For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.–1 John 5:4-5
About a year ago, I was feeling like an overcomer. After years of carrying around a lot of excess weight, I started, in April, eating properly and exercising daily. From April until just before Christmas, I lost forty pounds. Forty pounds! That’s a big sack of dog food. It’s five gallons of water. I have no idea how many Chipotle burritos that represents.
Feeling triumphant, like an overcomer, back around Christmas, what did I do? I got out of my good habits, stopped exercising, started eating garbage again, and gained most of that weight back again. Way to go, Mark!
At the risk of spiritualizing something that is purely a matter of calories consumed and calories burned, I can’t help but think that there’s something significant going on here. Every morning when I wake up and see myself in the bathroom mirror, I have to recognize the successes that I achieved and then let slip away. When I pull on my clothes, I feel the tightness and acknowledge my defeat. It’s as if Satan has me discouraged before I even put my shoes on for the first time.
Here’s the problem. When I was biking and running and eating right, I was pretty much doing it in my own strength, burning my own will power, and depending on my own motivation. When those sources ran out, I found my jeans getter tighter. I cannot overcome in my own strength.
In reality, I was not spiritualizing anything that didn’t deserve it here, because everything is spiritual. My adversary–and yours–will confront me wherever a victory can be won. My only hope is not weight watchers or a personal trainer. It’s a genuine reliance on Jesus Christ.