Going on a transformation journey means I had to change my view of God. As preacher’s daughter who was in church every time the doors were open, I thought I knew everything about God until I watched my concept of Him change before my eyes.
God never really changes. He always stays the same,1 but my views about Him and how He works in my life and the world around me have changed drastically.
The truth is “God rules from the heavens and does whatever He wants.”2 After all, God is God, the top dog, the ultimate way-maker, chain-breaker, mountain-mover, the Almighty God. No one trumps (pun intended) Him!
God As I understand Him
I am a sugar and comfort food addict saved by the power of the Holy Ghost. Along the way I ran across the 12 Steps usually attributed to Alcoholics Anonymous, but they work for any addiction.
The third step is powerful. “I turned my life and will over the care of God as I understand Him.”
The first time I read that statement I thought I understood everything about God. I was about to realize I understood very little about God and most of it was faulty in some way. It might be ever so subtly faulty, but false nonetheless.
God Is Not Who I Thought He Was
“I find that I know less as I come to know You more. You’re not who I thought You were. Praise the Lord.” These lines from David Crowder’s song Praise the Lord summarize where I am right now.
Here are 10 ways my thinking has changed about God. I am ceaselessly adding to this list. This is just some of the more important stuff.
- Love3 and forgiveness4 are God’s commands, not just good suggestions or a way to be nice when I feel like it. They are requirements of my journey as a believer. They are really the essence of my journey. Without them my relationship with God cannot flourish.
- God does not nor ever will be confined to my neatly wrapped box, no matter how large or pretty I make it. He is not confined by what I think are His rules. Although He makes many promises in His Word, I cannot manipulate Him by His promises. He doesn’t fit in a box and as such doesn’t want me to either. I am free to be me.5
- He’s not a God I have to please. He created me to be enough. I don’t have to strive to be any more than who I am. I don’t have to try and try and try to please Him. I can dance to the unforced rhythms of grace.6
- God wants me to be prosperous even more than I do. My success means being the best I can be—body, soul and spirit. It means being at peace with myself. My prosperity is not measured by worldly wealth, but by my standing as His child.7
- There truly is nothing that is impossible for God.8 He will come to my aid if my plans fulfill His kingdom purposes.9 If I cooperate with His plans, lay aside my selfish desires and do what He asks me to do even if it means doing something that seems impossible, scary or may in some way cause me to suffer, God will make the impossible happen.10
- God will throw all His power behind His plans that I get on board with. My plans have little to do with it. 11
- God is personal.12 His unique purpose for me is different from His destiny for others.13 I can help others only to the extent that I lead them to Him. I can tell my story of how God led me, but it only helps if it inspires you to get your own story.14
- God’s truth has to move from my head to my heart. Truth has to be experienced for me to really know it. And when I know it, it will set me free.15
- Father God is a good Father. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can provide true comfort. Jesus is my companion on this journey.16
- I am just a mess being progressively set free by the grace-power of God.17
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I know God on an entirely different level than before I lost 260 pounds. I know Him to be a God who never gives up. He kept pursuing me until I allowed Him to show me how to change.
God of Total Transformation
I know Him as the God of total transformation. No one can take from me what He has done in my life. I have experienced His power first-hand, therefore I know truth does set me free and can do the same for you.
Change is not a one-time thing. Just like knowing God is not a one-time experience where I walk the aisle, shed a few tears and say a prayer.
Who or What Do I Allow To Control Me?
To say I am a Christian means I put God first. I allow Him to be my one and only master. As Paul said, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”18
I had allowed certain foods that I craved to control or master me when I should always allow only God to master me.
The Bible clearly says we cannot serve two masters, but it’s not just talking about money. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon, money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord.”19
I valued my relationship with food more than my relationship with God. I am so grateful God didn’t give up on me. His grace pursued me until I allowed Him to catch me and hold me close.
It’s the safest place in the world to be.
Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
I don’t care if you have 10 pounds or 410 pounds to lose “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams.”20
1Numbers 23:15 NLT
2Psalm 115:3 TPT
3John 13:24-25 NLT
4Matthew 6;15, Luke 6:37, Colossians 3:13 NLT
5Romans 8:1-2 NIV
6Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
7Romans 8:16-17 NIV
8Luke 18:27 NIV
9Matt. 6;10, 6:33; John 14:12-14 NIV
10Luke 9:23 AMP
11Psalm 1:1-3. 37:4, Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
12Leviticus, 26:11-13. MSG
13Ephesians 2:10 TPT
14Revelation 12:11 NKJV
15John 8:32 MSG
16 Romans 8:15 NIV, John 14:16 KJV, Luke 24:13-35 NIV
17Romans 12:2, 2 Cor 3:18 AMP
18Corinthians 6:12 NASB
19Matthew 6:24 AMP
20Ephesians 3:20 MSG
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach, podcaster, and speaker, who has lost 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013. Her books include: “Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor,” “Sweet Grace Study Guide,” “Sweet Victory: Winning the Battle,” “Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds,” “Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy”, “Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God’s Help,” “Sweet Freedom Study Guide,” “Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation,” “Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God,” and “Sweet Excuses: Stop Lying to Yourself & Start Losing Weight.” She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP intensive coaching. Don’t miss her weekly podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, where she shares tips from her personal journey of losing weight and discovering healthy living. Contact her at [email protected].