Friday, February 20, 2015

Conversations With God


Matthew 6:16-18
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

When I hear the word "fast," I immediately think of going without food for a specific length of time.  Many Christians will choose to fast as part of their Lenten discipline.  While I have no problem giving up certain foods during Lent, when it comes to skipping meals, my body refuses to cooperate.  I become cranky, irritable, and downright ugly if I'm forced to wait an inordinate amount of time to eat when my stomach is screaming, "Now!"  Take my word for it.  You do not want to be around me at those moments!

This past Sunday in her sermon, Conversations with God, our associate minister, Pastor Lindsey, speaks of fasting in an entirely different light, one which I can eagerly embrace.  She calls it "Media Fasting."  This involves limiting time spent with any techno-gadgetry or outside entertainment and using that time, instead, to talk with our Father.  Pastor Lindsey recounts a recent trip to a weekend retreat when she made the conscious decision not to listen to the radio as she drove the distance there and back.  In the silence, she was able to pray and listen for God's answers.  The experience was such a positive one, Lindsey tells us she plans to continue this practice whenever she's in her car.

I can vouch for that.  Years ago, when I was writing devotions daily, I could not afford distractions which interfered with hearing the inspirations which God was trying to give me.  I treasured every quiet moment when I could ponder the scripture chosen for that day and hear Him speaking to my heart.  That's when I, too, kept the radio at bay whenever I had errands to run.  There were even times while driving when more than one devotion would gel in my mind, ready to be penned the moment I reached home!

Of course, as the pressure of daily devotions changed to bi-weekly, I began flipping on that radio again.  So, this Lent, I'm giving it up, determined to use this time to converse with God.  Additionally, I'm switching up my morning routine which, up until now, has been to turn on my computer, hitting e-mails, Facebook, news, etc. before curling up with my Bible and settling into my Father's lap.  I've only been days into this practice, and already the blessings have been better than I could have ever imagined.

With regard to giving up a food for Lent?  Are you sitting down?

BACON!!!

Yep!  My all time if-it's-cooked-and-in-the-fridge-I'll-eat-it favorite!

I know.  Small sacrifice in the bigger scheme of things.

But every time during Lent when I find myself craving it, I'll run to the Lord with shiny hair and a clean face, thanking Him for all He, in His great love, sacrificed for me.


~

Do you fast during Lent?

Prayer:  Father, remind us that the most important conversation we will have all day will be the one we have with You.  You will always listen in love.  You will always answer in Your time.  You will never fail us nor forsake us.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

12 comments:

  1. I, too, have heard of media fasting. I don't think we realize how addicted we are to something until we have to give it up for a while. Thank you for the challenge!

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    Replies
    1. You are most welcome, Jennifer! Here's to our Lenten practices being fruitful ones which take us on a closer walk with the Lord.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. It can be difficult in this noisy busy world of ours to have the quiet and the stillness to hear God's still, small voice. I have't fasted during Lent and thus far haven't been led to do so. In the days leading up to Lent, I saw several friends post on Facebook that they were planning a Facebook fast during Lent. As far as media fasting is concerned, I generally fast from Facebook from Friday afternoon till Monday morning--occasionally I add all day Friday. It's good to break away from the normal things we do in order to hear God or perhaps hear Him more clearly.

    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea, Kim, to fast from Facebook over the weekend. It is so easy to get caught up with and even dependent upon our social networks, and breaks are good! May whatever we give up in His honor bring us closer to Him.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. one year I fasted from being critical. Man that was much harder than I expected. I never knew how much sarcasm and catty thinking had dug into my habits and my heart. This is instead of fasting I am feasting - feasting on God's words, in prayer, in learning more about Him and in spending time with Him. Happy Lent!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Jean, how I love and appreciate your honesty here. We can all too easily slip into the role of judge and become judgmental when that is not our place to fill in God's kingdom. To feast on His words, to take them to heart and soul, digest them in humility, that should be our only goal
      Love and blessings and happy Lent to you!

      Delete
  4. No I don't fast. Even though I come from a tradition which does not observe Lent, several years ago I gave up caffeine pop. Diet Dr Pepper to be exact. This year, even before Lent, I felt God drawing me to Him for some reason. Still not sure what it is, but I have changed up my morning routine (it was same as yours). Now the computer stays off until after my Encounter Time.

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    1. That's great that you changed up your morning routine, Bill. I've found it so far to be incredibly rewarding - a blissful start to my day that gets me off on the right foot with the Lord.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. My morning usually starts with music, I dont know somehow I like it that way. It peps me up instantly and sets my mood. :)

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    1. Music is the universal language, Privy. It doesn't surprise me in the least that you choose it for your early morning wake up. I know through personal experience that God speaks to me through music, too, and I'm most grateful for that.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I have given up the internet often simply because I couldn't pay the bill. But I have noticed that life went on quite well without it. The only thing I really miss most is my music. Without music I would die. :)

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    1. Kathy, it sounds like Privy and you are much alike! As I said to her, I love music, Singing praise songs with our church band pumps me up like nothing else. I love all kinds of music, from praise to country to rock and classical, but I can't listen to any until my quiet time is appeased.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

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