Episode 24—Follow Me As I Follow Christ

Follow Me As I Follow Christ

“Teresa inspires me to believe that change is possible with God’s grace and help and the support of others. I hope to follow her as she follows Christ.” That’s a review that Star 1978 wrote regarding Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast.

But when I read the last line, my tongue about caught in my throat. My first thought was what an honor that you would say that about me. My second thought was what a huge responsibility to live up to. And my third was this is what we should all be doing as Christians.

These words appear in 1 Corinthians 11:1 in the Modern English Version of the Bible. When I first read them years ago, my immediate reaction was that Paul was being pretty haughty to say that to the Corinthians.

However, Paul wasn’t being haughty when he said those words. For many of the churches he was writing to, he was the only example they had of someone who was walking in the footsteps of Jesus. 

If we go back to 1 Corinthians 11 we can see some of the issues in which Paul was asking the Corinthians to follow him in. One of them happens to be about food. 

What Paul was addressing had to do with the way the church was handling the Lord’s supper. 1 Cor 11: 20-22, 33-34 MSG. What was happening in their day was that the Lord’s supper had ceased to become a way to remember Jesus and had become a free-for-all, food extravaganza or gluttonous feast for only those who could afford to bring food.

Today we don’t celebrate the Lord’s supper that way. It’s a sip of juice and a cracker. However, as I read that passage I couldn’t help, but think about how I felt when I was focused on food and nothing else. I was focused on what I was going to eat that would fill my cravings. Going to a church fellowship dinner, potluck supper or carry-in brunch was all about the food. Just provide homemade goodies and I’d be sure and be there. 

After losing more than 250 pounds and placing good boundaries around what I eat, these dinners don’t make me act like a starving maniac anymore. At 430 pounds, it was embarrassing, but it seemed I couldn’t help myself. I was like a kid in a free candy store. 

One big issue is that I had made eating the comfort foods I loved more important than anything in my life. It’s that old Phil 3:19 issue. I had made my stomach or my appetite my god instead of relying on God almighty. When we get to the point where certain foods have become addictions or strongholds in our lives, we have elevated them to the status of a god in our lives.

God tells us in Matthew 6:24 NLT that “ No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.” He’s talking here about being enslaved to money, but this pertains to anything that we allow to master us, such as food.

Later on, in that same chapter, verses 25-34, Jesus tells us not to worry about our lives including what we eat or drink or what clothes we will wear. The birds don’t worry about what they have to eat. The flowers don’t worry about what to wear. 

Then, Matthew 6:33 TPT adds, “Constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom[ and the righteousness that proceeds from Him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.” The issue for many of us is that we do not see food, shelter and clothing as less important. Our minds haven’t made the shift to what God wants us to understand. He wants us to see that it’s not our bodies we should be concerned about. It is our souls. 

Phil 3:18-21 NIV gives us an even closer look at what He’s saying. He tells us our citizenship is in Heaven. It’s a citizenship that is valid right now. Then, in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10-13 TPT, Jesus tells us each day we should ask that God’s every purpose be fulfilled here on earth just like it has already been fulfilled in Heaven. 

Our hunger is not physical. It is spiritual. Until we understand that, take our failures and fall headlong into the arms of His sweet grace, we will always be struggling. Spiritual nourishment is found only in Jesus Christ. 

Lifestyle change is a difficult process, but it is 100% possible when we tap into what God wants. And it is a whole lot better if we do it with others. Star 1978’s review reminds me anew to be sure I am leading well. I always do try to point people back to God and His Word. If we are all using that as our main guideline our lives will be aligned correctly.

In the end we just need to know three things: 

  1. We can only serve one master. Let’s make sure that is the God of the universe and not the foods we love to eat or the money we think we need.
  2. God will provide everything we need in this life if we put Him first. We have no need to worry. 
  3. We are citizens of Heaven right now. We must agree for His will to be done on earth just like it has always been done in Heaven. 

I am not as bold as Paul to flat out tell people to follow me in everything as I follow Christ, but I can be a mentor, coach and guide on the path to weight loss, even extreme weight loss, and healthy living because God has already led me down that path. I am thrilled that many hundreds have joined my coaching groups in the last six years and many thousands have taken my free KickSugar video course. 

The doors are open now to Overcomers Christian weight loss academy. I followed what God told me and opened them for those of you struggling with food addiction during this time. I will keep them open until He tells me to close them. Those who join now, can take advantage of our current free bonus. 

To find out more about Overcomers Academy or to join, go here:  https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/overcomers-christian-weight-loss-academy.

To take advantage of my Free course, KickSugar, go here: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/KickSugar/.

Sweet Grace for Your Journey.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "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 Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.