Monday, January 16, 2012

Fallen Fast(ing).

 There is an excess of desires I tend to label ‘need’ when their reality is ‘want.’ There is an excess of emotions that are intrinsic rather than focused out and up. There is a reality of myself that is wrapped up in mirrors rather than eyelids. There is a lack of control and an abundance of self.

But I am so freely able to trace my footsteps and justify each one.

There is too much sleep, and not enough unrest. There is too much running, and not enough stopping. There is too much busy, and not enough to do. There is too much intellectualism, and not enough action. There is too much action, and not enough prayer.

But I am careful to do the minimum so as not to inconvenience myself for burn-out.

There is a man outside who is hungrier than I, because I’m just fasting for 21 days. It’s interesting what an achy side and pounding head will do to your thoughts—you start to feel a need for strength, and thus beckon your voice to prayer more often than you’re used to (I’m pained to confess—the hunger and lack of coffee gets to me that way). Now don’t get me wrong; fasting isn’t a remedy for selfishness…. Only continual choice to be selfless and pursuit of the Creator’s heart can accomplish that. There are tweets I read that call for action to stop sex-trafficking—A cause that particularly pains my heart because the body is the temple of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, and something that defiles that because of the broken and fallen reality of our sin causes my hands to tremble for fights. It causes me to toss and turn. On Wednesday and Thursday, it caused me to fall to my knees and stand in the gap for every soul being maliciously devoured by the relentless hand of evil.

But why don’t I pray and think like this always?

During the fast I’ve committed to pray for several things; one being Spiritual healing in my extended family. Once again, I’m embarrassed to say I have not shed so many tears (for the prayer of Salvation and Redemption) over my family members in my entire life. Did it not bother me to see them walk away from the Son of Man who saved my own soul? Did it not cause me to flinch thinking of the darkness? Did I care too much about my own feelings, and too little about the eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven? Unfortunately, absolutely. I don’t want the passionate plea for Salvation to end when 21 days is up and I partake in my first cup of coffee. I don’t want to be a person who loves the great commission in Cambodia, Africa, Mexico, and Sacramento, but forgets her own bloodline. I don’t want to be the same after white bread is reintroduced and my stomach is full.

Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything I am
 For YOUR Kingdom come-- as I walk from earth unto eternity.

 ~Rachel~  (still learning)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Holy Hunger, Batman.

Today is day two of the 21 day fast. Many of you who attend Sunset Christian Center have joined in this amazing opportunity, and I am sure many of you have already been experiencing the great woes of hunger pains.

After praying about this particular fast, I was certain I should commit to fasting two things specifically: Coffee (otherwise referred to as one of my major forms of life-source), and all breads. I've also made the decision to fast listening to music while driving, and severely limit my amount of dairy-intake. It's day two, and I confess I've already found myself attempting to rationalize the possible modifying of my fast. I live with a few other great girls in an apartment, and though they are all incredibly supportive of me during my fast, I cannot ask them to cease brewing their glorious coffee in the morning, nor can I ask them to refrain from baking anything delicious (though I've considered it) ... hence, I'm already sensing the difficulty this fast is going to bring forth.

It's crazy how in our moments of hunger, complaining, and griping, the Holy Spirit still lends His tender voice to us in order to bring words of life and encouragement. He reminds us of the reasons why we are fasting, and then we find ourselves inclined to lift our voice in prayer. The hunger melts into a  fast which then becomes a tangible source of intimacy with Christ. There's no amount of coffee in the world than can fill the hunger for Spiritual encounters.
                                          God is truly a God of Grace, and I am entirely human. 

A word of encouragement for you who are committing to the fast: If you haven't already written what specifically you are fasting and praying for during these 21 days, I would implore you to do so. Blind fasting makes for an absentminded diet where hunger consumes you. When you have something which plagues your heart and passion which eats you from the inside-out, the move to pray for strength and encouragement will become easier. Be sensitive to the voice of God, commit the NIGHT BEFORE (Talk to Ryan Silva) to spending time in the word and in prayer...make the decision the NIGHT BEFORE to not break your fast and be in continual communication with the Father. Let Him be the strength we will all so richly need.

None of us are perfect (if you think you are, I would love some tips), and I can almost guarantee all of us will slip up at least once, but commit to getting back on your feet and pursuing the lifestyle walking in the amazing Grace and Hope He always has for us.

Cheers to fruits and veggies.