The Lord has been pressing hard on me these past few weeks…but so has the other guy. For a few weeks now I have been getting the feeling that a fast is in my future. I know that in the Bible, fasting was a discipline practiced before making big decisions. I also see it as a cleansing of the body…getting all of the junk out of the Lord’s temple so he can fill it with His Spirit. In the Bible fasting can be found in Acts, Luke, Daniel, Psalm, Joel, Nehemiah, Matthew, Ezra, Judges, and Corinthians among books. The purposes varied, but all were centered around discerning God’s will and direction.
I looked up “fasting” on the internet because I have never done one. I understand that there has to be an objective, commitment and preparation and the Lord is giving each piece to me one at a time. I mentioned that control is an are of my life where I struggle. This spills into my walk with God, my marriage, kids, service, even recreation time- I can say that my need to control, or the illusion of control, touches everything in my life. There are times when I give it up, but I always end up slowly taking it back. It has to stop. I mentioned in the beginning of the year that I felt that I needed to “get a grip” on what God expects of me as a wife, mother and child of God…He has started with my role as a wife. So control…and being a Christian wife. I won’t get more specific than that- God’s got work to do here and I have to surrender. I want Him to BREAK ME.
So, with that said, I started preparing for this fast two weeks ago. I still haven’t started though. I keep praying to ask God how long? When do I start? How do I do this with a family to care for? I can’t just take a few days off…a week off…40 days off and go somewhere quiet. How can I possibly dedicate my day to prayer when the day to day activities and needs of a family are still going on? Is this even possible? Uggh…there I go again. Control. I saw an encouraging video online yesterday from a mom who did a water fast for 40 days. She did this while caring for, preparing meals for, and keeping up with the daily activities of her family. She said that this actually deepened her relationship with God because she was still handling the food and serving. My sister added the idea that it will also benefit my children as they witness my fasting and prayer as an example. Ok. It can be done. It will be done.
Then, the other guy steps in….”can God even hear you?”. Sermon after sermon asking “are you really saved?” was giving Satan a little crack to wedge his toe into. I have shared that I am a prodigal and ashamed of that. I know that I am forgiven, but there are days when doubt rattles around in my head. (I started adding these things to this post and realized that it was a post in itself. I’ll elaborate more soon.) Then some challenges and uncertainties were introduced into our family this week. I called my sister to chat and she reminded me that God is in control…I shouldn’t worry….I shouldn’t make a move until God tells me to. I can’t be like Abraham and Sarah and try to do it myself when he already has something planned. She said all the right things according to His Word. I responded as I suspect many people do- with an “I know, but….this is crazy.” …”I know, but….what will we do?”….”I know, but….I’m not ready for this.” Does God hear me? Am I His?
Let the tailspin of doubt begin….
A clear indication that God can hear me…I found out last night that the pastor’s sermon this coming Sunday is on FASTING! What?! Yep, if there was any doubt in my mind- the Lord has cast that out. I am positive that this is what I am called to do. All of the other chatter is just Satan’s attempt to distract me and crush me.
And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18
So once again, folks. I will be concentrating on turning my eyes from the things of this world in the form of a fast. I will not tell you when or for how long- but I will ask you to pray for me. Have you ever fasted? Have you ever done it while continuing your daily routine? I’d appreciate your feedback and encouragement.