Yesterday was the first day of the 21 day fast. I thought to myself, “I can do this.” At the same time, thoughts of my readiness or lack thereof for it also surfaced. How do I know I can do this? It sounds fairly simple, but when I think about it more, the more impossible it sounds.
I’m not very seasoned in this area of fasting all foods for 21 days, not even close… but I would like to be. I knew that there would be years of practice that would be needed to lead to that. Years of endurance and of strength in the mind. I also realize that where I am at now is the journey to that place. Before I started out with skipping processed grains. This year, I am fasting until dinner time. There are some big questions that I ask, that we ask and often wonder quietly among ourselves…
How do I know that I am ready for this?
How do I know that I am ready for this? How do I know if I am ready to even start? It is not about just fasting but everything about everything in general. It can be about in the Spirit or not in the Spirit, but in this case I am talking about things in the Spirit. And hopefully, that we do decide things with the Spirit guiding us. The first day of my fast revealed a memory in the distant past of how I even accepted Jesus in the first place. How did I know I was ready?
⁃ How do I know if I am ready to say yes to Jesus?
⁃ How do I know if I am ready in the mind to accept Him and follow His ways?
⁃ How do I do something like this if the environment I live in does not accept or is not used to this?
⁃ How do I know if I’m ready for all the other stuff that comes with following Him?
⁃ How do I know if I’m ready to change and accept what comes with the change?
⁃ How do I know if I’m ready to sacrifice my own ways to love Him?
⁃ How do I know if I’m ready to fast and give up foods or my rather obsession of the media?
⁃ How do I know if I’m ready to commit?
The truth is we are never ready for anything.
We are never fully sure of our readiness. When are we ever ready to start school? Middle school or high school? When are ready to start a new job or start new at a new place? When are we really truly ready to be a parent? I am never fully sure if I’m ready. We do notice that even though we are not ready, we just start. Looking back in my life, the things that stood out were my doubts and extreme unreadiness to accept and follow Christ. In my heart, I was ready and in my heart I was sure.
In reality and in the “real” world, I wasn’t ready to say yes to Jesus. I wasn’t ready to create a storm within my Muslim family. I wasn’t ready to lose my parents and brother. I wasn’t ready to be cast out and be alone. I wasn’t ready to be an embarrassment to my family and relatives in Indonesia. The mind can be a manipulative tool from the enemy and this I knew. From the same mind that gave me doubts and fear, that mind also gave me hope and peace. How is this?
God. Jesus. The Holy Spirit that randomly appears and takes me out of my own darkness and say, “Hey. I am here and remember who I am” All of a sudden, I felt peace and that everything will be okay. The Bible became my weapon. The more I read it, the more I gained the knowledge and strength of God.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 10:34-36, 39 ESV
Jesus himself warned of what the cost of following Him would be like. At the time, these exact verses were what stayed still in my mind. Another silent, yet powerful and loud voice also said, “I will give back to you what you ask. I will give you back what you lose.”
I am boggled about this still to this day. THAT was what kept me going. That message was what made me start and what has made me say Yes to Jesus. That voice was so clear that I thought I read it in the Bible somewhere. I believed it and used it as a tool of strength. I thought to myself, “Ok, God I believe You when You say that and I will remember your promise that You will give me back what I lost.”
When I tried to look up that verse of me receiving what I will lose in the name of Jesus, I couldn’t. Where is this? Honestly, I’m being super serious, lol. I googled it and asked around if there is a verse that said I will receive what I lost?
If I’m being honest, how do we know if we will receive back what we lost for following God? We don’t know…. unless we ask and if it is in His will.
Today, I believe that it was God personally speaking to me. He knew I wasn’t ready and He knew I was afraid… but He also knew the desires of my heart to know Him. He knew that I wanted to break the chains in my upbringing and that I wanted to know the Truth. He spoke to me in a way that was so clear that I thought I was READING it in the Bible. He knew that I was praying to Him silently in my heart that I want to know Him at all costs, but that later, I would want my family back. I asked Him to give my family back. This next verse is so strong in so many ways…
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7 ESV
I truly believe that God gave me my family back according to His will. God wants all His children to know and accept Him so I believe that this will happen. One day, I know my family will accept Him as I have and He only needed me to take that first step.
So how do we really know if we are ready to take such a stand? How do we know if we are TRULY ready? We just simply don’t. That is what take a step of faith means and after we realize this, how amazing IS the Word of God? How promising are His words that through all the doubt and storm going on in our hearts… God is there guiding us.
Now we can believe this. “Although I don’t know if I’m ready, I will take a step of faith because….
⁃ Jesus is there for me. God lowered himself to man just to walk alongside us and left His Spirit with us.
⁃ God’s Word is living and readily available.
⁃ God’s promises are true even if the world do not believe it.
⁃ God is for my good and for all our good throughout all the persecution and mockery that comes with following Jesus.
⁃ God is a provider and will provide everything according to His will.
⁃ God’s love is everlasting. I know that earthly possessions will perish and self desires can be destructive.
⁃ God is the only God. I know that I must not worship other gods but God. Not food, not an obsession of media or games.
⁃ My commitment is for God and not for myself. If I am ever stumbled, I will remember who I’m doing it for because God gave His life for me so that I may live.
Even though we are never ready to start, we are never alone. God is there right beside us walking along side us. We are never without the tools to keep going because His Word is there in our hands. Modernly speaking, it can be right in our phones by downloading a simple app. It’s tough to take that first step, but that step is the most important step of opening that door to readiness. We are never ready, but we can practice by taking it with one step of faith at a time.