I’ve recently given increased attention to my personal fitness, which has included 5AM workouts and meal preps with plenty of veggies & lean meats, and it has taught me a valuable lesson!
After several consecutive weeks on this routine, last Monday I sent a friend of mine a picture of my lunch. It was baked chicken breast over a mixture of chickpeas, spinach, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and cranberries (in a lemon sauce). It was delicious, and filling. I brought more fruit and a salad to work in case I got hungry after that meal, but surprisingly, I didn’t get hungry again, and that healthy meal that seemed small filled me up for the duration of my time at work.
Then on Tuesday, I broke my regular routine since I did an airport pickup on my lunch break. Instead of eating the lunch that I brought to work (probably 500 calories), I stopped at Wendy’s and grabbed a meal (around 1200 calories). After eating it (didn’t even really enjoy it like I used to), I felt full. This time there was a difference though. I got hungry about two hours later, and was looking for snacks to get me through the rest of the work day, not to mention the itis and the 2:00PM slump it gave me.
I got full off of the Wendy’s fast food lunch, but the healthy food gave me a different kind of filling. It was a guilt-free, lasting, profitable filling that I didn’t have to worry would set me back from the progress that I’ve made in my fitness journey.
You may or may not be working towards fitness goals, but all of us fill our lives and our space with people, relationships, behaviors, choices, and habits. God has specific guidelines for what we consume and engage in, and our ability to accomplish what God has assigned to us depends on us giving careful attention to what we’re filling ourselves with!
In 1 Chronicles 15:12, David tells the heads of the Levitical families to consecrate themselves and bring up the ark of the Lord. The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence for the Israelites, and though the Levites were assigned to handle it, they needed specific instructions on how do it because when they attempted to before, they did not do it in the prescribed way.
For the Levites, consecration was a cleaning ritual, and for us, consecration is the intentional effort we make to remove the empty, ungodly fillers in our lives that are taking up the space that God desires to fill. Anybody or anything that God does not approve of is polluting your life and delaying your purpose! Consecrating yourself before the Lord proves to God that you are serious about your purpose and makes room in your life for God to give you what you’re asking for. We are sometimes too busy doing what we do and being who we are to realize that the ungodly things we do in the name of fun or boredom aren't just causal behaviors. That junk is killing you! It's stifling your capacity to hear God and obey God's word, and limiting the space in your life for God to occupy.
Too often in our lives, we settle for options that are as unhealthy spiritually, mentally, financially, socially, and relationally as fast food is physically. I encourage you to do what David instructed the Levites to do: CONSECRATE YOURSELF! Identify those things in your life that pollute your life and exchange them with the things of God.
You have the option to have a different kind of filling! God wants to fill our lives with a guilt-free, lasting, profitable filling that is so much better than the cheap substitutes that we think we are enjoying. God’s filling is God’s presence, God’s word, the fruit of God’s Spirit, godly relationships, and godly success.
Consecrate yourself! Clean your spiritual diet! Clean your mental diet! Clean your physical diet! Real success is not only accomplishing a God-given assignment, but it is doing that assignment, God’s way!