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Transformation by Truth: Day 8

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Day 8

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Blessing:

Oh Lord, I come before You today and ask that You would open my eyes and my heart that I might see You. To see what You have planned for me. Forgive me for anything I have done that has removed me from Your presence. Cleanse me Lord. Restore those things I have broken. As I move through this study, I pray that Your will would be done in and through my life. For it’s in Jesus’ name I ask these things, amen.

Scripture Reference:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

Today’s Message:

At the beginning of the holiday season, I turn into a peacock. I sway my tail feathers and strut with pride. Why? Every year before Thanksgiving Day, I have inevitably finished buying all of my Christmas presents. I don’t mean to brag, but let me brag.

By the time I shop for a turkey, not only is my gift list complete, but it is done within a very tight budget. I buy name brands on clearance at discount shops to get serious bargains. If there were medals given out for time-saving, cost-effective and perfectly-thought-out gift giving I’d be wearing the gold.

Hmm, can you smell the foreshadowing of a huge fall?

Like an accomplished criminal, I make sure that my tracks are covered so there is no evidence of my thriftiness. That’s why I only purchase clearance items if the bright-red price tag peels off without leaving a sticky residue. The item needs to be in impeccable shape and the box it’s packaged in must be dent free. You get the picture.

So, one year I strolled the gourmet food aisle at TJ Maxx. There were eclectic bottles of flavored oils, imported dried pasta and cappuccino mixes… but what really caught my eye was a beautifully unique container filled with chocolates.

Knowing one of my older aunts loves chocolate, I put it through my battery of tests: the price tag easily peeled up in one piece; the box was in perfect shape; and best of all, it was one penny shy of five dollars. Granted, this same aunt gave me a 100 dollar bill every Christmas.

But I rationalized my cheap gift, thinking, “She certainly should understand that I’m in my first career out of college and she must know that I barely get by loading up on Taco Tuesdays at Taco Bell… and anyhow… given how the box looked… well… maybe I bought it from an art museum or something, right? RIGHT?!”

Christmas came and I graciously handed her the present. This petite Japanese lady is probably the same height as E.T. She is quiet and demure. As she accepted the gift, she smiled with her head tipped to the side. Just as I imagined, she looked at the gift and admired the beautiful box. She opened it and remarked how she just loved chocolate. It was all going as planned until… something went severely off track.

She decided to share her gift with the entire extended family. The next thing I knew, she was walking around passing out chocolates to all of my aunts, uncles, grandma, cousins… she didn’t miss a single person. It wouldn’t have been a bad thing if it weren’t for the worst unexpected surprise.

The chocolates were shaped like Cheetos and they must have been rather outdated because they had a crackled white coating. What came to my mind was petrified cat poop (not that I’m an expert on what that looks like, but I’m just sharing the facts). I remember looking at my sister with wide eyes mouthing the words, “Oh no. Look!” I’m not sure all of what she said back, but I do remember her saying, “Chocolates? From where?!”

Have you ever gone from brilliance to brainless in a blink of an eye?

I felt like such a fraud. It was like the truth was uncovered and all of a sudden, I was naked and everyone saw the real me. Nakedness in the context of family is never a good thing.

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

If you could have stepped into my mind at the moment when I saw the chocolates and my family members’ reactions, you would have heard my own voice calling me an idiot. Well, that parallels my life on a much bigger scale. I used to have horrible messages that plagued my mind all the time.

They would sound something like this, “Oh yeah, you’re really a Christian, eh? Do you really think God could love someone like you? Look at all your failures, all your lies. This world sees one side of you, but they don’t see the real you. God knows the real you. You are a fraud!”

Sadly, I bought into those lies… and they kept me from growing within God’s amazing love. I mean my growth wasn’t just stunted… it was completely stopped. Ugh. Was I going crazy? Or was there more than what met the eye?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

I love how John Eldredge explains this verse in Waking the Dead:

Have you ever wondered why Jesus married those two statements? Did you even know he spoke them at the same time? I mean, he says them in one breath. And he has his reasons. By all means, God intends life for you. But right now that life is opposed. It doesn’t just roll in on a tray. There is a thief. He comes to steal and kill and destroy. In other words, yes, the offer is life, but you’re going to have to fight for it because there’s an Enemy in our life with a different agenda.

