So much has been happening of late, or preparations for this weekend, I haven’t had a moment to truly reflect as I’ve done this morning. I still have a few things to get done, but they will fit nicely into the time today. One of the very big, unexpected lessons, I’ve discovered this week is my own flesh. Let me explain.
Last weekend I felt as though I needed to fast this week in spiritual preparation for the Kingdom Work Christopher and his parents would be doing for God’s people here in our community. I asked God to show me when to fast and Monday morning He told me to fast each day at dinner time. That is typically my bigger meal so I thought that would be a good idea. Also, it would always be private so I’d not have to explain to anyone why I wasn’t eating. I could easily focus the time praying instead of eating. That was simple enough. By Tuesday morning my mind was wanting to plan how much more I’d eat for breakfast and lunch so I wouldn’t be so hungry that night or fighting such a headache. I fought these thoughts and wondered where they came from? I’ve never been one to focus much on food. By Wednesday I was far more focused on me and eating than I was on prayerful time when I wasn’t eating. I surrendered this to God but my mind was continuously focused on food. I prayed for the Yuan’s and our community, but all the time I was fighting my own desires.
This morning I brought all of this to Jesus confessing my weakness and waste of fasting time. When I asked Him what He wanted me to know and believe for today, He seemed to focus on the lesson He wanted me to finally learn from this experience. When we fast we give up flesh to honor an important “something” we want for God’s purposes. I’ve always pushed my flesh to the side not wanting to deal with it. My fear has always been that if I looked too deeply at my own flesh I’d see too much of my dad in me and also, my brother who used me. I didn’t want to see either one in me so I wouldn’t go there. These past few days I’ve seen and experienced the flesh of Earnie in an entirely new arena–food. Yes, I stayed disciplined but lost much of what I wanted to do with it. However, Jesus used it all to awaken me to what He wants me to use for Him. I need to talk about my flesh–my selfishness–not hide it. If I can do this, so can others. This is what Christopher and his parents will be doing this weekend. If this community is to open up and bring their “secret lives” to a place where help is provided, they have to know there is no judgment–it’s safe. We have to be honest about our flesh so they can sense the safety to open up about their own flesh.
I needed to see this application clearly so I can communicate it clearly. What a marvelous God we serve!