But now, O Israel, listen to the LORD who created you. The One who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
“You have been chosen to know Me, believe in Me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God— there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes I, am the LORD, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD. “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of My hand. No one can undo what I have done.”
“I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
“I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so My chosen people can be refreshed.
“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for My own sake and will never think of them again. I have made you for My glory; it was I who created you. You are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you.”
(Taken from Isaiah 43)
Today is the final day of the fast. God has done some really cool things in my heart; my life has been marked.
The benefits of fasting are not something that can be adequately relayed to another. You have to experience a fast for yourself. It’s not just not eating or going without something you think you have to have; it is so much more. Fasting separates the wants from the needs. It realigns our priorities. As is always the case with God, you get so much more than you give. I gave up TV and ate a restricted diet for my part, but God has instilled in me healing, discipline, peace, a greater love for Him. He has done things deep in me that I can’t even put words to. I am more determined, more surrendered and I trust Him more. I just feel different.
Ephesians 3:20 says, Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Wow, so true! I am humbled by the changes I see in me. All I can say is, God, give me more! I know He will. He is faithful to complete the work He started (Phil 1:6). I can’t wait to see what He does next!
The past 21 days have been amazing. I am a convert. I am a faster.
God told me at the beginning of this fast that He would make me a Mary. It is something that has been on my heart for months; something I’ve been moving towards. Let me explain.
Mary and Martha – sisters – friends of Jesus – two very different ladies.
Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was distracted. Mary was attentive. It makes me want to scream, Martha! Jesus is in your house! What are you thinking?
But this has been me far too many times.
While Martha was in the kitchen cooking and stressing, Mary was at Jesus’ feet soaking Him in. Martha was practical with a good head on her shoulders. She knew what needed to be done, and she did it. I imagine she was organized and in charge. She was straightforward and not afraid to speak her mind. She got a little bossy with Jesus, so she was probably really bossy with everyone else around her. Mary on the other hand was, well, a little more on the dramatic side. She was passionate. She wore her heart on her sleeve, fell in love easily and held on tightly. As a child, she was probably running carelessly through a field of flowers while Martha was learning to bake bread at her mother’s side.
Although I have some Mary in me, I have always been bent more like Martha. While my heart is sitting at Jesus’ feet, my mind is sorting through my list of to-do’s. I have even rushed through my quiet time just so I could mentally check that off the list. I am a doer, a planner, a get-it-done kind of girl. And while I’m getting it done, don’t even think about changing my plans. And if it (whatever ‘it’ happens to be) doesn’t get done… man, am I grouchy! I get caught up in the details of life, distracted, concerned about things that really don’t matter. I admit I sometimes have a momentary freak out and later think, What the heck was that?! I am in the proverbial kitchen of life burning the roast and barking orders because I just know all my guests will starve. I have had to say to myself, Simmer down, girl! It makes me wonder if God is shaking His head and rolling His eyes as He watches. What a patient Father He is.