Episode 36—Discovery 2020

Discovery 2020

Discovery is the word God gave me for the year 2020. When He gave me that word, I knew it was going to be an interesting year. I just had no idea how interesting! Now, I realize how important the word discovery is for 2020 God is doing something really, really big for all of us to discover.

The dictionary definition of discover is an enlightening or astonishing disclosure or a revelation. Notice that word revelation! To see it in more exact words, a discovery is an act of communicating divine truth or something that is revealed by God to humans.

 All of that is in this little ordinary word, discovery. 

What the Scriptures Say

Two Scripture passages really stood out to me in regard to the word discovery. The Psalmist tells us that there is no end to the discovery of the greatness that surrounds the Lord, (Psalm 145:3 TPT). 

There is always something more we can discover about God. He is limitless. He is constantly creating. New people are born every day, new situations, new experiences, everything about God is all about creating something new for us to discover, especially about ourselves. Great doesn’t even scratch the surface to define God.

As awesome as that verse is, it was Luke 9:23-24 TPT that screamed at me the loudest. “Jesus said to all of His followers, ‘If you truly desire to be My disciple, you must disown your life completely, embrace My ‘cross’ as your own, and surrender to My ways.

“’If you choose self-sacrifice, giving up your lives for My glory, you will embark on a discovery of more and more of true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will lose what you try to keep.’” 

Discovery of Surrender

To go forward in our or weight loss and healthy living journey or just our journey to spiritual maturity learning to surrender what we want in order to receive His best for us is paramount.

What Jesus is telling us here is that if we choose to surrender our wants, desires and even the things we think we need to survive in this world, God will reveal to us what true life is all about.

In other words, when we fully submit to God we automatically begin a journey of discovery of more and more about true life. When we walk with God, He begins to reveal things we didn’t know before.

We may think we know all about the Christian life, but Jesus is saying that we haven’t even gotten started until we choose to give up what has been holding us captive to earthly things and keeping us from being all in with God.

Surrender Brings Destiny

For me surrender had a great deal to do with learning how to give up certain foods I couldn’t seem to say no to. I was addicted foods made with sugar and flour. This also included any foods with high carbohydrate content. The higher the carbs, the more they captured me. To get free I had to give these foods up. 

A cardiac surgeon had given me five years to live if I didn’t lose the weight and keep it off. It should have been a no-brainer, right? But when you have mental and emotional strongholds, which haven’t been broken, it’s really hard to surrender the things you are physically addicted to. 

When I finally got through some of the big hurdles and decided to allow God to walk me through this journey to transformation, my life began to morph into one of purpose and destiny. 

When I weighed 430 pounds I kept trying to shoe-horn my life into a destiny I wanted for me. I told God how it would be great if I could do this or that, but nothing seemed to work out like I thought it should.

When I’d ask destiny-oriented questions, the only answers I would get from Him were what He’d been telling me for years. It was always about surrendering sugar and things made with flour to Him.  I thought He was ignoring my question. What did losing weight have to  do with my life’s purpose?  I have discovered since that my destiny has everything to do with losing weight. There would have been no future for me if I didn’t lose weight. 

Follow Jesus

God used my biggest failure to teach me my greatest lesson. It’s a simple one really. I am just really stubborn so it took me quite a while to learn.

The lesson is just this: Follow Jesus. Do what He says. You’ll discover your destiny when you do that one thing.

I needed to do what I already knew He wanted me to do. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to give up sugar and flour. I wanted to eat all the delicious foods I had grown up with and lose weight too. I rebelled against what He wanted for me for years. I even thought it was impossible.

It didn’t seem to me like it was very destiny-oriented to have to give up things others could eat, but when I began walking through that process God began to teach me more and more about Himself. He was helping me discover more and more about how He and He alone has the keys to abundant living here and in the great Beyond. He was teaching me more and more about how to trust and obey Him.

What We Need to Discover

Remember, discovery is connected with revelation. In the year 2020, God is revealing Himself to us as the only One who has the power to fix what we have broken. We have broken His world and we can’t fix it. Only He can. We have to discover that one truth again.

It’s all wrapped up in this verse: “Lord, You are great and worthy of the highest praise! For there is no end to the discovery of the greatness that surrounds You,” (Psalm 145:3 TPT).

This is the quest we should all be on. This year He is highlighting that only He is great. Our jobs, money, churches, businesses, institutions and politicians are not what’s great. It’s God and God alone.

In 2020 God wants to refine and deepen our faith. I pray we get the lesson before it’s too late.

I know it’s difficult for us to see our world any other way than the land of the free and the brave where folks can accomplish the Great American Dream. Even though we may get back to something even better than that, we have to begin looking at our lives through God’s eyes. What things are the most important to Him? 

He cares about us, of course, but our ease is not His main concern. Loving all people is. Introducing all people to salvation through Jesus Christ is. We have to look at our world through His eyes of Love. How do we know we are doing this? When we share Jesus with as many people as we can. When we reach out in love to our brothers and sisters despite what it might cost us.

2020 is the year we discover what things we need to change in our personal lives. It’s the year of discovery of the deeper things of God. It’s the year we really, truly discover how to love one another. It’s the year we begin to discover who we are and why we are here.

I’m not asking anything of you right now except to pray. Pray for our country, for our leadership, for those who have been oppressed, for those rioting, for lives to be saved instead of lost, for our hearts to be turned towards God.

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.