There is something set against us.

We are at war.

Ah ha! There is the source for those lies in your mind… and the source is not you and it is not God. So, now you are faced with this question:

Are you going to agree with the enemy or side with God?

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This is a war after all. You are not a fraud. But if the enemy gets you to believe that you are, you will not be able to live the life that Jesus died to give you… you will be taken out of the battle. You need to suit up for this war.

Read Ephesians 6:13-17 and put on your armor of God so you can stand against the enemy.

Are there any thoughts that have plagued you?

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What are the messages in your mind that contradict what God says about you?

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Do you feel worthless?

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Do you think that there is no hope for you when it comes to the trials you are facing?

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Make sure you catch this… this is a hugely important fact. The source of those lies is the enemy, who has many other names including the devil or Satan.

How do you think Jesus would respond to each of your erroneous thoughts? Journal your answers.

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Mind:

I have not failed seven hundred times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those seven hundred ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.

–Thomas Edison

If you are anything like me, you would agree that it is pretty easy to fall into the world of obsession when it comes to replaying failures in your mind. I wish I was exaggerating when I tell you that I didn’t sleep for many, many days after that Christmas gift exchange. I would sadly lay in bed and flashes of disfigured chocolates and every family member’s facial expression replayed in my mind over and over again, like a bad movie rental.

But here’s the moral of the story: without my many goof-ups, I wouldn’t have such colorful stories to tell. And I have a strong suspicion that you have stories that would compete with mine. So what may have appeared to be a failure is actually an avenue for me to have something in common with others. That’s not just true on a silly level, but it holds true on the significantly larger mistakes I have made in my life as well.

I made some really bad choices as a teenager. Any one of those decisions could have resulted in dire circumstances. God doesn’t waste a single one of our slip-ups. If there is someone who can relate to the angst of a teenager, it is me. I’m not trying to give wisdom from a lofty perch. I walked the exact same roads as many troubled teens. God can use me to heal others!

How can you re-frame the past failures your mind obsesses over?

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How can God use you to impact others? Journal your thoughts.

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You have an opportunity to use your mistakes to further God’s work instead of letting the enemy use your mind as his playground to destroy you.

Whose team are you on?

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Body:

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

– Dr. Seuss

Have you ever stopped yourself from attempting to conquer a health-related goal because you are afraid to look like a fool?

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Do you get scared that if you miss the mark, others will think less of you?

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Here’s the comedy: chances are they aren’t even giving you any thought! Really. Think that through. Imagine someone next to you was courageous enough to try running. After two minutes, they were huffing and puffing so they slowed down and walked.

Would you think less of them?

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Of course not! You either wouldn’t have noticed because you had too many other things on your mind or you would have been impressed that they were starting on their road to victory.

What is the worst possible thing that can happen if you fell just short of your goal?

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You’d still be better off than where you are now, right? Get over yourself… lose the false pride and take some risks. The payoffs will be well worth it!

So, write out your fitness and health goals disregarding any hint of fear that you might look like a fool.

What do you really want? Write your answers in your journal.

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How will you implement your ideas today with your eating, hydration and exercise? Write them down and get moving!

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Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, as I bow once again before Your throne, I am relieved… relieved that I don’t have to try and be something I’m not. It’s exhausting, and yet no matter how hard we try You will always know exactly who we are despite what our packaging says. I will never know why You still choose to purchase any and all who will come but Father, I am so glad that You do. You take our dents and damaged places and make them new. It’s because of You and Your work in and through our lives that we become something of worth. May it not be in vain Lord. Let us continue to live in such a way that brings praise to Your precious and holy name, amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Comment Below!

Do You KNOW Him? If you want to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, visit this Link: Encouragement Extreme

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

1 Comment

"You have an opportunity to use your mistakes to further God’s work instead of letting the enemy use your mind as his playground to destroy you."

God promises us that He will make good of all things. Even though we all have things in our past that we are not proud of, God can use them for His good. It might be that it will help someone else or bring you down a path that will put you in someone's life that needs the Lord. Trust in Him and don't regret things you can't change. Thank you Noelle for this great reminder!

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