Man (in) a Tee
Fears can lead us to treasure. Let me tell you how I came to that conclusion.
So my church has started it’s first 40-Day corporate fast and prayer initiative. In the previous years we’ve done 21-Day fasts so this is huge for us. I like challenging myself so I decided to do a stepped fast to ease into a 34-Day juice fast; first 3 days Daniel Fast, then 3 days smoothie, the rest juice. I’ve already started this past Tuesday so it is now day 4.
Many fasts these days are used as diet plans to lose weight; Biblical fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God. The purpose is to gain deeper fellowship with God. With that being said there are a few things I have committed to doing and I wanted to share them so as to keep myself accountable:
My parents are professing Buddhists and recently my mom was ill with cough, flu, headaches etc. It took a while for her to heal but she decided to pray and eat vegetarian for a week if she was healed. Well, it happened and she is in the middle of that week and lamenting over it. I want to be able to show her that Christian fasting is different than other fasting in that Christians fast to gain something, not to lose or as punishment/consequence.
I also wanted to take this time of fasting and prayer to really discern how I should be using my time to minister on college campuses. As you know, I’m pretty introverted so this is hard for me.
In my devotional this morning in Psalm 27:7-14 I was reminded of how important our fears really are if we follow them correctly. Many times when we talk about fasting, we share horror stories of how hard it is, the temptations that exist all around us; we become hyper-aware of sugar or meat or social media.
I must admit, I am having difficulties myself much like David in this psalm. But the beauty of God enables him to live in confident peace. How? Because his heart delights in God and his face. If our hearts do the same, then we can contemplate losing earthly joys without fear! Even if our mother and father forsake us, we can face it (verse 10). Why? If our greatest treasure–communion with the living God–is safe, of what can we be afraid? Yet we are afraid of so many things! So our fears can actually serve an importance purpose–they show us where we have really located our heart’s treasure.
Take for example social media: Am I afraid to not be on social media for a particular reason? Is it so I can be kept in the loop without having to actually talk to anyone? Is it popularity, am I trying to win the attention of others? Am I trying to push a particular image of myself? Does that mean I am holding onto some insecurities? Do I love my image more than God?
Now this is just one pathway, I am not saying it is every person’s vice. It may not be yours. But follow the pathway of the fear back into your heart to discover the things you love more than God.
This fasting period is going to be scary, not because of the things I am giving up to make space for Jesus, but because of the things that I am asking Him to reveal in me that have dethroned him. I want my treasure of Jesus to be my greatest treasure.
I leave you with a prayer: Lord, I will obey you simply because you are worthy of it and it is my duty. But don’t let my service to you remain at that level. Show me your beauty–attract my heart, capture my imagination so that I find joyful pleasure in serving you. Amen.