Well, I made it through my 21 days of fasting. However, before I break it, I know God wants me to sit down and write this WMD. I wish I wasn’t so hesitant to talk about fasting and what it has done for me and what it can certainly do for you. For some reason, my mind goes to Matthew 6:18 where Jesus says to “fast in secret, that your Father may reward you openly.” I always feel like a heathen for letting someone know that I am fasting. The Lord has showed me that by this same logic, we could conclude that prayer could never be done in public since it is to be done “in the closet” (Matthew 6:16) He also showed me that by that logic we could never let anyone see us put anything in the offering plate since we are to give our alms “in secret” (Matthew 6:4). I guess the point is that we can never make a show out of these three things simply to gain the admiration of people. If we do, that and only that, will be our reward.
That being said, the Lord has shown me many things over the last three weeks. When I fast, I am usually very sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I feel Him like crazy and get all tore up over the simplest things. This time that was not the case. I feel like this time was about getting rid of some impurities. Just as the impurities and toxins left my physical body, God wanted some impurities out of my heart as well.
I really felt the inconvenience of this fast. I was always aware of my “normal” foods that I could eat that would make me feel “normal.” I found my impatience kicking in…I was wishing the 21 days away. It was like I just wanted God to give me “credit” (whatever that means) for the fast. So many nights I missed what God was trying to do in me. He repeatedly woke me up at 2:30 a.m. I knew He wanted me to get up and spend time with Him in His Word. But, I had to work the next day. I had to get my rest. After all, I wasn‘t going to get my energy from food like “normal.” I told Him I’d get up at 5 and spend time with Him like I “normally” do…and I did.
The main thing He taught me was to refuse “normal.” In Luke 14:15-23 Jesus tells the parable of the great banquet. The king tells the people that He has prepared a great banquet for them…a feast. Instead of being excited about going, they made excuses. Now, here is the thing that got me, their excuses weren’t bad things. It wasn’t like they said “sorry God, but we’d much rather participate in satan’s feast…his is better.” They chose “normal” things over the feast of the King. One said in verse 18 “I just bought a field, and I must go see it.” I told Him “I bought a nice bed with an electric blanket…I can’t come to the feast because I must sleep in it a while longer.” Another said “I just bought 5 yoke of oxen, I’m on my way to try them out.” You probably guessed it…he had to go to work. That was exactly my excuse for not getting up. “Still another said, ’I just got married, so I can’t come.’” This one just made me VERY grateful for a wife that wants to fast, pray, and serve God side by side with me. Essentially they all said the same thing “God, you and your feast aren’t worth my time. I‘ve got better and more rewarding things to do.”
The point is, this is all “normal” stuff that we all feel. No human in the world would rip us apart for using any of these excuses. But, in verse 21, it says it made the King angry. I don’t want to make the King angry by choosing what the world calls “normal.” In fact, I don’t want to make Him angry at all! It is so easy to make an excuse…in fact, the devil will make sure that you have one.
To make a long story short, here I am at 4:09 a.m. typing this WMD. He woke me up one more time on this 21st day at 2:30. This time…I got up. This time He broke me. This time He filled me up with His Spirit. I just had to repent for my awful attitude…for all the time I spent wishing the fast to be over. I had to say I was sorry for not seeking Him like I should have been all along. I had to apologize for just going through the motions of a fast and whining through my “inconvenience.” Then, I had to thank Him for letting me feel His awesome Presence one more time. I realized that the only person who really missed out by not getting up and spending time with Him…was me.
Through it all, I learned this: Christianity is a feast. It isn’t “boring” like the devil has convinced the majority of the people in this world. The world can have what they call “normal.”
I want the feast!
Lord, thank you for fasting. Just as silver needs to be melted down so the impurities can rise, that is certainly what you did to me. Help me always choose the feast…Your feast! I love you and could never thank you enough for what you did for me on the cross at Calvary. Help me be more than a conqueror for the rest of 2012.