As we started to fast, together with the church, last January 7 for a good amount of 7 days, I left Facebook and committed my time to learning and knowing God. The past six days were a challenge for me as this was the first time I fasted in my 21 years of existence. Truth to be told, I have no idea what fasting is really about except that you starve and deprive yourself of foods for a number of days. But as I read through the guide, it explained how we should fast, and why we should fast. Fasting is a form of worship. It renews the spiritual body and mind. It always occurs with a prayer and reading the Bible.
The past 5 days was really a challenge for me. The fact that I didn’t slow down after the holidays and suddenly stopped eating, it felt like I was craving for anything. The funny thing was that I wasn’t supposed to really fast or commit to one meal per day, but I read something randomly on the Internet and it just struck me. I had to pray and commit to my fasting which I didn’t regret at all.
I’m also blessed that the people I work with understood what we were going through. My lead also committed to liquid fasting as their church also had a fasting week and I feel so blessed that God gave us the strength to do our work even when there’s no food in our stomach in the wee hours of the morning.
DAY 1: A Man Who Knew God (Exodus 33:7-34:8)
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend.” – (v11)
In our time today, the word “know” is not what we really mean as the dictionary defined. One example is our Facebook pages. I have 800+ people whom my Facebook calls ‘friends’, but I don’t know all of them. Most of the time, I would only confirm their request if I see that we have a good amount of mutual friends that I really know, hangout and chat with. That’s just probably half of the exact number of friends I have in Facebook.
To know someone means to be familiar (not just be acquainted from time to time), to understand, and to be knowledgeable about them. It’s the same with Moses and his relationship with God. The Lord talks to him everyday, it’s so constant that the Lord knew Moses’ name and Moses knew God. And by knowing God, Moses could ask him anything and because God was pleased with Moses, He gave and showed him everything. Don’t you just want the same relationship with someone so powerful and mighty? To be able to see God’s glory and majesty? And when we become friends with the Lord, His presence is with us which makes us different from all other people.
Revelations: The Lord is our friend. Before we ask Him for anything, we must befriend Him and have an intimate relationship with Him. We need to talk to Him everyday about just anything. And as a friend, we also need to listen to Him. Only then we’ll be able to know Him and call Him as our friend, and Him the same.
DAY 2: The Danger of not Knowing God (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
“..always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” – (v7)
This really made me think about how I am as a Christian. Am I living my life according to His will? Am I portraying a Christ-like character to the public? Am I letting the power change me? The answer all came back to the past – not learning to let go of the past, not learning to let go of the worldly desires, not learning to let go of the people that gives me pain and keeps me sinning.
Revelations: The second day devotion made me assess myself and the spirit within me. It made me list down of my own shortcomings and bad attitudes, and how I can correct all of them. I also listed down things or people that keep me from being changed by the word of God and noted that I will give these all up or cut off anything that hinders me to acknowledging the truth. I realized that all the while, as a believer, I have only considered learning, until the day I really committed to Christ again that I only acknowledge the truth and turned away from the evil doings.
DAY 3: The Need To Know God (Luke 24:13-48)
“..He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” – (v25-27)
How important it is to know God in our lives? How relevant it is to give him a significant role in our lives? How important it is to know and believe in His words to having a clear knowledge of who He really is in our lives?
Revelations: It is one thing to know and believe in His Words, it is another thing to have a clear knowledge of who He really is in our lives. Try listening to the song “Everything to Me” by the Avalon. It literally describes of how we were before we accepted Him as our personal Savior and dear Father. I know the story, I know who He is, I know how He died and how He was risen, but do I really know Him as Him and not based on my church school’s story? This 2013, I promised that this year will be all about Him – and me knowing Him and be more committed to Him and His works. I’ve had my 21 years of existence for me, I’m giving it all back to Him.
