Children Who See

Posted: December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

Happy New Year! This time of the year is truly inspiring to me as I brainstorm ideas and dream about what God may do in my life and in those whom He has entrusted me with. I love that our God is a God who does things that are impossible for man to do.

OUR GREATEST NEEDvision-test-2

We need God! That statement is more of an obvious understatement. If we are honest, we live a lot of our daily lives not needing God. How can this be? By His life, Jesus truly demonstrated His need for His Father. He lived moment-by-moment, day-by-day.

When you meditate on Jesus’ words in His most well-known sermon, you find this perspective:

 

Matthew 6:34 (ESV) “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This is exactly why Jesus taught His disciples to pray the way He did. The model prayer begins with revering God’s name because His name expresses everything we need in our existence, today. When we hallow him as the “God who sees,” as Haggar did (Gen. 16:13), then we can live moment-by-moment, day-by-day with complete confidence that He will supply our every need, whether it be water or wisdom, food or faith, clothing or comfort.

CHILDREN WHO SEE

We can be the “children who see” when we are pure in heart (Mt. 5:8). We can be satisfied when we hunger and thirst for righteousness rather than rations (Mt. 5:6). If we want to see God, if we want to be satisfied with Him, then we need to give up the things we so often replace Him with.

I know that I don’t see and need God the way He desires for me to need and see Him. As we start the New Year, I can think of no other way to be children who see better than by setting aside time to put on the spiritual lenses of fasting and prayer. Beginning Monday, January 2nd through the end of the day, Wednesday, January 4th, I’m calling for a vision test of fasting and prayer so that we can all approach this year with better sight. Let me give you an explanation and expectation for these three days.

FASTING DESCRIBED

In an article, by Dave Mathis, entitled: Fasting for Beginners, Mathis defines fasting as: “voluntarily going without food — or any other regularly enjoyed, good gift from God — for the sake of some spiritual purpose.” I would go one step further and add that the spiritual purpose is God Himself.

HOW TO FAST

First, here are a few practical helps that are appropriate for those who may be new to fasting and those who have already built this into their routines.

1. CHOOSE YOUR FAST & START SMALL

If you are new to fasting, do not be over ambitious, especially if you choose to fast from food. I think it is safe to believe that God would much rather have you conscious and alert than passed out and disoriented because of a deep plunge in your blood sugar.

You could fast from one meal each day or a particular type of food. You could replace solid food with a healthy broth or as Mathis suggests, a juice fast may be appropriate for some. Be sure to research more of the practical issues, including breaking a fast, that are pertinent to your individual health.

For others, you may choose to fast from God’s good gifts of technology, social media, or even sex (1 Cor. 7:5). Choose something to fast from that won’t be easy to give up or that gets the attention of your desires

2. REDEEM THE TIME

If you are going to fast from food or some other good gift, use the time you would normally spend eating and enjoying as your fasting time. For example, meals like lunch or dinner may be spent around a table for an hour. You may spend 45 minutes each day decompressing by watching your favorite show on Netflix or some type of hobby.

During that time, find a place where you can unplug from daily life and focus on spiritual things through Bible reading, reflection, and prayer. The cliché is true in this discipline, quality matters. I will be providing some practical ideas you can implement should you find them to be appealing.

3. ENLIST HELP

It is appropriate to let those most directly affected by your decision to fast what your intentions are. When Jesus condemned those for doing such, it was the self-righteous ones whose hearts desired the praise of men, not those whose hearts were fully after God (Mt. 6:16-18).

Ask someone close to you who is spiritually-minded, who can encourage you. Most importantly, share with them your spiritual plan for redeeming the time and what you hope to benefit in while fasting. You may find out that what you didn’t think you could give up for three days you did by the power of Jesus.

We need God! We need to be “children who see.” My only expectation is that you would find an appropriate way to participate that will increase your affections for God. I’m inviting you along with me to enjoy and treasure Jesus through fasting and prayer so that we can grow deeper, stronger, together.

 

 

 

 

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