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Monday, December 19, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Fifteen


Monday 12//19//05
15 Fast

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18

It’s interesting that Jesus’ tone in these verses appears to be matter of fact. He’s assuming that fasting is a part of our spiritual journey, opening with the words, “When you fast” as opposed to “If you should choose to fast.” Thus, Jesus drives straight to matters of the heart, revealing that the prize in fasting is not a pat on the back from others but a touch from Heaven above.

Thirteen days out we’d like to challenge everyone headed to Passion06 to fast at least one day before you arrive. Fasting is not so much about ritual as it is focus. When we withhold the stuff we love, need and crave we heighten our sense of dependence on God. And we say to Him with more than words that the thirst within cannot be quenched aprt from Him.

You might choose food, entertainment, your cell phone, coffee, surfing online...whatever. Don’t make a big deal out of it to others, but every time you think about what you’re missing, tell God how much you love and need Him. And as you do, interceed rather than indulge, asking God to do the supernatural in your life and the lives of those around you.

Today’s prayer:
Father, break my proud heart…the one that causes me to live day after day without desperately seeking You. You alone are true food and drink. You alone deeply satisfy. By Your grace I am setting my eyes on You, choosing to set aside the things of this world as I make You the desire of my soul.

Meet me in the hunger of my body and soul with a greater awareness of Your presence and power in my life. Make my heart ready for all You have for me in the days ahead. Lead us through the doors in Nashville hungry and expectant for You. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Through the day: Seek first Jesus.

6 Comments:

  • Louie,

    My students finished Part 2 of "Indescribable" on DVD during Sunday School this morning. I also gave away 2 of your "iamnot" books to some students this morning, and one was almost 1/2 finished tonight.

    One of my S.S. teachers is an architect. His son told me that his dad was blown away by part 1 last week and was looking forward to part 2.

    Now that I am going back to "The Air I Breathe", to try and finish it, I want to thank you for your comments regarding "Worship" being a VERB, and that we are to be participants in worship, not just watching it from our seats.

    I believe that Fasting is one way to truly continue our worship of God throughout the week.

    Thanks for your thoughts and insight in this blog. I know you are doing this in preparation for Passion, but it is so relevant to everyday life. I hope you will consider continuing this blog even after Passion. What you are writing is helpful in so many ways.

    Loved the hubble photos. If you find a coffee galaxy, let me know. That would rock!

    John

    By Blogger John Jones, at 12/19/2005 1:15 AM  

  • Yes God focus my eyes on you first!!You Satisfy me more than anything!!Focus our eyes on you first-
    Amen

    By Blogger FanofGOD, at 12/19/2005 9:21 AM  

  • i really needed this reminder about fasting! i haven't fasted once in over 2 years and your blog reminded me of how awesome it was when i did fast! it's definitely worth it as it brings me closer to God and more in tune and in touch with Him. i know He satisfies me more than the food or entertainment i crave!

    By Blogger patrick, at 12/19/2005 11:02 AM  

  • would we find ourselves completely dependent on God alone. this is our offering, Lord..

    By Blogger steph hsieh, at 12/19/2005 6:40 PM  

  • Just wanted to share a “fasting testimony” with you… This past January, after the tsunami had hit Asia, our pastor preached a sermon mentioning the needs of tsunami victims, suggesting there might be many epidemics in that area. As a physician, I had been on many medical mission trips before, but it had been several years since the last one. When I heard of the need in Asia, I asked friends and family to pray that I would have wisdom to know whether I should go. I had a yearning to go, but I wasn’t confident in God’s direction for me.

    I decided to spend the following Saturday fasting and praying, “Lord, should I go?” Honestly, I had rarely ever fasted before, and those experiences in the past were less than satisfying. Nevertheless, I fasted and prayed on Saturday as planned, and ended my fast the next morning, and went to church. After Sunday School, our youth pastor pulled me into his office and surprised me with this statement, “I want you to think about going on a mission trip to Indonesia.” I was shocked! You see, he and I had never talked about going on a mission trip before. In fact, he had not even heard our pastor’s sermon, because he had been away at seminary.

    God had clearly used him to confirm my calling to minister to tsunami victims. Now, nearly a year after returning from the tsunami-stricken area, I know without a doubt that God had called me to go and plant a seed of the love of Christ through the ministry of medicine among those in such desperate need.

    I commit to fast and pray before January 2nd. How about you?

    By Blogger Jim, at 12/19/2005 6:42 PM  

  • I'm laughing because this post is obviously from the Lord - He gently asked me to fast from TV over the break a week ago and it has been a struggle. But this sweet reminder from Him that He is faithful and wants so much more for me! He wants to be my source of rest! Oh God, this time is not just an offering that I give to You, but a time of remembering how YOU are the source of rest and life. All of my circumstances are meant to reveal the deep need I have for you! My heart leaps in joy!

    By Blogger Susan Dennis, at 12/21/2005 12:55 PM  

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