying the full Gospel. As large as I was, it didn’t get any more full. I saw no sense in talking about the 500-pound elephant in the room, especially since I was the elephant.
I knew the truth because I knew God’s Word. But I wouldn’t admit the truth because I loved my addiction more than I loved doing the right thing. It led to one place: a personal hell.
Over a period of years, I realized that I needed a lifestyle change in order to overcome my unhealthy habits, but I also realized I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed to lean on God to help me do it.
We realize the real battle is spiritual. The key to victory over weight control is to recognize this isn’t the battle of the bulge. It’s a battle for the heart and mind. We are spiritual creatures—the real you is the spirit inside that oversized bag of bones—and therefore everything that touches our lives has spiritual implications.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes, “All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied” (6:7). He’s saying what we stuff into our mouths can never bring lasting peace and contentment. Our struggle isn’t physical, it’s spiritual. It has psychological, emotional, and mental ramifications, but the battle is spiritual. Take care of the spiritual foundation first, and the rest has a way of falling into place (see Matthew 6:33).
We spend time in Bible study every day. This is how we take care of the spiritual foundation. Through study of His living Word, God renews our minds to rid us of old habitual thought patterns and retrains us to see ourselves and others as He sees us. Psalm 119:103 states, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Now we’re talking eternal dessert!
We pray. And then we pray some more. Why? Because there is power in prayer. We pray to start the day. We pray to close the night. We pray through the cravings. We pray for strength. We pray for courage. We pray for protection from temptation. We pray during temptation. We pray for discipline and consistency.
We pray to sense God in every bite. “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8). Nothing rivals the flavor of the Savior.
We obey. When the Holy Spirit whispers in His still small voice that a particular menu item has too many calories or too much salt, we don’t pretend we can’t hear Him. That still small voice may as well be a megaphone at that moment, but sometimes we out-talk God. That’s when we wind up burping lasagna. But it’s not lasagna that sits on our stomachs two hours later. It’s an extra helping of guilt.
We ignore the enemy’s taunts. Yes, we have fallen. Yes, we feel the extra helping of guilt. But failing doesn’t make us a failure. It makes us human. A key to weight loss is ignoring Satan’s giggles and false accusations when we stumble. His lies are a mirage. They’re like a Hollywood movie set, extravagant and convincing on the outside with nothing behind them. They feel heavy but weigh nothing compared to the gravity of God’s truth. When God convicts, He convicts about a particular sin. He is precise because His Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. When Satan accuses, he generalizes. You’re a bad Christian. You’re a loser. You’re a fatty. You’ll never get the weight off. When we stumble, we ask for forgiveness if we have sinned, and we start again, same nose to the same grindstone.
God’s precious Word trains us how to recognize Satan’s lies and believe truth instead. Then it’s up to us to never give up. Ever.
Matthew 6:33 states: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The “kingdom of God” refers to the rule and reign of Christ not only over the universe but also in our hearts.
That’s why Jesus said the kingdom of God has arrived. It’s already here because He came and He reigns.
“All these things shall be added to you” means God takes care of the rest. When our focus and lives are centered upon Him, God has our backs. Thankfully, He’s strong enough to have my front as well.
Taking everything to God means a daily offering of our lives—every fiber of our being—to Christ and submitting to His authority. We are to ask Him for strength and should trust Him to provide everything we need to persevere. This isn’t a head game. It’s a heart reality.
One verse later, Jesus gives us a final, crucial assurance: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
In other words, live the cliché: one day at a time. Don’t worry about how tomorrow will be impacted if you mess up today and fall off the wagon and land in the buffet line.
Tomorrow is a new day. Start fresh.