Saturday, March 16, 2019

Giving Up to Get - Martin Wiles

In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments—on the stone tablets. Exodus 34:28 NLT

He asked. I volunteered. Doing so seemed like the right thing to do—and it was for a good cause.

I listened intently at the teacher’s meeting as our headmaster asked for volunteers to fast. In all my years, I’d never fasted. Fasting brought mental pictures of going without food—something I dearly love. Our school was growing. Changes had already been made, but more would have to come to accommodate what appeared to be our future pattern of growth. The board favored doing whatever was necessary; the headmaster held back.

He issued the challenge. Not necessarily to give up food, but to give up whatever I considered important: food, caffeine, television, computer, smartphone, drinks. And perhaps for only part of a day. I’d never looked at fasting in that way. He wanted us to replace whatever item we gave up with prayer.

His heart and passion for the school bled through. He craved direction from God. I took the challenge. On a Monday, I gave up food all day until the evening meal. Doing so wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. I discovered I could live without it. I also discovered my focus shifted. I gave up, but I got something in return.

Moses did too. God called him to the top of Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Words. As God wrote them, Moses fasted—and not only from food. He didn’t drink either.

As I fasted from food, my mind was drawn to those things my headmaster asked the faculty and staff to pray for. I tried thinking of other things, but my mind kept wandering back to the prayer list. What fasting had to do with focus, I didn’t understand, but the two worked in sync.

I also discovered what Jesus once told His disciples: His food was doing the Father’s will. Our real nourishment comes from obeying God, not from food, water, or other nutrients. Instead of dealing with hunger pains, I felt spiritual refreshment . . . spiritual cleansing. I was fed, although not with food. In the course of just one day, I felt spiritual growth and a closer walk with God.

Pick something important to you, and try a one-day fast from it. God will teach you amazing things.

Prayer: Father, as You gave up for us, so teach us to give up for You. 

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1 comment:

  1. thank you to remind me of Exodus 34:28 NLT

    have a great weekend