Today, some friends and I are fasting. While some are doing a full fast (water only), some are doing a juice only fast and some, because of medical reasons, are giving up other loved activities instead of food. Because I am nursing the baby, I have given up all “fun food” today – sweets, snacks, hot chocolate, coffee and other stuff I love to eat. Just basic meals so that I can continue to feed my baby well.
Why are we fasting? During this 24 hours, we are focusing in prayer for our spouses, our children, our homes, our finances. We are petitioning God, asking for direction, wisdom, courage, strength, peace, resolution and any number of needs. What am I finding? Peace.
As I’m going about my day – changing diapers, fixing lunch, vacuuming, mopping, getting the mail – I am thanking God for the ability to do these things and the ways that He has provided for my family and my friends’ families. As I know of specific areas of need, I share those with God as well. He already knows what I’m talking about; I’m simply giving God my heart’s hurts, joys and desires. I’m having an intimate conversation with my Creator.
But why fast in it all? Why give something up? We certainly don’t have to fast in order to pray. Fasting is simply a type of spiritual discipline. It is a sacrifice that we are giving – sort of like the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. It is a sacrifice that often helps us remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus at the Cross. And each time we would normally “partake” in the food/activity/offering, we instead are to spend that time in prayer. So each time today I think about going to grab a chocolate chip cookie ( or 2 or 3 or…) from the batch I made yesterday, I then should take a moment to instead, talk with and listen to God.
So what am I hearing today? For me, this is the important question. I have been struggling to hear God for sometime. There is a lesson about submission I’m learning in that, but today, I am hearing clearly that God’s got it. That job situation a friend is worried about? God’s got it. The house stuff Racer and I are dealing with? God’s got it? The spouse issues another friend struggles with? God’s got it. The kid worries? God’s got it.
But in that promise, has been a condition. First comes our trust and obedience. We have to TRUST that God’s got it. And then, we have to be obedient to His life for us. When we trust in obedience is when we see the beauty of how God works it all out. When we aren’t obedient, we see the mess of when we try to work it out. Trust and obedience are key.
That’s pretty major. It’s like a promise with a condition: “IF you clean your room, THEN you can go to your friend’s house.” IF we trust and obey, THEN God will work it all out in His beautiful, perfect way. No pressure huh? Good news is, God won’t ask us to do anything He’s not gonna equip us to do. It’s like giving a kid time, the vacuum, the spray, the paper towels, the clothes basket, the toy bins – all she needs to clean and organize the room. Instead, the kids uses all that to make a robot that will hopefully do the cleaning.
So today, as I continue to pray, I’ll be asking God to reveal to me what I’m doing with the tools He’s giving me. (I’m asking the same for my friends too.) Am I being obedient? Or am I making a robot?
How about you? How is your trust and obedience? What have you been making with His tools lately?
Edited to Add: Right at 7pm, when we were ending our time of fasting, a friend got a positive call regarding a housing issue we were praying about. God’s timing is perfect!