Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For His Name's Sake

Today I have been challenged by the question, "How are you practicing Resurrection?"  I thought I knew the answer, but God whispered to me.... "It is time, you need to do this..."

I have a secret that I did not want to share, but if I can do this right, I feel God giving me a peace to share it here, in this light, for His glory.

To ready your hearts for my private adventure, I want to appeal to your senses with images from last year's journeys in my journal...








In one of last week's posts, "A Day With God", I shared about just that.  What I didn't talk about was the fasting God called me to.  Fasting is a biblical way God sometimes calls us to express dedication and reception to Him.

I fasted on my day with God because I was at a crossroads and I wanted to hear Him and I didn't want to miss a minute because I was concerned more about what I should (or shouldn't) eat.  I can honestly tell you, my day with God would not have been near as revealing about our missions, His Character, and all of the other miscellaneous desires HE had for us... if I had not fasted.


“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret..."  - Matthew 6:16-18

I do not share all of this because I want any recognition.  As a matter of fact, I quarrelled with sharing this and only conceded because I feel God is calling me to, solely for His Glory and to tell of how I am being led to extend Resurrection Sunday this year... to inspire you to turn toward Him ever more.

I am at another crossroads.

Last year I sought guidance for many questions to which great change would result.  Where we would live, how we would spend our time, what we would be doing with our lives... those kind of BIG changes!

I'm there again.  For article length's sake I can sum up and say these are the key factors I am seeking God in:

- a training opportunity which could be exponentially beneficial in equipping me to minister more effectively
- Revelation on many current happenings including a BIG project with KOG Missions
- endurance in commitment to the hard things
- healing so I am able to do more for His Kingdom
- to simply hear all He wishes to say

... and you guessed it, He is calling me to fast.  But not the typical fast.


I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.  - Daniel 10:3

I am a pre-diabetic.  Going without eating for an extended period is not something I am capable of without serious health complications.  During my day with God I only fasted until God permitted me to eat... from the time I got up until around 4 pm when he called me to make unleavened bread and commune.  I sustained with juices until then.

What I feel God calling me to is a trimming of "delicacies" and a consideration of His natural provision.  I think often lately of Elijah by the brook being fed by ravens with needed portions at the appropriate times of day.  I except the provisions God gives me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I except a healthy snack in the afternoon to avoid a blood sugar drop, and I am not consuming any sweets other than fruit.  I am also sacrificing breads because this is a great vice and unhealthy eating habit God has been calling me to give up for a while (bad for diabetes).

It isn't easy because I do not practice the best of eating habits, though I do try to 'be good'.  I enjoy "candy night" with the kids every Friday and a lovely dessert every Saturday with the study group we lead.  Birthdays are coming.... and so on.  There are many details to this sacrifice I gladly offer to God right now.

All I know is, I want to hear God's answers.  I know, with all my heart, this is the route he has called me to take.  He wants me to look at him.... not things or food so constantly.

How is the practice of Easter extended in this act?  Pentecost.

God put Pentecost on my heart.  Jesus' followers gathered and the Holy Spirit descended.  I am looking forward to the culmination of my partial fast with Pentecost and remembering how God keeps His word.  I trust Him to not only reveal His words and desires for me during this time, like Jesus revealing himself in his time from Resurrection until Ascension, but I also trust He will keep His word in all He reveals.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
- John 16:13

I tell you all this, like I said, not for my glory but FOR HIS GLORY!  He wants to speak to you too.  Fasting can be many different things.  When we deny ourselves of simple pleasures, when we sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed, we open our hearts to receiving greater blessings from our Father above without things of this life cluttering it up.

how you can have the best posture for receiving it.  You never know what he may ask you to lay down for His name's sake.  It may not be easy, but it will always be worth it!

May you have great Revelations from now until Pentecost when one of the greatest Revelations of all appeared!



9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing about fasting. I have hypoglycemia, so I can't go for long periods without eating either. I used to feel guilty for fasting until God released me to eat, but I don't anymore. It was good for me to hear you say the same!

    ~Jennifer

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  2. Thank you for sharing that Jennifer! I was so reluctant to post about this, but God insisted He wanted to use this message! See, it is always better to obey! lol I'm so grateful the message was useful for you :-)

    God bless!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this! A church committee I was on the past eight months, we've been fasting on Wednesdays. Such a struggle especially with low blood sugar! But I know that's the point of fasting, it's a sacrifce for God and sacrifices are never easy. A great post!

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  4. Fasting, it keeps us focused on him, doesn't it.....I love your journals and the comment..."I want God, not my idea of God".....so much truth in that.

