Friday, March 4, 2011

Not so Fast!

For the beginning of my walk with the Lord, I had misunderstood fasting as a simple, "Oh, I can't eat this or that laa-dee-dah" type thing. It was always a struggle because my motives were always unclear and I couldn't see how my relationship with God could possibly be impacted by me eating or not eating certain foods for a week (or however length of time I set aside to be "extra holy.") I always go back to Isaiah 58, but this time while meditating on the true meaning, I felt a wave of peace wash over me. It's the HEART behind the fast that God cares about. He wants our HEARTS to be genuine, without a double-motive, unselfish, repentant, etc.

The song from the musical Damn Yankees just popped into my head: "But ya gotta have heart! Miles and miles and miles of heart!"

Seriously though.

We seek answers from the Lord, yet we don't sacrifice.
Isaiah 58:2, "For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God."
Meanwhile, we continue to live in sin.
Isaiah 58:3-4, "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists."
When we do sacrifice, we'll eat a few vegetables and fruits rather than a Taco Bell crunch wrap supreme and then cry out "Where are you Lord?" But it doesn't work like that.
Isaiah 58: 4, "You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high."

In my times with God, I have been boldly asking for many things both for me personally and for the students in the Mizzou Navigators ministry. I ask God to reveal himself to certain students, for Him to change hearts, break chains of bondage to sin, grow and mature young believers, etc. For me personally I've been asking for deeper revelation of the Word, prophetic dreams, a divine ability to take my evil thoughts captive. However, oftentimes my prayers are mere asks, and if I couple prayer with fasting I tend to revert back to the ways of zero heart change.

Daniel 10 has an amazing account of how the Lord responds to a true fast. While Daniel prayed and fasted for three weeks, at the end of that time, "A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up, trembling." The Lord answered Daniel's prayer in a huge way and had in fact, been working the whole time Daniel was fasting. You should read all of Daniel 10 and see how God sent the angel as soon as Daniel started fasting, but the angel got caught up by the Prince of Persia and was delayed 3 weeks, the exact amount of time Daniel fasted.

I'm once again asking the Lord for something huge. I'm praying specifically for the hearts of the two girls I am in discipleship with. I'm asking for a transformation of mind and heart. I'm asking for hearts of obedience to His perfect precepts.

I have two months left on campus and I'm starting to see that is not enough time. Please pray with me that the time is spent well.

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