Last week I was contemplating fasting, for a very specific reason, and I was reading from Isaiah 58 which talks about acceptable fasting to the Lord, and worship and I was struck again with how I can have the attitude of putting off dealing with an area of my life that needs to be more fully aligned with God and His character.
The verses that really convicted me were 10-14
"If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Too often I am quick to judge someone else, or see a flaw in someone's character, refusing to see it in myself (having a plank in my eye, but trying to remove the speck from my brothers). I don't want to be seen by God, or other people as someone who is hateful, arrogant, selfish, unloving, unkind. My life needs to be a reflection of His character - portraying the Fruits of the Spirit
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
Dad was preaching about the New Birth yesterday, and I was reminded again how I cannot abuse my "freedom" in Christ - i.e. I CANNOT be held captive by sin, claiming I am a Christian, and in the same breath, spit in Christ's face by my sin. Whew! Every time I think about that, the fear of God comes into my heart anew.
Praise the Lord that because of Jesus' sacrifice on my behalf, on your behalf, I can say amen to - Romans 8:37-39
"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Thank you Jesus, for going to the Cross to bear my sin in my place, and for enduring separation from Your Father on my behalf, so that I would one day be set free from the bondage and death of sin, and be bought for eternity with You, by Your blood, Your atonement (at-one-ment), Your sacrifice once for all. Help me to be joyful in that assurance, to walk in victory over sin, and the devil. To listen to Truth in Your word, and not believe lies the devil would whisper in my ear. Help me to be a good example to my family, and to my community of what it means to truly be one of Yours - a follower of The Way. I don't want to shame Your precious name, I want to be an example of faith, love and purity to all I come in contact with. Father break my heart over my sin, and cause me to walk in Truth, always. May Your light shine through me always and whatever I do, may it be a pleasing aroma in Your nostrils. All this I pray thanking You for saving me, I praise You Jesus! Amen.