Today in my God time, I couldn’t feel Him one bit.. Do you ever have that?
I am so thankful to have a pastor whom I can consider the outcome of his way of life and imitate his faith (Hebrews 13:7). Pastor Lee’s message yesterday was on fasting. He explained a simple concept that has sadly been lost in the church.. he reminded us that “prayer and fasting isn’t for the elite.. it is part of the normal Christian life”.
So today I fasted.
But I couldn’t feel Him.
For the first few minutes I saw it as a challenge to find Him and I quickly pulled scripture out of my heart. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Wait on the Lord, Katy, and He will show up and it’ll blow your mind like always. (okay that last one is only part scripture)
I sat waiting.. seeking.. and waiting some more.. but it didn’t take too long for the annoyance to set in. Okay God, this is starting to be a real bother, where the heck are you??
Before long, that annoyance translated into frustration. Hellllloooo.. anyone home?? God, I need you!! I have big stuff going on in my life.. I am trying to figure out where YOU want me to serve you.. and I am giving up delicious, mouthwatering food for you.. why are you not here?! I feel like one is not supposed to be in such a bad mood when they are fasting.. and last time I fasted it was unforgettable with you.. what is going on??!
After a couple hours of this, I almost said forget it. I came close to ditching my fast altogether as I picked up my phone to order a pizza and spend the rest of my night binge watching Netflix.
But in that moment something really beautiful happened instead.
I am not sure why exactly but I sat my phone back down as I said to Him, okay God.. I do not know why I cannot feel you, but I believe you are here with me and will never leave me.. I will hold onto your past faithfulness and despite doubts I will believe that you are good.. even now, as you don’t seem to be here when I need you, you are good.. so show up if you want to.. or not.. but either way I am going to sit here with you for the rest of the night.
And I did just that.
Then I started to worship Him. I didn’t feel like worshiping Him.. there was no emotion in it whatsoever.. but I worshiped Him.
Right that second.. as if He was holding Himself back all day, just waiting to see my heart choose faith, His Love rushed in.. He showed up & He wrecked me, yet again.
He reminded me that although He is the Creator of the entire universe, somehow, my small moments of choosing Him despite all doubts.. that is the the one thing that has the power to overcome His heart. He told me how that moment right then was so precious to Him and how it is one He will hold onto for all of eternity.
Wow. How little I know of His great love for me.
He then took me back to Pastor Lee’s message yesterday on Luke 2 when Jesus was presented at the temple. There were thousands of people in that temple, but out of all of those people, only two recognized Jesus.
My heart sank as tears streamed down my face because I realized why I could not feel Him all day. He explained to me in the most gentle way that He was indeed there the entire time.. but I could not recognize Him. There are so many parts of who He is that I have yet to meet and I have not made myself available to meet them.
This passage talks of a very inspiring and admirable woman named Anna. Luke 2 explains that Anna lived a life of prayer and fasting. This is her secret. This is how she was one of the only two people who recognized Jesus that day in the temple.
Fasting has got to become a normal part of our Christian life again, my friends.
I have to challenge you with this question: What is the honest “norm” in your home?
Is the norm in your home to criticize one another or to build each other up and pray over one another? Do you as parents set the example of tithing for your children, or is the norm in your home to hold tight to your finances and trust your money into your own hands? Is the norm in your family to be successful in the eyes of this world, or is it to seek first the kingdom as you walk by faith and live a life of prayer and fasting?
I went 6 months since the last time I fasted, and I have only fasted a handful of times in my entire life, but I am so thankful that God, in His great love, put a call on my heart to realign my priorities with this.
Fasting, combined with prayer, is one of the most vital aspects of our relationship with the Lord. It is where breakthrough happens.. breakthrough from sin struggles, bondage, and strongholds.. breakthrough into deeper places of healing.. and breakthrough into deeper places in your relationship with your Abba Father. It is in fasting when we starve our flesh and feed our spirit where we meet Him in new ways and hear His voice more clearly.
My friends, I share all of this with you with tears in my eyes because I know that this spiritual discipline has become weird to the church. I sit here thinking about how many in the church are missing out just like I was and it breaks my heart.
I pray tonight that the Lord stirs up hearts – that we may become an “Anna generation”. May we become a generation that is marked by a life of prayer and fasting.. a generation that knows and recognizes the Lord.
Oh, how God could move through us then. Can you imagine?