    Thank you for linking up today...i love your blog, it's like a smile from God.....sunflowers are my favorite

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  5. I too find myself at a crossroads in life. My mother passed away in August 2010. My husband and newly adopted daughter from China moved to care for my mother for 10 years prior to her death. My mother knew my heart's desire was to return to NC after her death and begin to allow God's desire on my heart to minister to those during times of natural disasters here in the States to come to fullfillment. It grieves me so to see such suffering and pain and yet not be free to go and "serve" others in their time of need. My husband has recently told me he does not desire to move back to NC (our relationship is not as it should be for some time) but he believes God has a call on his life for the people of Israel where he wants to go and reside. My daughter will be 14 next month and I have homeschooled from the time we brought her home from China 11 years ago. Your prayers and thoughts would be a blessing. I too fasted during lent from things unhealthy for me (sweets) and found more of a clarity of focus to life and my walk. Thanks.

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  6. Christina,
    Thank you! If you struggle with low blood sugar as a health issue, be careful. Sometimes juices throughout the day can help maintain. Pray about it and seek God's peace in how you fast. Fasting with friends for a break through is wonderful. What a blessing you can do that as a group!
    Blessings to you!
    Amanda

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  7. Rebecca,
    I appreciate your encouragement as I work each day for the Lord. I give Him all the Glory for this blog and I am humbled to know He is able to speak to you through me!

    God bless you :-)
    Amanda

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  8. Dear Anonymous,
    My heart aches for your loss. I, too, have experienced similar devastation. My mother passed away unexpectedly when I was only 28. Nothing in life quite compares to the loss of a good mother.

    Let me first assure you, time does heal all hurt if you rest in the providence of the Lord.

    As far as your heart for ministry and your strained marriage... trust in the Lord.

    When my husband and I married, neither of us were practicing Christians. However, 2 years after our nuptials I re-dedicated my life to Christ. My walk with Him was not easy. My husband was captive to sinful addictions. My faith grew only because God grew it in me.

    At one point... no.... at many points I considered leaving my husband. I didn't feel I should have to endure his disagreeable ways. One day, as I stood at the stove preparing dinner, I cried out to God... "Please, change HIM". God's answer? "Ok, but first, I want to change YOU".

    It was not easy and I didn't think I needed it. However, God brought me through many scriptures that testified to the Truth: I needed to have perseverance and stand by my man. God even showed me how some of my language and posture with my husband was causing him to be worse.

    "If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife," - 1 Corinthians 7:13-14a

    As if that wasn't hard enough, harder still was obedience. How could I obey a man who did not worship God? I learned that, unless he asked me to do something unholy, I was suppose to submit to him and trust God to work through him. Notice I say trust GOD, I learned it isn't man we trust.

    It was while my husband was in his sinful, unsaved state that I heard God call me to missions. Yet, I didn't want to leave my husband and what to do with the kids??? Yet, God told me to wait. I was called.... to wait. I wanted to go right then. God said wait.

    The long story short... through my faithfulness, a lot of prayer, and God's amazing power, my husband is a born again Christian now leading a vibrant ministry.

    But...

    We are two very different people even in faith. He is called to be missions support, building websites, IT maintance with missions organizations and the like. Whereas I feel an itch in my feet and I want to GOOOO!!! I want to travel to other communities, states, and countries. I want to help hand to hand with God's people, I want to minister one-on-one.

    In the early stages of our calling, this was hard. It caused a good handful of arguments as well. But, again, God showed me. There is a natural order:

    But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. - 1 Corinthians 11:3

    We can be modern day women and fight the natural order, or, we can embrace God's perfect plan for our lives. It is when we submit our desires to God's will, lean into our husbands and trust in God that everything falls into place.

    It isn't easy to be far from where you want to be. Believe me, I know. BUT, it is so much more glorious to be where God wants you. If God has put in your husband's heart to go to Israel, the best thing you can do is submit and trust. Give your husband your love and support unconditionally. (continued, read on...)

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  9. (...Dear Anonymous continued...)

    However, If your relationship is strong enough right now, ask him first to pray with you about it. To lift up your choices before God and seek His will and design.

    If things are too strained right now... just love on your husband and pray for him. Pray for yourself as well, that God would open your eyes and heart to see the things you, as a wife, can do to bring the Kingdom of God into your relationship. It will strengthen again. It just needs Trust, Faith, and time.

    If your finances allow, one last suggestion I would make is to pray and talk with your husband about pursing both options: Come to NC to help for a time, maybe a month or...? Then, depart to Israel for however long God calls you both there.

    Marriage isn't always perfect and we may not always agree with our spouses, but marriage is meant to be under God's watch. Realize, too, that the sanctity and peace of marriage is under attack by satan in this time. Strong family bonds are hated by the enemy and he will seek to break and destroy relationships anywhere he can. Rebuke him and all he represents.

    Things will get better. Lean into the Spirit, trust in the Lord, he may have a greater purpose for you in Israel but first you must obey. I hadn't intended to post this article. Fasting is suppose to be a private matter according to Matthew, but God led me to share and I obeyed against my own judgment... and I am so glad I did! His leading made this dialogue between you and I possible. Where would we both be if I hadn't obeyed?

    God Bless you. I will be praying. Please feel free to message or email me anytime!

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