The last week of May, several of our church's Pastor's were impressed that it was a time for those were were so inclined to participate in a type of fast. Our Praise & Worship Team (choir, Music Team, whatever your church calls it - same thing) was the primary group led in this regard, along with of course, our Pastor and and his wife (who is our co-Pastor). How it came about was interesting in the way that God will lead through the Holy Spirit various individuals at the same time. Then at the right time, they all compare notes and find they are on the same track together!
What format was this done? Our Pastor and his wife, the Praise & Worship team and our music Pastor, all went on a 40 day fast that was like this: no sugar, no fried foods, and only 5 hours of media a week, at most. Several (like our Pastor and his wife) were led to do a bit more. They took the first 3 weeks for a Daniel fast and continued with that through much of the fast, because that is how they were led. The opportunity to participate was opened up to the whole congregation, and only God knows how many people took the opportunity to grow in this area.
For me, I got excited when I heard about this. I was hungry for it! Yes, I was hungry to be part of The Body of Christ participating in a fast, for those who were willing to humble ourselves and seek God for spiritual growth in our own lives, and the lives of our families, for greater impact to come from our lives and into our community. For Christ to have free access in our lives that we might be more effective servants in the kingdom of God.
I did my fast a little different, since I'm not a member of the Praise & Worship Team. One of the things they asked us to do, was to keep a journal of the things we were learning, hearing and observing as the Lord would make it clear to us in our prayer and study of His Word.
Some of them I thought it would be good to post on. Just as words of encouragement. Consider this a buffet of words from which you may or may not find any that suit you, at this time. You never know when the application, in your case, is just around the corner!
1) Adore - Early on (it started June 1st), I was "thinking to the Lord" when I had a few minutes of quite time one Tuesday while my son was in music practice. In the middle of my thoughts I started praying to the Lord that we will be a congregation that would be faithful to Him, and that we will be people who are over comers, and that we will be people who Adore Him. I began to comprehend how the act of adoring Him, the discipline of the mind and heart to focus on His worthiness to be adored makes everything else in our lives: hurts, challenges, hopes, dreams and even victories be viewed the right way. As subordinate to Our Magnificent Father and Saviour Christ Jesus. There is a rightness and peace that is only available to us when we remember "with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).
2) Bountiful - At this particular season in my life, there are 2 ways God gets through to me. 1 is to impress me with a certain word, and I study it and pray on it and just let it steep in my thoughts like good hot tea! That's why so many of these are just one word. This was something that I felt he was reminding me and challenging me to develop an awareness of in my thoughtlife and prayer life. To let it become part of who I am to understand, and allow myself to experience that He IS a bountiful God, and we are to live lives that reflect bounty. He is in all things a bountiful God. Jesus is in all things a bountiful Saviour, King and Priest.
3) Splendor - He is a God of splendor. The way He loves us and what has been done for us and given to us is a splendid thing indeed! To know Him is a splendorous thing. He makes life splendid!
4) Irrevokable - He gives gifts that are irrevokable. He does not change His mind about the gifts and callings He places in and on people's lives. God is not fickle. He has established a covenant with us that is irrevokable. He is not "a God that He should lie" ("God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" Numbers 23:19). In Him are all His promises yes and Amen, ("For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us,...was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For ALL the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God". 2 Corinthians 1:19-21). He watches over His Word to perform it ( Genesis 26:3, Deuteronomy 9:5, 2 Chronicles 6:10, and of course "Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it." Jeremiah 1:12) . He has challenged us to remind Him of His Word. In Him there is no shadow of turning. Would that it were true in our lives. Help me Oh, Lord!
5) Clean Slate - I did 2 posts that touched on this a little. Here is an excerpt from my journal "He gives us a clean slate in so many ways. Each life in forgiveness, each day so many new and fresh ways. Will we receive it and take Him up on the bounty, adventure and grace of a clean slate?"
6) Pleasure in the Pain - I have to admit - this one irks me. This one is not engraved in my heart just yet. I believe it. But, I struggle tremendously with it. I don't have wisdom to offer in this one. It is a new concept to me. I will share from my journal here as well. "I asked God about this yesterday as I swept, as I admitted I was NOT feeling pleasure in the pain. "Where is the pleasure, Lord? I'm not feeling this." So far what I have is this - "For the Joy set before" me - its the pleasure of knowing, of being "fully persuaded" that God is sovereign and at work in the midst of the pain, in order to bring glory to His Name, to make His Word true - What Words do I believe Him for? "
There were some scriptural themes that popped up frequently during this time for me. I am sure I haven't seen the last of those principles and themes! That means I will be posting on them, Good Lord willing!
I can't wait to hear from others at our church what they have learned. It really helps me process stuff to get on here and chat with you all. I appreciate so much the format and relationships we share which make this possible and a joy!
P.S. I had several typos! Guess what?! I was so focused on what I was doing, I couldn't figure out why my reading glasses were bothering me - turns out one of the lens had popped out, UNBEKNOWNST to me! LOL!