It takes more than that

26 OCTOBER 2016, 02:09 PM

I really thought I would be successful that time. But I was wrong. My efforts were not good enough.

For some weeks already I was planning to have a fasting in a place far from home – an ideal haven where I could have a full hold on God. Though my determination still falters on the last few hours, I still believed I would finally have it.

It made me think then and have a deeper introspection. What contributed to my failure? Or more blatantly, am I that far from God already that I could not fast?

Maybe it would help more if I say first my reasons for fasting.

My first reason is the feeling of utter helplessness. I have become so desperate in my situation that I needed something powerful just to meet my spiritual needs. I was actively pastoring a Church for the past few months, and the time has come that I would like to be the sheep now and not the shepherd. I would like to be fed and led, and be strengthened. I need the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to heal my dying soul. I was like a deer panting for water (Psalms 42:1). The whole Psalm Chapter really says my condition.

Secondly, the ministry demands it. The last time I fasted about two months ago the gift of healing flowed powerfully everytime we prayed together. I do not mean that I receive more of God’s power when I fast; His miracles and healing are released by His grace and not by our good works. But, by fasting God is more able to prepare me first for His great works. Still I could not say that fasting is my little contribution, because I became successful in some of my fastings only because of His Grace. In God’s mysterious design, I fast and pray, and He moves more — yet I have no part in that. Maybe it is because God exalts the humble (James 4:10), and that fasting is basically the humbling of the soul before God (Psalm 35:13).

The third reason is that I really miss my intimate moments with the Lord. Since the advent of the wi-fi connection at home, my habit of long time spent in praying died with its coming. Much worse happened when I bought this Android cellphone. I am inclined into technology and it consumes my time heavily. I have to fast to break these addictions. I have to separate from the world and be silent to once again hear the voice of the Lord.

Lastly, I need guidance and answers. Does the Lord really want me to pursue my teaching profession while pastoring? My logical mind says no, for teaching will take much time from me — some quality time that I should spend with God and with the members of the Church.

Now let us return to the first question, why did my efforts to fast fail?

One reason is that I lacked all the necessary preparations. Before you fast, you have to prepare yourself spiritually and physically. I lacked both. I rarely prayed for it, and for some weeks already I was staying late at night then woke up late in the morning. Fasting demands that I saturate myself first in fervent praying, and that my physical body is prepared for it.

The second reason for my failures is that I have to make some things right first. Of course I know I will fast to ask for God’s help me to fix the wrongs in my life, but I do sense that I have to fix some of them now before I meet the Lord in prayer. Fasting is a sacred time with the Lord and for sure it has the spirit of repentance, but we will be able to show that our repentance is truly true if we start making amendments in our life now before the time of fasting comes. After all, my shortcomings in the family and Church really take the issues right back at the heart of self-denial and obedience. If I would really deny myself now and choose to obey, more than half of my shortcomings would be resolved now even before I fast. I hate to approach God in fasting with fake repentance, and much worse, to fast with no real intent of changing my ways, just like what God saw in Israel when they fasted in Isaiah 58. They fasted hypocritically with no repentance in their hearts.

To fast before God with a right heart is not a complicated thing, but not an easy one either. It takes more than sheer determination. It takes more than a simple sacrifice. It takes more than the usual planning. It will demand your everything — because you will meet your Holy God.

This Summer will be Better than Last Year’s

What will summer be like for me this time?
What will summer be like for me this time?

Last year’s summer was a frustrating one, and history will not repeat itself this time.

I was so eaten up by the internet, movies, and other non-living stuffs that last year of summer’s  opportunity and privilege to hear from God was robbed from me. It was a tragic mistake, and it choked my life for the next whole year thereafter. It led me to wrong decisions and missed chances of service. It also took away some nice relationships.

And it’s summer again in the Philippines. It is still hurting me to remember that frustration, and all the aches it caused me. This time should be different, and that is my resolve.

I remember at this moment a nice thought from Facedown, a worship book from Matt Redman. It says that if we would like to hear from God, then we must ‘free’ ourselves from this busy world. we should go up higher and higher to relieve ourselves from the gigantic noises of this world to hear the silent and soft whisper of God.

A big challenge for me. No movies, no TV, no texting, and as much as possible, no internet. Ouch! Yes, that would really touch the most sensitive parts of my life.

But I have to do that. REALLY. That is my only chance of hearing from God. It would buy me some valuable time to pray, fast, reflect, and meditate on His Word.

God help me.

FASTING: Things are Changing (Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-39)

Fasting is a lost key for providing power in today’s church. Very few knows it the biblical way, and much less do practice it. We need to fast regularly for power and more intimacy with God.

Flemingsburg Baptist Church Youth Group

Looking in Matthew starting in verse 14

Why Do we Fast?

What is fasting?  Fasting is probably the most feared spiritual discipline.  We are afraid that it will make us suffer dreadfully and give us a generally negative experience.  For some Christians, fasting for spiritual purposes is as unthinkable as shaving their heads or walking barefoot across a fire pit.

However, fasting is a Christian’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes.  Fasting is more than just the ultimate crash diet for the body; it is abstinence from food for spiritual purposes.

Now that we have answered what is fasting, now let us answer, why should we fast?  The main reason is because Jesus both practiced and taught fasting.

In Matthew 4:1-2 we see that, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and…

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