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The Fundamentals of Fasting XXI

 If you have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, or friends with young children, you’ve likely played the would-you-rather game at some point. Even adults get in on the fun once in a while, but with them, it’s usually some unspoken desire or dream of what they think their life should be. While children ask you if you’d rather have the ability to fly or the ability to become invisible, adults usually ask questions along the lines of whether you’d like to be married to an oil billionaire or a tech billionaire.

Your answer should be neither. Be happy with Fred. He treats you right, works hard, and provides for his kids. Yes, I know Fred doesn’t have a private jet, but we can’t always get what we want. Plus, if you live in the Louisiana Bayou, chances are you’ll never run across an oil or tech billionaire anyway.

Sometimes, the choices you have seem simple enough. Would you rather lose your sense of taste or your sense of smell? Personally, I would pick my sense of smell because I like to taste what I eat. Other times, the choices are more complicated, and you find yourself thinking about it even though the question was posed by a little human who’s only been out of diapers for a couple of years.

When it comes to what’s available to you as a child of God, exclusively yours, and not accessible to anyone outside of the family of God, there are two competing narratives. On the one hand, you have all the things God says He will give those who seek Him and desire to know Him, who obey Him and submit to His will and authority. Then you have the modern-day narrative where what God has for you can be obtained by those of the world as well, but you just won’t have to work for it. A thousandfold return is a thousandfold return; I don’t care where it comes from as long as I don’t have to sweat for it. That’s the prosperity gospel, in a nutshell, isn’t it? You give God a little, so He gives you a lot, but you’re not really giving to God; you’re giving to the guy with the jet and the cars and the mansion on the beach.

Those who give as unto God do so because God has called them to share their bread with the hungry and cover the naked, not because there’s a pot of gold waiting at the end of their giving rainbow.

So here’s the question: would you rather have stuff that will either end up in a landfill, or your relatives will fight over when you’re gone from this world, or the things that God has promised His children that cannot be purchased with silver or gold, no matter how much one might have squirreled away.

Would you rather have the shiny car or to loose the bonds of wickedness? Would you rather have the trinkets or undo the heavy burdens? Would you rather have the mansion or a relationship with the Almighty so profound that when you call, the Lord answers? Would you rather have the fleeting things of the here and now or the eternal ones of the hereafter?

We choose what we pursue. We choose what we chase after. We choose what consumes us. We choose either the things of God or the things of this earth. It can’t be both. They are diametrically opposed and at odds with each other. I can’t tell you what to do; that’s not my job. I can, however, tell you your options.

If you pursue the things of this world, that is all you’ll ever have. Once you attain them, once you reach the mountaintop and have everything you’ve ever wanted, you will discover the hollowness, the emptiness, the utter lack of satisfaction for having achieved the things your flesh insisted you needed and still not being anywhere close to happy, content, or fulfilled. It’s why rich people get depressed just as readily as poor people. There is no fulfillment in the things of this earth, and any satisfaction one might feel at having attained their dream car or their dream house is temporary and fleeting.

If you pursue God, you may not have the biggest house on the block, but you will have God. You may not have the newest car in the neighborhood, but you will have God. Your bank account may not read like a phone number, but you will have God, and He will be there when you need Him, an ever-present help in times of trouble. If you pursue God, you will delight yourself in Him and understand that true joy, peace, fulfillment, and purpose are found in Him and Him alone.

Does pursuing God mean you shouldn’t be ambitious? Does pursuing God mean you shouldn’t do your best in your chosen field? No. It means that every day, God must be the priority and not just a name at the bottom of a long list. What it means is that your reverence, obedience, and worship of God do not change based on your circumstances, but that in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, in times of peace or times of chaos, He is Lord, He is King, and you are satisfied in Him. It means that He is your purpose, and knowing Him, serving Him, and growing in Him take precedence over every other area of your life. Every time people try to serve two masters, they end up failing both. Choose this day who you will serve, and be diligent in it. Once that choice is made and firmly established in your heart and mind, fasting will not be the chore so many deem it to be but a reason for rejoicing because you are getting to spend time with Him, and He is in fellowship with you.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 12 February 2024 | 12:00 pm

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22. Feb 9, 2024 - The Fundamentals of Fasting XVIII
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