Friday, January 21, 2011

Brown, Green, or Yellow?

Today is my last day of fasting. I began on January 11 as our entire church family began a fast to seek God's face in 2011. The purpose? To ask Him to do the unexplainable. To see an 11 on a scale of 1-10. I chose to abstain from anything sweet/sugary and all caffeine. This includes my morning "Halle Berry", an affectionate name coined by my friend Stephanie for the way I drink my coffee. (It matches Halle's skintone perfectly. Light and sweet. Basically, I drink coffee as a means to ingest creamer.) I was going to post earlier last week about my fasting but I didn't want to be like those Jesus described in Matthew 6 and wanted this to be all about Him and not me. Bear chose to fast from food.You read that right. Today is his 11th day without any type of food whatsoever. He's just drinking water and V8 Splash. For 11 days. Is it no coincidence that Becky is doing a blog post series on marriage? I think not. ;)

I'm personally seeking God's answer regarding areas of service & ministry. Have I had any profound answer? Not really. I'm still exactly where I was 11 days ago. We were talking about this in our adult small group meeting last Thursday. One of the members said that if you look in the Bible at fasting, God usually answers after the fast. The fast is our complete and total obedience to Him and only after we're fully obedient does He bless it. Makes sense, right?

Today has caused me to reflect upon this whole fasting ordeal and I'm pretty ashamed to admit that I don't think I did it right. I know all about fasting but I've never actually done it before. Bear & I cut things out of our lives all the time in order to seek God's face more diligently. I guess you could call that fasting but food has never been a choice for me. I love it too much. Should've been my first clue, right?

Jonah has a little car that he plays with in the bathtub. It's hypercolor & changes colors depending on if it's warm or cold, wet or dry.

When it's completely dry, it's brown.

When it's wet with cold water, it's green.

When it's in warm water, it turns yellow.

As he was playing in the tub this morning, I was wanting "Halle" more than anything. I began praying asking the Lord why haven't I gotten an answer yet? Will it be tomorrow? Will I even get one? He asked me, "Are you fasting on brown, green, or yellow?" I have been completely obedient with this fast. I haven't even had any salad dressings with sugar in them. In fact, we went to "Milk 'n Shake" (Steak & Shake) and I had water. I've been really good. But when those times come around 2:00 each day when I'm dragging & need a little boost, do I turn to the Word? No. I've been taking naps. I've been watching Netflix on the Wii. Again, coincidence that our Wii broke last night out of nowhere & has to be sent in for repairs? No. I haven't been brown. But I haven't been yellow either.

"For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?" Isaiah 58:2-5 (emphasis mine)

So today, I repent & ask the Lord to forgive my feeble fasting attempt. I have learned several things from this fast which I plan on posting later but for just today, I desire forgiveness.

I wanted to find some synonyms for 'half-hearted' to include in this post. I was honestly looking for ones that started with an 'f' to be cute & alliterative to go with 'fasting'. Isn't that just like me? To make my sin seem not so offensive by cutesy-ing it up? Pitiful. I found these words:

Apathetic. Uenthusiastic. Lazy. Reluctant. Indifferent. Doubtful. Fearful. Fickle. Wavering. Wishy-washy. Careless. Lukewarm. Flat. Lifeless.

Not words that I want to describe my walk with Jesus. But perfect to describe my sinful self. I'm lazy in the mornings and don't get up like I should. I'm fearful of where He will lead me. (How silly is that?!) I'm fickle in my commitments. I'm reluctant to fully commit. I'm careless when it comes to my thoughts and actions. But the words that stopped me in my tracks was lukewarm, flat, and lifeless. Mainly because this is what Jesus says about those.

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16

I literally make God sick to His stomach. He spits me up. Vomit.

But I'm so grateful there's Jesus! Because when my walk seems flat and lifeless, He's exactly where to turn!

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." John 17:13 (emphasis mine)

 "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:9-10 (emphasis mine)

I'm so grateful that it's that simple. And that full.

Has anyone else fasted before? Did you get an answer? Was it what you were expecting? I'd love to hear about how God worked in your life!

1 comment:

becky@cup.of.joe said...

Kristen, today I pray that "your light would break forth like the dawn and your healing would spring up speedliy; that His righteousness would go before you and the glory of the LORD would be your rear guard. The LORD will answer when you call. He will say "Here I am." I pray your light would rise in darkenss and your gloom be as the noonday. That the Lord would guide you continually and satisfy your desires in scorched places (aka...satisfy your Halle cravings!). That he would make your bones strong. That you would be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. - Isaish 58:8-12

Praying for your fast. I am fasting today, too. I fast fairly often. I always say my "sensors" are up when I fast. I always hear from Him more clearly. He meets me in my affliction. He is better than food. And even better than coffee!! Wow. That is really good :) You bless me...

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