Wednesday, July 25, 2007

While we were in Peru, our schedule was rigorous most of the time. The drama is physically taxing when you do it many times per day. The travel time between sites can be very draining as well. For these reasons, it is important that we eat and drink to keep our strength up.

When many questions were being asked by much of the team about "fasting," the Lord provided a teaching that was shared with them. I didn't really know what God was going to do with it, and admit now, I was surprised and would probably have thought harder about bringing the teaching with the unforeseen outcome.

Many on our team were seeking hard after the Lord in terms of His calling on their lives. This trip happened to be a vehicle God was using to draw them to Himself, and make His will known.

In His Word, when Jesus was questioned about fasting he gave this response, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast. No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." Matthew 9:15-17.

As we looked at that passage in terms of "fasting," as it is presented, it became clear what Jesus was saying.

We know from His Word that the Holy Spirit shares with each of us from the mind of God as the Lord see fit to impart to us. When we are ready, He gives us knowledge, wisdom, etc.

The discipline of fasting is practiced by too few in our world. Often our motivations can be wrong or misdirected. The Lord wanted those He was speaking to to realize that fasting is a discipline that prepares one to receive from Him.

God often leads us into times of fasting for specific purposes. He wants to share with us things that will give direction to us, but we are not in a position to be able to handle these words until we prepare ourselves through "fasting."

If He were to give us the words He has for us without our denying ourselves to come to Him, we may end up being boastful and proud with the words He gives us. This would be futile and not serve the Lord's purposes. In essence, the good word He had to share would be spilled out and useless if we were not prepared to receive it.

Similarly, the unshrunk patch would tear at the old fabric, and the new wine would burst the old wineskin. In both cases, ruining the vessel. In order to be prepared for what God has for us, we must be prepared to receive it as He intends. Denying ourselves through fasting, helps us to be in a humble posture that the Lord can fill without the knowledge ripping at the fabric of who we want to become, as we are seeking what He wants us to become. The vessel is prepared for the flood of new words that God has for us!

One of our young men had been seeking whether the Lord was calling him into ministry. He began to fast. He approached me separately and relayed that as the rest of us ate lunch in this park, he was going to a bench to study the Word.

He headed a stones throw away, and sat down. He opened his Bible and his journal, and began to study and write.

He had been in this posture for no more than 10 minutes when he looked up in shock.

He leaned back on the bench and called out for a translator. As he sat studying, a curious crowd had surrounded him. He could not move. They were each wondering what he was doing, and were pressing in on all sides.

He rose up, and began to preach the Word to this crowd. He explained who he was, why he was here, and who Jesus was and what He brought to the people of Peru.

Many gave their hearts to the Lord because of this young mans simple act of following God in obedience.

I had never seen anything like it! We celebrated the secure calling God had on his life!

The anointing of Christ hovered over this team throughout their time in Peru! Many would "fast." Many would receive a word from the Lord in terms of what He had for them. It was an incredibly exciting time to share together in most every way!

In my human wisdom, had I known how many would "fast," I probably would not have brought the teaching, as their strength was too important. God provides when He calls, and no one suffered beyond what He strengthened them to endure.

My human wisdom is of little value. Give me the Mind of Christ, for His wisdom will endure!



At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only been away for 5 days now, and already I have "brent" withdrawals, and "deanna" withdrawals too. I miss you guys so much, but I know that God is using this time apart to prepare all of us for the difficult work to come. I remember when our friend in this story did this, and so served as an encouragement to myself and the rest of the team to pursue the Father's will in earnest. I love you dad, and can't wait till you get to meet my parents.
Following Him,
Mateo Peter Pritchett

At 1:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow and wow.

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work.


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