Jesus eating

Feasting (review)

Small review from yesterday’s message. If you were not there I encourage you to listen. These may seem random because they are…just snippets from the message.

What is the purpose of fasting?

The goal is not hunger. It is only a means to an end.

We get this so wrong on so many issues! We mistake the fasting for the feasting!

Let it not be imagined that the life of a good Christian must be a life of melancholy and gloominess; for he only resigns some pleasures (fasting) to enjoy others infinitely better. (feasting) Blaise Pascal

We think the goal is our sacrifice and struggle. We believe that is what earns us favor with God. God is not interested in rewarding our starvation and parched tongues with rewards…. Other than the reward of Himself!

Fasting is unnatural! Hunger and thirst are not normal, nor good! We only employ their services when we detect we are now worshiping idols. Isaac was not born to be sacrificed by his father. All of these extremes are necessary evils to get us to God! He is the goal and the end of our sacrifice!

Jesus understood and endured suffering and struggle (hunger) but He knew how to eat!

Don’t settle for hunger and thirst…bring them to Jesus!

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

Let’s stop talking about hunger and food and let’s eat!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

Seeing God should enable tasting, but seeing satisfying food does not satisfy, eating does!

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory. Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise Thee. So I will bless Thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name. Ps 63:1-4

Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4

“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose…! You drove them from me, You Who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, You Who are sweeter than all pleasure.” Saint Augustine

stage

Clear the Stage

Rewatch the video here

Clear the stage

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews & all the decorations, too
Until the congregations few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social
Then seek the Lord & wait for what He has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful
‘Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong;
worship is more than a song
Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the Word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken
‘Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song
We must not worship something that’s not even worth it
Clear the stage, make some space for the One who deserves it
Anything I put before my God is an idol.
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol.
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol.
Anything that I give all my love is an idol.
Yes, I can sing all I want to
I can sing all I want to
And still get it wrong
And you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song
Worship is more than a song
Worship is more than a song
Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols

scale

Fit or Fat?

At the risk of being simple I think extra weight comes down to two things. (I know we could throw in genes, thyroid, seasons of life, age, etc. but at the base I think my proposed simplicity cannot be denied.)

We gain unwanted weight because:

1. We eat the wrong things.

2. We sit around a lot.

The opposite is true. We fend off flubber because:

1. We eat the right things.

2. We burn off the energy the right food provides with activity.

Charles Ingalls (the iconic figure) was in shape because he worked hard to grow his own food. And the food was better. We ‘work’ to make money to buy food grown in a lab somewhere.

Now let’s apply this to spiritual fitness. The average American Christian is not hungry, he is fat. We are not hungry for God because we are full of other stuff. If we feel the smallest desire/need/hunger arise to be filled with life, love, identity, peace, joy, security, etc. we are prone to run to the nearest fast food joint. Satan is in the business of satisfying hungry, impatient, far-too-easily pleased customers. “And business is boomin.” Then after gorging, while we sit around some of the food turns into waste and much of it turns to fat. Exercise is a rather modern idea. We used to work it off!

The above average American Christian is fat too, but it’s Christian fat! Through growth and maturity we don’t eat junk food anymore, we eat our vegetables. Daily Bible reading, devotions, Christian music, healthy books, church, community group, Christian friends….. but what do we do with all of those nutrients? Go to another Bible study? Even good food unused with purposeful energy will turn to fat!

What if we took in God as our provision then spent Him? We would empty faster and need to come back for more.

Let’s allow hunger for God to happen naturally as we refuse the junk food of the enemy.

Let’s bring our hunger and thirst to God.

Let’s be satisfied to the full in sustenance AND flavor.

Let’s spend with Spirit power what we have received in the lives of others.

Repeat…..

SBC-Bob Evans Holiday Merchandising

Hunger Pains

Fasting should lead you to feasting. All fasts come to an end or we die. The end of your fast should be God. No matter what you fast (small or large) there will no reward at the end. No badge or certificate. The Pharisees fasted and prayed loud to be seen of men. Jesus said, “They have their reward.” (Sad)

I want the end of my fast to be a feast! In the physical realm yes, but even more in spiritual reality. I want to taste and see that the Lord is good. I want to be filled with all the fullness of God!

Stay in your misery. Stay in your hunger. Stay in your fast. If it does not hurt yet, you either picked something that was not a sacrifice or you have found junk food elsewhere.

Biggest understatement of the Bible….. “Jesus fasted for forty days and nights and afterward was hungry.” Duh! He could have taken Satan’s food. He could have taken Satan’s advice to make His own food, but He waited….and feasted on God.

Tasting the deepest love, identity, peace, joy makes all others look as they are – junk food.

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” Brennan Manning

rev prayer

Revolutionary Prayer

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. — Jeremiah 2:13

I encourage you to pray this and not be afraid.

“He’s not safe, but He is good.” — C.S. Lewis

Pray:

1. To be emptied

He must increase and I must decrease. — John 3:30

“Lord, show me as soon as possible (so I can avoid as much damage as possible) how worthless my search for satisfaction is in _____________ .”

“Lord, make me hungry for You!” (which is the positive way of saying, “Empty me.”)

What is your junk food of choice? Identify what you run to when empty and offer that to God as a sacrifice.

 

2. To be filled

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” — Psalm 90:14

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” –Psalm 16:11

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9

 

3. For Him to increase our capacity!

“Lord, make me hungry for more of You!”

“Show me your glory!” — Exodus 33:18

“The house of my soul is too narrow for thee to come in to me; let it be enlarged by thee.” — St. Augustine

 

I want to be filled with all the fullness of God so that I am not hungry. I want my capacity to be full of God and stretched. I want to be filled full with His love. I want an immeasurable sense of His presence. I want to be maxed out with His peace so that I don’t seek peace elsewhere. I want to be filled with His identity (who I am in Him – who He is in me) so I don’t go searching for identity somewhere else. God, I need You to fill me.

John Eldredge says, “If a man does not find his life in God, he will become a very thirsty man. And thirsty men have been known to do some very stupid things.”

And it’s true, God. I have done stupid things, but not because I’m stupid. I have done stupid things because I am hungry and thirsty. I did not know it was You I lacked! I am hungry because I am empty. I am empty because You have not filled me. No fault of Yours. I want to be filled with all Your fullness today.

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