I find the Lord re-visiting Truths over and over again. He not only wants to remind me but He wants to take me deeper. And as I go deeper with Him I get a little overwhelmed at how things get blurry before they get clearer. It's kind of like doing deep cleaning; it gets messy before it gets clean and organized.
Question on my heart these days: What is fasting?
To ask this question seemed silly to me- I thought I had it all figured out. It was one of those questions where you think you know the answer but deep down you know you really don't.
His Spirit had presented me with the idea of having our family prepare for Easter together. I talked with the kids about fasting and as I began explaining, I realized I didn't really know what I was talking about. Because I teach my children that we are free in Christ- that we have been given access to everything under God, my explanation of fasting began to sound twisted and wrong.
I heard myself saying that fasting is a way to get more of God. Hmm.. that does not sound right. I already have ALL of God. He gave me everything and has forgiven me everything.
As I meditated on this and took a break from teaching my kids, the Lord revealed something huge to me...Fasting is not some way of getting something, it is an opportunity to GIVE something.
As a follower of Jesus and a child of God, I have everything and lack nothing. To think that I need to do something or take something out of my daily life so that I can receive something from Him is saying "I don't believe you, OR I don't understand what you have done for me." Fasting is not a way to manipulate God, it is an attitude of giving, an opportunity to re-gift what has been given to me freely. He desires that we love Him so much that we would desire to be big givers.
Can I be a lavish giver like my Father? And can I teach my kids to be lavish givers? Can I give my tiny, seemingly insignificant gifts, or will I remain at a place of misunderstanding?
My God, the King of kings is not a God of expectation, making decisions based on what we have done or even what He knows we will do. If He did, He would not be a loving God. This is how man works. Man makes decisions based on what information we can gather (which is not a lot). But as we allow the Spirit to guide us and lead us into understanding, our desires become His desires (Psalm 37:4). We become like Him.
As I look through my Bible and search out what God has to say about fasting, my mind has been renewed. For the first time, I look forward to giving my coffee to Him in thanksgiving.
Coffee? Ha! I can do that. Dessert? I can do that too! (Let's start off slow though, folks.)
And best of all, I am free from the fear of failure.
He is pleased with my tiny efforts, just like I am pleased when my kids come to me with their sweet little pictures that they draw just for me.
The more I am taught on fasting, the more I see how it affects my entire idea of who God is, and the more it deepens my love for Him.
King David's words came alive to me today as I thanked Him again for how He gives us so much to re-gift.
I encourage you, if you have not already, to dive into this journey of what fasting really is. He is faithful in revealing the Truth, when you seek it.Psalm 103
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
More scripture I have meditated on: Isaiah 58, Joel 2:12-13, Matthew 6
More processing to come...I'm sure.