It is a new year and it is a new day. Today marks the start of our twenty one day fast. I started joining this fast when I attended Overcomer Covenant Church. Growing up a muslim, I never saw the heart of fasting. It was never taught to me and throughout my teenage years, I learned that it was only another one of many works I had to do. When I accepted Jesus into my life, I scoffed at the thought of fasting. My mentality towards it was so skewed until Pastor Gordon taught the importance of it in a way that my heart jolted.
Like a spark that was lit by God’s fingers himself. I started thinking of the journey I had to even find OCC, and by no means was it just a coincidence. One foot in front of the other, I found myself choosing God. Fast forward years later, my family attends a new church. It’s kind of a funny story. Well, not really funny, but funny in a way where we laugh when we realize that God orchestrated it. The church we attend now is the church my daughter have attended for the past two years for youth group every Thursday night.
Her youth pastor at OCC on Sundays became the lead pastor at THIS new church. Of course, we are overcomers at heart so a lot of the things were brought here to this church. One of those things is the twenty one day fast. I know that a lot of churches do this, but I am glad that Pastor Franklin is continuing this at this church. I think of him as a young pastor Gordon that speaks with truth, love, but also with conviction that is never condemning. Messages that touch our souls that plant little seeds that stay a lifetime.
I’ve done the fast a few times and each time, it is difficult. I find myself questioning my ability to do what God hopes for me to do. The first time, I chose to omit white rice and chips. Such a simple task it seems, but at the time, it was like I needed those things. I couldn’t feel satisfied if I didn’t have it. It, meaning both, as in, I always needed chips as the crunch to my meal. Reflecting on myself today, I don’t care for white rice. I still eat it from time to time, but not in a must-need as it was before.
The second time and third time, I chose to omit breakfast and lunch, while choosing to eat a healthy dinner every night. To add unto that, I removed social media from MY LIFE! My fourth time which is this year, I am still doing the same sans the social media. Interesting, right? I hardly go on it anymore besides to post on my makeup instagram. That obsession was broken by the power of God. My discipline has grown more steady each year. The more that I spend time with God, the more I understood why it takes a sacrifice like this to hear Him completely.
Interesting photo I chose for today’s blog. Fasting and prayer can seem like a lonely, cold snowy slippery road until we realize that there is still a sunshine shining upon us. The God that never forgets to give us light is the same God that will walk with us throughout every point of our life… should we choose to see Him.
In life, we have so many distractions that we see as normal. The obsession with having a high paying career, school, video games, social media, and even pleasing our spouse that goes beyond pleasing God. We even have people closest to us that does not see the importance in fasting and praying itself. This makes them not fully support the choices that we make regarding these pivotal moments of our journey with Christ. Other people’s reactions or how they view of certain things, is of course, not our burden to carry. Although when they become a mocker or a temptation that pull us away from our time with God, that’s when it becomes dangerous.
In the end of our lifetime here on earth, it is just you and God. Just me and God. No one else has anything to do with the judgement He will place on you or me. We would not be able to blame another for our own doings or shortcomings. At the end of the day, it is our own choice to spend that time with God or not.
It is our choice to hear God.
It is our choice to learn God’s Word.
A choice to live with God’s Spirit.
Sometimes when I clearly am not fed with God’s Word or Spirit. I say redundant things like, “oh, i’ll do it later.” or, “when life is better, I’ll have time for God.” In a blink of an eye, ten years can pass or even twenty. Even sadder, I could be seventy and never understanding God’s Word, living with His Spirit, or even worse, never stepping into His calling He has for me.
I’ll admit. I’ve had those years. In all those years, I waited until others would do it with me. The reason was that I wanted to have a friend in Christ, I wanted to feel supported, and because if it’s more than just me, it should be easier. The older I got, the more I realized that depending on another human is more difficult. God is the one I need. He is the one that is constant. If I wanted God to do anything in my life, it will only happen if it starts with me. FUNNILY ENOUGH, the theme of this twenty one day fast is titled ‘First’.
I chuckled a bit when I wrote that. It is true, though. No one will be the ultimate reason for us to do the things God wants us to do. It is just us, and how much we are willing to hear God. This time spent with our Lord and Savior is the means to spread the light unto others. This time abiding His Word, is the reason why we stand strong to the forces around us that does not want us to worship God.
We then find that the feeling of sorrow is temporary and that joy is everlasting. We learn that being alone is an opportunity to spend time with God.
He is my satisfaction. He is my life.
I yearn to live it so fully that my children will want to find satisfaction in God alone. Can you imagine the confidence that brings? A full confidence in the Lord that will bring out the gospel and touch other’s lives. How beautiful is that? The end game of it all. Us, living forever in heaven with the powerful and loving God.
That’s why it really does start with you. It starts with me. Choosing to hear God so that we can live our lives for God, for our generation and the next. Pride has no room when it comes to following God. Sometimes I think that pride in itself rejects God’s ways. Whenever I think of a prideful person, I think of how they are not afraid to face God at the end of life. To know who He is, but not to be in agreement with Him or His Word. I guess it happens since the devil is a prime example.
I have two books that will partner with my journaling. One of them is gifted and the other is borrowed, and I can’t shake off the feeling that God spoke to those two people to bless me in that way. They probably had no idea, and I have no idea. I’m very excited for what God will reveal to me. He always does.