Have you ever noticed that when you make a decision to change, you get tested on it pretty much immediately – to see if you’re really committed to changing?
One recent morning during my commute, I purposed in my heart to have a day of consecration for the purpose of clarity and cleansing. I decided to drink only water – I wanted nothing to distract me from hearing God’s voice regarding the specific requests I had placed on the altar. Now before you go thinking, “Oh, she’s so deep,” I ask you to reference numerous other posts where I detail my ongoing battles with loving food too much and acknowledging my need for more self-discipline in that area for optimal health and well being. I’ve failed to keep a fast many times before because I hadn’t firmly made up my mind. It’s not about deepness – it’s about obedience! Well, lo and behold if a friend didn’t call and ask me for a “short notice lunch” that same afternoon. Mind you, we’d been trying to schedule a get-together for months. I sensed a test! 🙂
Since I really did want to meet with her, I asked the Lord to show me His will in this situation. Perhaps He wanted to use me to encourage her and let my light shine as a witness of His grace. I wanted to make myself available. I let her know I would be glad to join her as long as she didn’t mind me having just water. Astonished (because she knew how much I enjoyed eating as a recreational sport), she responded, “You’re fasting? More power to you! We won’t go to your favorite restaurant so there’s less suffering on your part.” I laughed as I mused, “Isn’t suffering a significant part of self-denial?” I was glad I didn’t cave in to the temptation to procrastinate and restart another day. The flesh lost this battle – yay! I was destined for victory, and willing to pay the price.
In the past, I’ve made a “promise” to God, then “changed my mind” when circumstances were unfavorable. On more occasions than I care to admit, I’ve had a “conditional fast” – saying, “Well Lord, I’ll fast until I see those extra bagels left after the meeting; certainly you’ll permit me reschedule this and start over tomorrow – that sacrifice will be just as good – right?” Maybe you can relate? I’ve even left myself an “out” – confidently leaving my lunch bag at home, while realizing in the back of my mind that if I got the munchies, I had plenty of fruit to nibble on at my desk…after all – it’s fruit, right? Trust me, it doesn’t pay to rationalize with God – He always wins! All His ways are righteous and holy – and we are called to be like Him. Do it His way to reap His results.
When you decide to agree with God’s will, He causes everything to line up. He touched my friend’s heart to support my efforts to hear Him more clearly. Why? Because He wants me to be a participant in this next phase of His move – and in order to do that, I have to be able to hear Him clearly. And that requires clearing out the junk – both spiritual and natural. He will always make a way of escape – the question is whether or not we choose to take it! Truly, I rely on Him moment-by-moment for my provision. May we evermore commit to putting no confidence in the flesh, but to putting all confidence in the God of our salvation. He desires for us to grow, mature, and develop – which requires change from our current status. Let us go to the next level and embrace the sacrifices required to walk into a new season. It will be worth it.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart