Brave Adventure

Brave Adventure

Monday, March 10, 2014

Re-post

I have had this weird feeling lately. I have been coming expectant to the Word, I have been coming expectant to the community of believers, and God has been shaping me intensely. He has been pruning expectations in a way that I can only describe as painful. He is changing me. It's not just having two kids, it's so much more than that. It's taking Him seriously, and Him shaping me seriously. But the problem has been an inability to put what is happening precisely into words. I am usually quite loquacious, but have been unable to find the correct sentences to put this into words. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I don't know where to move from here. I don't know what God will call me to next or what He will say to me next. I don't know what the pruning means, but I have finally put two words to some things I have been feeling - yearning, longing. I am yearning and longing for change. Then in today's devotional from Shereadstruth, they echoed my heart. So I'd like to pass it on to you:

“If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
-John Piper, A Hunger for God
We had suffered a severe loss – our baby daughter – and we were sitting at our kitchen table with an older couple who had a similar loss two decades earlier. I’ll never forget how she described the feeling I hadn’t been able to put into words: “Losing a child makes you feel less bolted down to Earth. We are being weaned – our longings are changing.
I think fasting can have a similar effect. In fact, I believe it’s meant to.
Fasting isn’t about inflicting pain upon our bodies and it’s not about removing sin from our lives – the latter would be repentance and should not be limited to a season. Biblical fasting is a withholding of things – good things – that have taken a too-important role in our lives. Fasting is about dependance. 
Losing a child is an extreme example, but it shows us that often, it takes extreme circumstances to awaken us to our need for our Savior – to wean us from our earthly comforts. Fasting is a way of awakening that need – a way of saying I’m not hungry for God the way I want to be – I have too many comforts tuning out my need for Him and I want to silence something loud for a season in an effort to shift that dependance to Christ. 
The kind of fasting I’m talking about is the practice of removing distractions. An elimination of good things that have become too important. Sometimes fasting involves food, but certainly not always. It could be a season where you read no other books but the Bible, or when you spend your evening television time in prayer.
Wherever there is a subtraction, let there also be an addition.
When you remove a comfort, apply a discipline.
Wherever you find success in your efforts, thank the Lord.
And wherever you fail, thank Him also. For there you will discover your great need for Him.
Luke 6:21 says, “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.”
In Psalm 73:25, 26 David says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
While Lent is not biblically mandated, repentance is. We don’t need a date on the calendar to tell us it’s time to free fall into the arms of our all-satisfying Savior; but this season of approaching the cross is in so many ways a process of emptiness to fullness. It is timely for us to consider where our affections lie – what earthly pleasures distract us from heavenly ones.
Are you feeling bolted down to Earth, comfortably satisfied with a life that has little need for a Savior? Or are you achy and empty, ready to drink in the living water that can satisfy you forever?
“And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Isaiah 58:11

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