The Secret To Skinny

“Sustain me with cakes of raisins, Refresh me with apples, For I am lovesick.”

Song of Solomon 2:5

As I was doing a study on fasting and prayer this past week I found myself reading about the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon who says on two different occasions that she is “lovesick”. I felt like I was on to something that would give me greater insight into our love relationship with the Lord as I looked up the term “Lovesick” and the effect it has on the human body. Are you aware that our bodies produce the hormone oxytocin when we fall in love? That's why it has earned the nicknames "love hormone" and "cuddle hormone." As I read the medical science explanation for oxytocin, the Shulamite’s request in Chapter 2 verse 5 above made perfect sense. Maybe you can recall a time in your life when you fell in love and how you literally lost your appetite as all you wanted was to be with the one you loved. Thats what was happening in the Shulamite’s life. She was head over heels in love and so much so she had become weak from a lack of food.

If you or I could figure out a way to bottle oxytocin we would be rich beyond our wildest dreams because it would instantly become the best selling diet drink or pill of all time. Imagine enjoying the warm feelings of love all the while losing weight. The more you love the skinnier you become. Studying this out I understand better now why the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer are for some pure drudgery while for others they are pure bliss. Without love, relationships are just work but when we are in love even the greatest sacrifices are worth it to us. Jesus said that those who love much have been forgiven much. That’s why we can’t help but fall in love with Jesus when we come to understand how much Jesus has loved you and me.

Jesus would say His food was to do the will of His Father and as well He said that man could not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Food doesn’t really satisfy us but it does sustain us. God on the other hand, He both satisfies and sustains. One way God does that is through prayer. Prayer in its most beautiful form is intimacy with God. Jesus prayer in John 17 for you and me is that we would know God intimately, face to face. Fasting is another spiritual discipline where in most cases but not all, the person fasting gives up food and/or drink for specific durations of time so as to dedicate their entire being to the Lord. It’s like putting up the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel room door.

Think of prayer and fasting as something that happens between two people who are deeply in love with one another. Prayer is talking and listening and fasting is simply the denial of self for the benefit of the one you love. God has no need to fast as nothing ever gets in the way of His love for us! The Shulamite was fasting without even knowing she was fasting, as she was so much in love she lost all sense of time. If you have ever been in love you understand. When I met my wife we went on our first date to Marie Calendars. We were there so long in deep conversation that the staff had to finally ask us to leave as the restaurant had been closed for almost 45 minutes and they had done all their clean up for the night and were clocking out to go home. We were literally the last people in the restaurant. We were so caught up in each other we didn’t even notice.

I learned something else in my study of fasting. I understand food addiction and that sugar was my drug of choice to deal with the stress and strain of life. When I needed comfort I looked to food, the sweeter the better, that is until in my study in the book of Acts the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart asking me, “Why do you look for comfort in food when the Father sent Me to be with you?” The hardest lesson I learned was that I was grieving the Holy Spirit, completely unaware that I was choosing the comfort of my dessert over the comfort of the Holy Spirit and in doing so I was robbing the Him of His ministry in my life as my true Comforter. Can you relate?

Maybe if you are you like me and you need to fast and set aside food and lose some weight in the process or maybe you need to set aside something that you run to for comfort other than the Lord? You might just feel like your relationship with Jesus has gotten stale. You love Jesus but you don’t talk to Him much like you use too and you miss the feelings of love you once had. Confess it to God and plan a “date” as it were with the Lord. Get alone with God and pour out your heart to Him and open up the Word of God and rediscover His heart for you. Fasting will happen naturally as your love for God grows. The Spirit will show you things, even non food items that He would love for you to set aside for a time so you can spend that time with the Lord unobstructed. Might be a cell phone or a television, a hobby or… who knows what. Don’t worry, God will show you.

In time, besides enjoying the refreshing presence of the Lord and looking forward to the time with Him you might just discover for yourself the secret to skinny. Don’t be alarmed if people take notice that you have lost some weight (if needed) and your clothes fit a little better from finding your comfort in the Lord and not in food. And even if weight isn’t an issue for you don’t be surprised if they see the glow on your face that reflects the love you share with Jesus and someone asks you curiously, “are you in love?” To which you can smile and say in response, yes...

“I am my beloved’s, And my beloved is mine”

Song of Solomon 6:3


Michael Osthimer





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