“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
Isaiah 58:6 (NIV)
Last time we were together, I spoke about how God invited me to fast in the fall of 2017 for 30 days. I tend to have the type of personality that thinks, “If God tells me to fast for 30 days, then I should fast for 31 days because then He will bless me more.”
However, God doesn’t work that way. While He wants me to obey Him, He wants me to obey Him. Obeying Him means if He asks me to fast for 30 days, then I need to fast for 30 days. Not 29 days, not 31 days, but 30 days. Why? Because obedience to God means obedience… not on my terms but on His.
When I realized God was giving me the opportunity to fast from September 13th through October 13th, it was October 11th. I also realized God was giving me one more day of “freedom” before embarking on this journey and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest. However, there was still a part of me that wondered… “Am I supposed to start today or wait until tomorrow? Am I disobeying God by waiting until tomorrow… or am I being obedient by enjoying one more day with food I like?”
I prayed about it, asking God to show me if I was being disobedient by waiting until Wednesday to start the fast… and then decided to pick out a few things I really wanted to enjoy. Coffee and donuts. Not black coffee, which I truly enjoy by the way. But pumpkin spice latte coffee. And not just any donut. A Sweetwater’s donut. I told my prayer partner what I was doing… I told my husband what I was doing so he wouldn’t lovingly surprise me with treats I couldn’t eat during the month long fast and then prepared to enjoy one last day.
God answered my prayer in a way only the most personal God could. I didn’t just get a chance to drink a pumpkin spice latte. I got an invitation from my husband to join him on his coffee break at work and we had time to sit, laugh and date each other. Because it was spontaneous, I was sitting there with no makeup on and not dressed up in the least. He didn’t care – he just enjoyed having company on his break. Then, instead of having to settle for a good, but not my favorite donut from Sweetwater’s, I was able to stop at the store where they have my all-time favorite donut – Oreo. I picked one up for me to enjoy that morning and another one to surprise my husband with in his lunchbox. And then I enjoyed family dinner later that night, complete with peach cobbler for dessert.
God showed me through various personal ways that He was pleased with my acceptance of His invitation to fast. He also loves to help us enjoy life and the splurges that occasionally come with it.
I started the fast on Wednesday, September 13th, completely committed to seeing it through to October 13th. God invited me and I chose to accept. For me, when personally invited by the God of the Universe, the fast is a little easier to follow.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018