DAY 4: The Blessings of Knowing God (Ephesians 1:3-14)
“..for he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. ” – (v3)
I will forever be grateful that I live in a country wherein worship is not considered a crime or illegal. I will forever be grateful that my family knows Him and would always remind me not to forget Christ no matter what. I will forever grateful that I have friends who empower and strengthens me in Him.
Revelations: To be in Christ has pros and cons. But why think of cons when the pros are even greater? *wink. Yeah, I lost some friends; limited my topics of chat and breaking the ice; spend my time on devotion and not on Facebook or some shenanigans, but it’s okay. Because the more I know Christ through the Bible, the more I become hopeful and positive and joyful in my life. God gives understanding and wisdom. He redeems and forgives. He gives light and happiness. When you give your heart away to Him, He just pours everything back to you. It’s never a one-way love affair. Before I loved Him, He already loves me. And I can just feel the blessings of knowing Him come to me one by one.
DAY 5: A Prayer to Know God (Ephesians 1:15-21)
“..I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” – (v18-19)
When we know the true power of our Father, we become strong and hopeful that with Him nothing is impossible. We believe that His power is greater than anything else and our faith can move mountains. I pray that my friends will also know and discover this wonderful truth, I pray that someday, God will move their hearts and will call them in His works.
Revelations: God revealed to me that no matter what challenges or problems I face today, and will be facing in the future, as long as I keep in my heart that my Father is strong, I will always prevail. I will always keep in mind and heart that to be in Christ means receiving all the blessings and actually experiencing the good in life.
DAY 6: The Goal: To Know God (Philippians 3:4-14)
“..but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – (v13-14)
Paul talked about how he should have confidence than anyone should. He has all the qualities, titles, family background to be proud of or use for his sake. But he considers all of these rubbish and a loss because knowing God is far greater than all of these.
Revelations: While I cling onto my educational background as something to be proud of, I felt ashamed of my status compared to Paul’s. Paul had everything in his grasp, but he gave it all up to follow Christ. These earthly things are considered nothing compared to the chance of knowing the Lord. This time, I realized that everything I have all came from the Lord. How he must love me! Whenever I asked, He would give. I am nothing without Him and His provision. Sometimes, He gives me more than what I ask.
DAY 7: The Desire to Know God
“..He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” – (v9-10)
The last day of my fasting and devotion was really the most special. God revealed to me what I was asking Him since a few months ago. He clearly defined how He is as a Father and someone I fear and follow. He took away every doubt and question I have for Him with regards to my sins – “Am I really forgiven? Do you really forgive me? If I could turn back time, I would do everything to avoid such situation.” These are some of the questions and regrets I had. And God just revealed to me that I should move on and focus on what he had called me as stated in Philippians 3:13-14 and that he forgives me and will never accuse me of my sins in Psalms 106:9-10.
Revelations: Our Lord is good and loving. For the last two devos, He answered me how I should leave the past and move on to the future to start anew. After all, I am now a new person, aren’t I? God simply revealed to me that I have nothing to worry about and that I should keep His words in my heart starting the day I committed back to Him. He revealed to me that I should always seek His guidance that I might not fall into traps again and sin. Oh Lord, I am so grateful and moved of your faithfulness to me even though I am a sinner. There’s no greater love than this.
The moment I closed my Bible, I just wept. I wept so hard for God’s goodness and mercy. I wept because I was so happy that God revealed a lot about Himself. I wept because He clearly showed me how I am forgiven and how He would not accuse me of anything. I wept because my Father is good and faithful. I wept because I was in great joy that no amount of laughter can describe it.
I was so moved, overwhelmed and baffled. My existence was in awe, literally.
Fasting is indeed good. I’ll probably do this once in awhile. This is also part of my faith resolution this 2013. I promise that this year will just be offered to Him and I will seek Him with all my heart. God has been pursuing me ever since, I guess it’s really time to pursue Him back.
I thank you for accepting me just as I am. I may not be perfect but you know at least I am trying my best and I’m going out today with my head held high – knowing that you are in the process of changing me.