Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
Have you been on a scale lately? What’s your weight? Would you like to drop a few pounds, or are you satisfied with what you weigh? These are obviously rhetorical questions. Before you answer rhetorically, know that I’m referring to “spiritual” weight, not physical weight. While on the surface the two weights appear drastically different in nature, they share several surprising commonalities. Mindset, motivation, proper eating, and regular exercise are components of maintaining a healthy (physical) weight, and lifestyle.
Summertime is a popular time to get sculpted and svelte for the sun; but again, that’s about our physical house. How do we lose spiritual weight, and keep it off?
If you know anything about the criminal justice system, then you’re familiar with the term “recidivism.” Recidivism is a measure of criminal behavior, how often a criminal repeats criminal behavior, or is likely to. The Free Dictionary defines it this way:
The behavior of a repeat or habitual criminal. A measurement of the rate at which offenders commit other crimes, either byarrest or conviction baselines, after being released from incarceration.
For the purposes of this post on spiritual weight, let’s consider our spiritual recidivism rate: how likely we embrace behaviors, habits, and thought-pattens that lead us back into bondage AFTER we are set free.
Freedom is what the Cross is all about. When Jesus laid down His life for us, He triumphed over hell so that we could live in complete liberty from the bondage of sin, and escape the bars of guilt, shame, and condemnation. So a certain level of freedom is part of our benefits package, if you will. But there are other levels of freedom; those that accompany a sincere desire to repent and lay down behaviors that break God’s heart and sully our hearts and souls. We have to press in for healing and deliverance to get to the next level of liberty.
I find the healing process intriguing. I know individuals who were healed spontaneously of crack and alcohol addiction and even AIDS. I know of other cases, including my own, where the healing has taken place over time. The time-lapsed approach is just as powerful and sweet; individuals can celebrate the steps of their progress, and get encouragement from all they’ve overcome.
Many times, individuals accept the first part of their “medical” benefits package, but never tap in to, or pursue the components of the package that lead to wholeness. This is why you might see a drug addict giver her life to Jesus on one day, vowing to never use drugs again, yet continue to struggle with the addiction long after. It is not that she doesn’t want to stop using drugs. Not at all. The problem is that she did not do the healing and deliverance work. She wants to change, or else she never would have surrendered her life to Jesus.
See once we declare our healing, we have to declare deliverance. In the same way forgiveness is a multi-phase process in that we forgive, release, and bless our offenders, so is healing and deliverance. Declaring deliverance puts the enemy on notice that we are arresting and evicting the demons and strongholds that previously strangled us, and that we are not going to allow them to visit — our minds or hearts — ever again. When we realize that we have Goliath-slaying power over our enemies, that’s when deliverance can manifest. Lasting repentence — permanent behavior and mind change — and conviction will soon follow. Isn’t that exciting?
So how do we keep our wholeness and walk continually in liberty? How do we keep our spiritual weight off permanently? Well, it is critical to that we keep our house in order. That means we need to be mindful of what’s in our house. And it is also critical that we choose to think, act, and speak as though we are whole and free — even though it will feel odd at first. It takes time to lay down old habits and behaviors. If in your past, you were a habitual liar, then that’s your comfort zone. Deception and deceit are your wheel house, so it will take time for you to stop the train. Even though you were not happy in deception and deceit, that’s where you built your house, and we are most comfortable in our homes, right?
Spirits Return Seven-Fold
“Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ On its arrival, it finds the house vacant, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:44-45
Here are ways to stay out of bondage and maintain a healthy spiritual weight:
- Enjoy your freedom — Understand that God intended you to be FREE, so embrace it and enjoy it. You don’t have to apologize or feel guilty for partaking in what God willed for you to start with.
- Eat healthy — This is a big one. Once you receive healing and deliverance, the enemy will be very, very aggravated with you. Trust me. For that reason, it’s important that watch what you eat and with whom you eat. If you’re a healed alcoholic, then you don’t need to hang out in bars or with people who still indulge or over-indulge. Let a hunger and thirst for God’s presence, pleasure, and His Word replace your former addiction.
- Exercise — We have to stay active even after we drop physical weight, right? It’s the same case with spiritual weight. So what does that look like? Consistent Bible study, prayer, fasting, praise, thanksgiving, worship, and communion with the Lord. These are the activities we use to maintain what’s ours, and triumph over the enemy. These are the ways in which we take the enemy.
- Check your social circle — Surround yourself with people who are also in hot pursuit of lasting healing and deliverance. Our social circle is very important. We need people in our circles who genuinely want our best, won’t be stumbling blocks, will hold us accountable, and won’t unfairly judge or criticize us.
- Regular heart check-ups — We should make it a practice to ask God to clean our hearts and renew a right spirit within us. We don’t always get it right, even though we try. In fact, most times we get it wrong. But God is wonderfully merciful, and there is no sin that is too heavy for the Cross. We keep our hearts clean by humbling ourselves, asking for forgiveness, ridding ourselves of unforgiveness, bitterness, haughtiness, anger, resentment, and hatred. We chase peace rather than conflict and strife. And when we sincerely ask God to show us the areas in our lives that need correction, He obliges and we can be sure our hearts will be clear.
Remember: God will keep you if you want to be kept!
Tell us about your spiritual weights — how you removed them, and how you keep them off. Comment here, or on our Facebook page.