So, the truth is that HE has been doing some amazing things in my life and in the lives of those here in Cartagena. I have been studying Matthew 5-7 for the past 6 weeks and it has been a humbling journey. I just finished working through the section of His sermon on pryr and fasting. Two spiritual disciplines that are so crucial to what I do here and really what we do anywhere. It is all about humbling ourselves and seeking HIM...recognizing that I need HIM for everything and desiring more than any other thing HIM and to hear HIS voice. Why when I ask about when and why people fast, they look at me like I am a radical who has lost their mind. They tell me that fasting was a thing of the OT (I quickly remind them of the many NT passages, including the passage I am studying now.) Have we bought into the lie that we don't have to fast? How can we believe that when Jss Himself told us what to do WHEN we fast, not IF but WHEN. What does the word WHEN mean in this passage? HE expected us to fast. HE desires for us to fast. But why? Have you ever thought about it or looked deeply into HIS Words to find out when and why the people fasted?
It is eye opening and challenging! I have been humbled as HE has shown me my love of things and where I lack in love for HIM. Fasting is all about dying to ourselves. Recognizes, as Scripture clearly states, that we are nothing and HE is everything. Not just knowing this but living like it is truth, reality. It is us echoing with the words of John, HE must increase and I must decrease. It is the beginning steps to allowing HIM to free from us from our pride and arrogance. Allowing HIM to cut these roots that are so deeply sown in our hearts and freeing us from the bondage that these sins desire for us to live in. Oh what a Savior! When we have had an encounter with the All-Mighty, Holy, One, it is impossible to to think/act/speak the same. I love Platt's analogy of getting run over by a mack truck on the high way, when you come away from getting run over by a big 18-wheeler you definitely do not look the same. It is the same with the Great and Powerful LRD. When we have TRULY had an encounter with HIM, we don't look the same. We don't act the same. We don't think the same. We have been changed.
Every time we come into His Presence through pryr, fasting, worship, study, meditation, fellowship, we should leave changed and not the same. It is time we stop believing the lies of the world that what the world says is normal, the reality. It is time that we fall on our knees, humble ourselves, fast, pry, seek HIM, and turn from our wicked ways...HIS Word clearly states what we have to do but why we believe lies and fall into the trap of spending more time worshipping idols (TV, newest gadget, internet, family, job, money,etc.) and not worshipping the LRD Who blessed us with each of above for HIS glory and to bless others.
Don't know about you, but I am tired of the same cycle of repenting, being obedient for a time, falling in the same old sin, being distracted and loving that sin until I realize what has happened and start it all over again. HE is LRD. HE is Sovereign. HE is full of mercy, grace, and love. HE is in control. HE is the fountain of wisdom and life. So let us throw off everything that entangles us (open your tight grip on your blessings turned into idols) and run towards HIM. That is what I see fasting as now... a time of seeing HIM, recognizing who I am in light of Who HE is, and allowing HIM to humble me. It is the saving power of the gospel message of the cross!
Thank you for the privilege to pry, fast, humble ourselves, and seek You ABBA!!