Monday, July 23, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Fast? or Not?


LIFE LESSON: Fast? Or Not?
by Toni Spaulding

To fast or not to fast? That is the Question!

I don’t know about you but I have not missed too many meals in my day. I like to eat and the only way a meal is usually missed is if I choose to do so. Recently, my mother-in-law and I began fasting Tuesdays at lunch for a special need in our family. We began to see amazing results in a very short time. We continued our fast for several weeks, but then the situation changed.

I must confess that I stopped being faithful in my commitment to fasting. I guess I really had not equated the  two:  1)problem arises and 2) fasting brings results.  This past week I had an "Ah-ha!" moment. Things turned bad and ugly again and the Lord reminded me of my commitment to fast. "Maybe this fasting thing really does work," I thought to myself.

I thought of the story in Matthew 17 about the father who brought his epileptic son to Jesus for healing. Before bringing him to Jesus, the man had taken his son to the disciples but they could not cure him. Jesus, however, healed the boy immediately. Jesus then began to talk about faith and unbelief. Tiny mustard seed faith! I have thought about “mustard seed faith” over the years, as I am sure you have. Like me, you have probably said to yourself, “I believe” and “I might not have BIG faith but I do have faith at least the size of a mustard seed.”

At times, I fear that if I admit my faith is small, it makes me seem less spiritual. What a crazy idea! If Jesus said that all we needed was to believe and to have this tiny amount of faith to see great results, then my mustard seed faith will be good enough. But here is the catch. Jesus says in Matthew 17: 21:



“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

I have found that problems come and problems go. We can either choose to work through these on our own and in our own strength, or we can seek our help and strength from the Lord. Just like the disciples I often find myself feeling powerless because I have not prayed or fasted as often or as much as I should.

Missing an occasional meal never hurt anybody! I have recommitted to the Lord to begin fasting for this situation. With great expectation, I am praying and believing for an amazing healing. Will you commit along with me?
  • To believe when you pray.
  • To trust and have faith.  
To fast or not to fast? The question has been answered in my mind. I trust it’s been answered in your mind too. LET'S pray and FAST!

"Jesus told them, ...I tell you the truth,
if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
~Matthew 17:20 NIV1984


Have you seen results from fasting in your life or those you have prayed for?
Please share your thoughts, questions, experiences with fasting.
______________________________________________
It's a pleasure to introduce you to Toni. Our paths have crossed in many arenas over the years, most of which were ministry opportunities. I know for a fact that she cares deeply about others and loves to serve God.

Toni has been married to Dave for 43 years and a pastor's wife for 32 years. They have two married children, Dawn and Jonathon, and four grandchildren.

Toni has been the owner/operator of Curves in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, for the past 12 years. Curves has been an amazing ministry opportunity, allowing her to reach out to women in need. She also serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene.

She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!
Thank you Toni! We look forward to hearing more from you this summer! ~~Cindy

3 comments:

  1. This post takes me back to when I was on pastoral staff at Lakeholm Church in Mt. Vernon. In a staff meeting, our pastor, Bob Morrison, challenged us to fast for the church.

    We were to ask God what He would want us, on an individual basis, to fast. Imagine my surprise when God placed it on my heart to fast my fancy acrylic nails! YEP! That's what I was to fast! It really was freeing to let those babies go after 7 years of maintenance. Haha...what a funny thing to fast! But was so glad I did.

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    Replies
    1. Moral of the story is: some of us really need three meals a day for health reasons, or for stamina. Sometimes, God says, "trust me for your health and stamina" in regard to fasting meals.
      But sometimes, He asks us to fast something that has become an idol in our lives or is taking a lot of our time...TV, movies, a certain food or activity...ask God what He wants you to fast and for how long! It will grow you spiritually!

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  2. Wonderful, Toni! What a perfect reminder for us: God is our strength when we are committed to Him consistently. From your writing, I am getting a picture of one of those statistical charts, showing the ebb and flow of the peace in my life in comparison to my prayer and fasting. Honestly, it's a sobering chart.
    Your words remind me that there are things in my life that can easily become obsessions for me with my tendency towards being obsessive-compulsive. It makes all the difference to hand it over to God daily. I also like Cindy's reply expanding this observation, that anything can become an idol in our lives; steadfast time with God is our only answer to a world's distractions that takes us away from Him, his strength, his peace.
    Thank you for such a thoughtful blog post today.

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