Our culture is propelled and energized by the obsession for more and the addictive drug of “not enough.” This addiction began at the beginning of man with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve bit into the apple of the knowledge of good and evil. She gave it to her husband and he ate too, (after all we women love to share). Immediately, they were ashamed as it led to the opening of their eyes and the shame of our carnal humanity.
Shame led them to run and hide in fear. Fear is what keeps us from connection and contentment. Jesus, God’s son, came to earth to take the shame of the world on His back so that we could live fearlessly and free of shame. That’s the great story of Easter – freedom.
Who was the first person at the tomb after the 3rd day? It was a woman. Restoring the relationship was told to a women first. God’s way of allowing women to be the first to know He was enough. He had paid the cost, made it right, and had restored mankind to our connection to God.
But, He still gives us the choice. It’s our turn to choose to communicate with Him in 3 distinct acts – prayer, fasting, giving. Three ways to have a flourishing relationship with Him on earth now and for eternity.
Pray – There is no technique, formula or set way to pray. Jesus gave us an example but not a set recipe to only use. God asks you to do what you ask Him to do, heal and bring peace, help wherever possible, hate evil, and love with all your heart God and mankind. He already knows what you need. He needs you to be completely consumed in love and connection to Him so He can do things through you and for you. Remember, prayer isn’t about showing off, mimicking or making it a performance. The secret quiet prayer is the one God desires the most.
Fast – Fasting is about you and your relationship with God. It’s about doing without so you can draw closer to Him. It’s not always about food. Try fasting from shopping, TV watching, Facebook, or Pinterest. Don’t make fasting obvious. It’s between you and God and not something to boast about with your girlfriends or a way of dieting, saving money, or edifying yourself. It’s meant to be sacrificial, a place of remembrance, and focused attention to your obedience to the supremacy of God. Not your will but His.
Give – It’s not about money, it about treasure. God said to guard your eyes because your eyes lead to passion. Here is what we need to give up and give back to God. If you want to grow in your relationship and connection to Him give back from your passions. And don’t blow your trumpet to let people know again or your humble acts of sacrifice become acts of narcissism.
Matthew 6:19-23 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust consume and thieves break in and steal…..For where your treasure is, there is your heart……The eye is a lamp of the body… if your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light…”
God created a masterpiece when he created you, and just like Michelangelo who chipped the stone away to reveal the statue of a beautiful inspiring angel, God wants connection with you through prayer, fasting, and giving so that your light and beauty will be revealed.
How long will it take? That’s up to you. What are you waiting for?
I love your creative ideas for fasting, Kathleen! I think giving up my electronics COMPLETELY one day a week would be very hard and most likely create much greater intimacy not only with God, but with EVERYONE. Thanks for the great reminders.