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Words of Encouragement

Daren asked me to write a bit of a reflection on how my week has gone so far. I pray this is encouraging for you!

So… fasting. This is a bit of a new concept for me. At least taking on a fast this seriously. It’s really been surprising to me to contemplate the almost countless ways this has driven my mind and body toward God. On Tuesday I read the passage in Matthew 9 about John’s disciples asking Jesus about fasting. In there they say that the Pharisees fast. Yeah, those are the guys that Jesus is constantly riding for their misplaced devotion. They’re the ones who he called white washed tombs. To me, this just reminded me that even submitting my body to God in this way can be done for personal glorification and not Jesus glorification. I’ve just found that my heart flips too quickly to feeling good about myself for doing this. The willpower to not eat (we all went to subway for dinner last night and the smell KILLED ME). The way my body looks because of MY choices. I know that I’ve lost some weight, yet I notice myself being tempted to think about that more than is spiritually healthy. Even my attitude, which I think has been very positive, is easy to claim as a personal victory. I just find myself taking credit for these things so quickly and unconsciously. It really has exposed me to myself in some frighteningly new ways.

On the positive side though, it has been a spectacular experience in my relationship with God. I have actually, like literally hungered for His word. I’ve felt that for me it’s been more than just praying when I feel hunger. The routines of food permeate my life. It’s sobering to reflect on how something so temporal can play such a massive, and subconscious role in defining longings and daily routine. Yet God, who is infinitely more foundational to my existence, so often slips through the cracks of my day (or days) and that I long for him in such a fleeting way. One writer said that fasting is sacrificing present comfort for future glory. Well I agree, and my prayer for each of you participating in this fast is that you would simply enjoy the spiritual perspective that comes with a lack of food.

“Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.”
Psalm 107:8-9