One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him.
All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and follow God’s plan for our lives.
When we don’t think we have any clear direction from God, we are relying on our own intellect. We may know what to do, but our minds are overridden by our emotions. We say we don’t want our emotions to be in charge, but that is like trying to get a two-year-old out of the swimming pool when they want to stay. They cry and scream uncontrollably because they are driven by their emotions.
We aren’t quite that demonstrative when we want our way, but we do allow our desires to lead us. When we know what we should eat in order to maintain our health but instead violate our own boundaries, we are abdicating to our fleshly desires, which are driven by our emotions.
Holy Spirit Leadership
Only the leadership of the Holy Spirit can override our emotionally-driven will and give us the strength to say no and mean it. But if we believe God can’t or won’t speak to us, our ears will be closed to His voice. When that happens, we are on our own. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He won’t speak to us unless we ask Him to and want His guidance.
That reminds me of a time I heard God clearly, and yet I totally disobeyed Him. It was 1977. I was in my morning quiet time. I had just read Matthew 17:20 NIV where Jesus tells the disciples, “I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I was scared because I had gone way over 200 pounds and was headed towards 250. I wanted a solution. I just said out loud, “God, I have a little faith and I have a mountain of weight on my body. How can this mountain be moved?”
God’s Clear Voice
I had heard from God before but this day His voice was clearer than clear. Not verbal but clear in my mind. He said, “Stop eating sugar. Eat more meats, fruits and vegetables. And stop eating so much bread.”
I knew this was from God for three reasons. 1. I cried out to God specifically. 2. I asked a question based on scriptures. 3. It was not something I had ever thought about or heard before.
I wrote down the passage and what God said to me. Then I wrote my response. “Nice plan, God. If I did that, I would lose weight. But I can’t do that.”
So, for the next 30 or so years, whenever I would get totally frustrated about my weight, I would go on a diet that had some of the elements God had outlined. However, during that time I never did what God actually said which was to STOP eating sugar. I heard Him. I knew it was Him. I just refused to do what He said.
Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27, NKJV). By sheep, He means those of us who have accepted Him as Savior. I was His. I heard His voice. He knew me as one of His and talked to me but I did not follow Him. I did not do what He clearly told me to do.
Sometimes God intentionally does not speak to us because we haven’t done the last thing He told us to do. We need to do that before He will tell us anything else. He wants to see that we are following Him instead of what we want.
Other times we pray but we have our own agendas. We ask God to answer our prayers in our ways and when He doesn’t answer like we want Him to, we think He’s not listening to us. He’s listening, He just wants to be sure we are too, and that we are following through with what He wants instead of going our own way.
Many times through the year I’d pray about something important to me like what is my purpose? God would give me the answer He gave me back in 1977. I’d get frustrated and say, “I’m not asking about that. I’m asking about what my life purpose is.”
God was helping me understand that I couldn’t step into my purpose until I stepped into my identity. I knew that was “I am a whole, healthy, happy woman of God.” In other words, my identity or who I am had to come before my purpose or what I do.
His Purpose Is Paramount
I now see that He wanted me to become a Christian weight loss coach, author, speaker and podcaster with a breaker anointing to help set free those who are being held captive by food addiction. But I couldn’t do that until I had victory over my biggest obstacle which was sugar addiction and super morbid obesity.
At other times, we don’t recognize God’s voice because we have allowed the voice of our wants and the enemy’s voice to cause such noise in our minds that we are so paralyzed we can’t even think. So, we assume God isn’t interested in talking to us.
Speaking with God should be just like talking to a friend. He doesn’t want our opinions as much as He just wants a conversation. He doesn’t need us to tell Him what to do. He wants to be our God, our counselor, the One we run to when we are in need.
We Need His Direction
We shouldn’t try to direct God. Instead, we need to let Him direct us. He wants our joy and happiness. And if we are in constant conversation with Him, He will also guide and direct our steps and keep us from harm.
Psalm 37:23-24 NLT tells us: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don’t miss her podcast, “Sweet Grace for Your Journey“, available on CPN. This article first appeared on teresashieldsparker.com. For more on this subject listen to episode 146 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey Podcast: God Doesn’t Speak to Me, click here.