Highland Baptist Church
Monday, May 20, 2013
Helping People Follow Jesus
The Purpose of Spiritual Discipline
I was called to fast and pray recently, and was very reluctant on several counts. I was concerned that I could endure the full period of the fast. The nature of the fast conflicted with my line of work as a chef. I was also concerned that I was not entering the fast with a clear purpose or reason to fast.
As I fasted and prayed, I was very amazed to discover several things. The Lord gave me a supernatural peace and contentment to refrain from eating the foods I was fasting from. Once I slipped by mindlessly tasting a restricted food while cooking at work, and encountered a genuine issue of working well as a chef and honoring God’s fast. At that point I discovered His creativity and encouragement when He suggested that I taste and spit when I cooked restricted foods.
Next, I fell into temptation to eat a restricted food after a time of deep longing for it. The irony was that when I tasted the coveted food, there was simply no pleasure in eating it—the food tasted like paper. What irony! And the Lord invited me to repent and return to Him and His fast. There was no drama or even a period of guilt to agonize my failure. He taught me then that He didn’t want a perfect performance from me. Secretly, that disappointed me as I wanted a trophy of achievement.
Finally during that period, He gave me several different things to pray for—while a lot of them involved praying for others, many of them benefited my family in some way! He revealed that His agenda included me!
In conclusion, I discovered that this fast, a spiritual discipline, was designed to get me connected more intimately to God!