I don’t eat cans of Vienna sausages with saltine crackers very often, but when I do, I’m in a bass boat.
My family and I used to have a Christmas tradition of fishing out on Lake Kissimmee for large mouth bass. These were incredible moments filled with hearing and sharing stories of the past, catching the big one, and falling asleep out there without a care in the world.
In preparation for the 2019 Daniel Fast, God convicted my heart and my motives. My desire was to hear from Him, seeking His guidance and intervention with concerns in my life and my family’s. However, I approached Him with idols and an unclean heart.
The 21-day Daniel Fast is about to begin. My wife and I are stocked up on nuts, quinoa, and unsweetened cocoa powder (if you’ve done the fast, you know about the no bake cookies), and I’ve already been scouring the internet for possible recipes. My mind is extremely focused on the food, and especially the caffeine, I’m about to give up. For 21 days, we put down cheeseburgers, cake, tobacco, coffee, etc. and it can be very tempting to fixate on those things. My encouragement/challenge to you during this time is this: fasting is not so much about your stomach, as it is your heart.
We have discussed why the Christian should practice fasting, but many people including myself have had a hard time with the discipline in the past. I know that in the past I have chosen not to fast out of fear and misunderstanding. Fasting places a lot of concerns for some people who are worried that the limited diet will affect their work, energy levels, mood, or relationships.
Yesterday I mentioned that we fast because it is commanded, practiced, and expected by Jesus in the New Testament. Christians fast because it is a physical representation of our spiritual hunger and longing for the return of Christ. We fast because we are mourning over the sin of the world, our community, and maybe even our own life. Not as a punishment or self-infliction because of our sin, but because we are longing for the return of Christ when sin and death will be no more.
I must admit that when I first became a Christian, the practice of fasting was in my mind a discipline reserved for the super elite believers who shaved their heads and prayed for twenty-four hours a day continually. However, my mind was changed as I read Christ words in the ninth chapter of Matthew's Gospel:
Recently, Jeff and I enjoyed the opportunity of walking around the neighborhood with our three precious granddaughters along with our daughter and son-in-law. I must have been walking behind the girls at one point, causing Olivia to slow her pace, look up, smile at me, and state, “I’ll be your friend.” She then began walking alongside me, taking my hand. Immediately, Jeff and I locked eyes, and I knew the subject of my next blog…our best friend.
Pray for meeting today between representatives from FBC Panama City and potential Brazilian partners as they pray about partnering to reach Quilombolas in state of Pará.
Pray today for the literally thousands of Quilombola communities in Brazil that continue without any evangelical church. Pray that those Brazilian churches currently engaging Quilombolas will persevere in the work; that God will send out more workers into this harvest field; and that the vision of seeing Quilombolas equipped to fulfill the Great Commission to the ends of the earth will be fulfilled!
Pray today as the team leads a worship service for the believers and community of Menino Jesus.
Pray as we travel back to Belém after lunch. Pray that God will renew our strength and maintain perfect unity between our Brazilian partners, translators, & US team members.