If you’ve been tracking along, you know that I am releasing research and information about the Bible Study I will be launching both online and in person in Waterloo this March. For all the information about the study, head here.
Today, I am talking about one of the reasons I decided to focus the study around fasted prayer, which is my own personal experience.
To be straightforward, fasting something that was a conviction in my life, and spending more time in prayer, changed my life.
“Kintsugi, meaning that which is bonded by gold, is an ancient art form of pottery within the richer provinces of China. The potter does a remarkable thing where they take the broken pieces of any bowl, using gold to mold the whole bowl together, creating something new. When I learned of this my mind instantly looked to the Lord and how he uses us, as the broken pieces we are, molding us by his sanctification. And though we have nothing worthy to give back to the Him for the life he has given for us, we are now able to bear his image and share who he is to those around us.
I’m not sure where your heart sits with this, but for me, I feel a joy and confidence in our Lord. He is making us anew each and every day, and all we may do is love Him in return. That is it. There is no bargaining or wager we must win, but a given reward. We do not earn, work, or gamble our way into the kingdom of God, for He had already done so. We cannot trade Christ’s pure love with work, and we must dare not to try. Know you have been given grace. And know you are loved. Reflect on his gift.”
This was written by a friend of mine at church, and I think it is so true of who our God is.
To support these statements with Scripture: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
This to say, WE cannot save ourselves. Nothing of our human flesh is worthy of God, and nothing we could give our beautiful Saviour makes any one of us more worthy or holy. HE is the only Holy one, and wants to dwell in us.
We CAN, however, choose of our flesh to gift Him what we ARE able to control, and He blesses those choices. I’ve experienced this.
As much as I have often recognized struggles within myself of things that I succumb to that I shouldn’t partake in, I know that I am not condemned for these things, but rather can look to the Truth of His joy and freedom from these things.
“These things”– for example, watching recipe and workout videos on YouTube for hours of my free time.
I have recognized that I can enjoy these videos for a period of time without conviction from God that this is not how I should be spending it. But there is a point where this becomes too much, and not honouring to Him/simply a waste of time. And while I know there is no CONDEMNATION for these things (Romans 8:1-2), that I am not to feel guilty for them, I simply know the Truth of my God and that He is my Creator, Past, Present, and Future, and it’s when I spend time with Him that I do not WANT to spend hours watching YouTube videos.
This is why I have chosen to “fast” these videos, and pray in times I would usually watch YouTube. And, man, has God changed my life.
-Prayer during these times has literally opened me up to retreating from my room at home for prayer time with my roommates.
-I believe that the Holy Spirit brought me to the Scripture verse He wanted me to talk about at the women’s event I spoke at at Redeemer University this past Thursday night. And God did AMAZING things through that Word, setting people free from addictions.
-I have noticed less anxiety and more peace in my life since spending more time in prayer and less time on YouTube.
These amazing benefits and more are my passionate desire for the world: for others to experience the way that sacrifices that feel big, but that are tiny in comparison to the sacrifice of Jesus’ LIFE on the cross, are so life-changing when we allow Him to take up the space. Time with Him has made me more others-focused, in that I have been more apt to think pray for my friends and acquaintances and people that have asked me for prayer, and to check up on them.
I truly believe in this practice. Not that it is something that makes us better Christians, because truly, in God’s eyes, that isn’t possible, or the point. But it’s simply a practice of loving our perfect Creator.