15 June 2009

My 40 Day Fast - Part 3

Lastly, I mentioned earlier that I was spending lots of time reading and praying. Well, there were 5 things I was determined to ask God about every time I prayed. But, before I tell you, this is very personal to me. For me to reveal this to you shouldn’t be taken lightly...not lightly at all. In order: 1) That God would bring and bless the woman he has for me in my life. 2) That He would bless, open the right doors and take me to the next level in my career. 3) That He would greatly bless and find favor in each member of my family. 4) That He would greatly chase after my unsaved friends in any way necessary (most by name). 5) That He would pour more love and passion for Him in the lives of my friends and the people around me that are already His (many by name).

I knew my life was somewhat insignificant. Yet, He showed me how much He truly cares for me and loves me. He showed me how much more important others will be to me. He showed me His heart for His people. He showed me what a servant truly is. He showed me how much I am to love and lead His people. He showed me how quickly life passes and there’s no time to waste. He showed me how important it was to spend my life blessing and encouraging others. He showed me just how much I should live my life to serve Him…and that it will cost me. He showed me how much He’s blessed me already. He showed me that I will be blessed abundantly more and that I shouldn’t ask why…I should just keep thanking Him. He showed me just how much life isn’t about me. He told me to share this with you. Remember: “Greater love has no one than this…” (John 15:12-17).

The amount of discernment and wisdom that He’s poured in me is almost uncontainable. It’s too hard to begin to share with you what all He’s shown and revealed to me. And, He hasn’t stopped doing so. You will always go into an extended fast with specific motives. Yet, you’ll come out with different priorities.

I mentioned earlier that I was also trying to keep track of my weight, measurements and even tried taking pictures weekly to show how much mass I was losing. I did this so I could see how my body was reacting to the fast and how quickly I was losing weight. I did this because I know more than the average person about nutrition and physical health. Plus, I’ve never heard of anyone doing this during an extended fast. However, my camera was stolen and the pictures I took went with it. I never got a chance to download them.

I mention all this because on day 24 of my fast, my roommate (Kevin Maurer) was robbed at gun point on a Friday night at 10:30pm in my house. They ended up taking lots of stuff and even went as far as forcing Kevin in the closet and made him count to some number before he could come out. Three black teenage males forced their way into the front door with their faces covered and started looking for guns and cash. They asked Kevin repeatedly for this. All while a gun was pointed at Kevin’s head, the other two began ransacking the house. Unfortunately, they found my emergency stash cash and all the goodies they wanted. They finally left the house with things including Kevin’s cell phone, credit cards and car. Armed robbery and grand theft auto all in one fail swoop. I wasn’t home at the time…and quite frankly, I understand why. I started to realize that someone didn’t like what I was doing (praying and fasting).Also, as I started fasting I began to really feel the pressure of my full time job. Never have I fought and stressed over projects during these 40 days like before. It was considerably different. The work load was obviously more. Management was unhappy. Coworkers were disappointed. There was little sympathy. Yet, during this time, none of my coworkers had a clue what I was doing. None knew of my fast. I began working tons of overtime and the projects I was given were high priority and suddenly due in less time than normal. I again realized that someone didn’t like what I was doing (fasting and praying).

The whole time I was fasting I started to see the spiritual war that surrounded me. Not the supernatural, but the results of the supernatural. I could see and feel the hate on the people around me. I could see, hear and feel the discouragement. I could see the pure agony of the enemy as I continued and how badly he wanted to rid of me. I could tell he didn’t like my choice. However, I had peace. God filled me with love for these people. The Holy Spirit would strengthen me when I needed it most, but not until then. I knew God loves me. I knew the Holy Spirit was working on the people that I prayed for.

I was praying very specifically for my sister and my brother. One of the miracles that I will never forget was so small and insignificant. Without speaking a word to each other, my sister and brother stopped smoking in the same week. My brother (Micah) lives in Birmingham and Leah lives in Montgomery with me. They both ended up telling my mom the decision they made that week. Neither one of them spoke to each other about the choice they made to stop smoking. Leah was the only one that knew of my fasting. When mom told me this I was at work. I got on my knees and just started balling and praising my God. Thank goodness no one saw me! I’m so glad I had my own office! Like I said, this was one of the smaller miracles, but it was the first and it meant so much because I could finally start to see God answer my prayers.

Food leads me to another small and less significant miracle. God has blessed me so much when it comes to eating. Since I stopped the fast, I’ve eaten everything my heart desires. Not only did God give me permission to eat whatever I wanted, He told me before I even thought to ask. Does He know the desires of your heart? I think so. Anyway, I ended my fast on Nov. 10, 2008. For 3 days, after my last day, I could only eat the smallest baked potatoes known to man. I could only eat one per day and I would get full so quickly! After those last 3 days, I’ve been eating whatever I good and well pleased! I’ve just recently gained all my weight back (3 months later). But, there’s one small problem. I actually now weigh the exact same as when I started the fast. The problem with this is I’m leaner than I was before. I weigh the same, but don’t have near the fat I had just before I started. All my pants are still too big. Remember, I’m eating anything and everything I want! Just last week, I went to get my body fat percentage measured and the assistant was immediately surprised at my numbers. She mentioned that I was the second person who measured with such good numbers that she had ever seen! Let me remind you this is the same place where countless military work and such an importance and priority are placed on physical fitness. Wow!

To this day, I can’t wait to be the one that blesses the food when I eat with friends. Food has a different meaning for me now. Sometimes, I almost cry before I take the first bite. If you watch close enough, you’ll see the tears in my eyes. I hide them with every ounce of strength I have in my body! It’s what it takes to not look like a total psycho when I eat. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard the Holy Spirit say, “I love you,” just before I take the first bite. Food has a different meaning now. And, I still have a hard time explaining the feeling. I think it’s one of those things that God has shared with me that He and I will only understand.

There are many more miracles that have happened, but I’ll leave those for later conversations.

Finally, Christ came to this earth to nail our weaknesses and our sins to the cross. Do you understand what this means?? The creator of this universe came (with extraordinary humbleness) to allow Himself to be nailed to a piece of wood for our sorry existence. As long as we’re on this earth, we’ll never truly understand that kind of love. This love will be patient enough to wait. It’s even willing to be walked all over until it clicks with us. God made you with vision. God made you to serve Him. God made you to love Him and to love each other with every ounce of your being (Matthew 22:36-40). That’s it. That’s the secret to this life. It’s all you need to know. You do this and everything else will fall into place. It doesn’t matter where and it doesn’t matter how, just do it. If a thousand doors are open, then just go through one and He’ll point you in the right direction. If only one door is open, what are you waiting for???? He made it even easier for you!! Go running! Go without hesitating! Go without looking back! You have no time to waste (Psalm 103:15-16)!

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who asked if I was ok when I was beginning to look like a hungry hostage. I want to thank all of you who encouraged me and prayed for me. I want everyone to know that God loves you and He will always bless you when you give up the things that are most important to you. You will always receive a greater reward in the end! And, this is the reward you really want!

Be blessed!! And, I pray that I’ve encouraged you to fast and pray.

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