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The Fundamentals of Fasting XX

 We want everything from God but bristle any time He asks anything of us. We try to find reasons and excuses not to obey, not to follow through, not to do as He commands that we might receive what He promised, then grow bitter and angry at Him for not overlooking our duplicity and ignoring our lukewarmness for the sake of keeping the peace.

Although almost three thousand years removed, the people of Isaiah’s day weren’t very different than those of today. We want God to speak, to move, to manifest His power, and for our healing to spring forth speedily, but we aren’t willing to entertain any requirements, standards, or criteria He might have. He’s supposed to do it just because we say so. Because we want Him to and because we demand it.

God laid out all He would do if we approached Him with sincere hearts defined by justice, mercy, and faith. When we fail to approach Him in such a manner or outright refuse to do so, then when He is silent, it’s no one’s fault but our own. I understand that taking responsibility for anything is taboo nowadays, but we can’t skirt the issue in the hopes of sparing feelings.

God gave instructions on what we need to do to receive, and if we choose not to follow His instructions, we have no reasonable expectation of receiving what He promised. We must determine whether we followed the instructions before we start whining and complaining that something didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to.

Some time ago, there was a lady who took the time to film herself complaining to some frozen food company that her chicken pot pie had not come out the way it was supposed to, panning across a burnt box with ashes on top of a pie tin, talking about suing for false advertising. What everyone who watched her video noticed was that she never took the pie out of the box, nor had she removed the plastic cover from the pie tin. The company was not to blame for her failure to follow instructions. God is not to blame for our failure to follow His instructions either.

God is waiting for you in that environment of justice, of mercy, and of faith. If you are His, you will pursue Him, you will seek Him, you will desire Him, and He will not hide His face from you. You will call to Him, and He will answer, “Here I am.” What greater thing can one ask for? What greater blessing can one receive than to know that they can call to God, and God will answer?

Even if that were all God promised, it would be more than enough, but He also promises that if we walk in His ways, if we are His not just in word but in deed, if our hearts beat for Him, and Him alone, then our righteousness will go before us, and His glory will be our rear guard. It beats having to look over your shoulder every two steps, doesn’t it? The glory of the Lord will be your protection from the sneak attacks of the enemy. He will guard the one place from whence you can’t see the attacks coming, and He will be a mighty champion on your behalf.

We’ve tried it our way for so long with minimal results; why not try it God’s way and see what He can do? There’s a saying that if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. The same goes for your spiritual growth and your intimacy with God.

What the modern-day church has been doing clearly isn’t working. The only thing we’re willing to change is the face beaming back from the television. The message, the inflection, and the parables of how seeds must be planted to yield a harvest have all been heard so often that you can tell what’s coming before they open their mouth. The number of desperate souls has not decreased; those fumbling in the darkness have not lessened. The only thing that has seen any real change is the bank accounts of the unscrupulous who would treat God’s sheep as their own personal woolen mill.

No matter how many times they ask their adherents to give, no matter how much they’ve given already, there’s always another request, another promise of thousandfold returns, and an attempt to preemptively blame a lack of faith when that thousandfold increase doesn’t materialize.

Imagine if someone were courting you, or if you were courting someone, only to discover that their only reason for being around you, the only reason they were spending any time with you, was to ask for things and feel wholly entitled to getting them. In order to be in their presence or enjoy their company, you would have to acquiesce to every whim or desire without retort or question and do so in a timely manner. Otherwise, they’d find someone else. Imagine how that would make you feel. Imagine how incensed you’d be.

Somehow, some way, we’ve convinced ourselves that we can treat God that way. We’ve convinced ourselves that He is on our level, that He is myopic, and that He doesn’t see past our vested interest and feigned adoration. Every time He speaks, and we don’t like what He has to say, we just skip to the next track, hoping it’s better than the last.

Isaiah 58:13-14, “If you turn your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, not finding your own pleasure, not speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Posted on 11 February 2024 | 11:41 am

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