As you all know, I’ve been on a fast from the internet the past 40 days, and I have to say it’s been a great 40 days!! It was easy at first, difficult and slow about halfway through, but it got easier and the time has just flown by!! I must confess, I didn’t realize just how much time I’ve spent on the internet, until I did this fast. I must also shamefully confess, I used to spend more time on the internet than I did reading my Bible. But that has changed. I’m no longer going to put the world before God. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the internet is bad. In fact it can be a very good thing if used in the right way.
Last Sunday the Elder of our church fellowship group (Mr. Walter) asked me how my fast was going and wanted to know if I was going to “Go the extra mile” and do another 40 days…my first response was “no”. Then what he said next really stuck out to me and has been on my mind all week. He said “If it’s hard then you need to do it.” Well…after thinking quite a bit about it, I’ve decided to do it…I’m going another 40 days!! I’ve only taken this short time to update you all and share with you some of the notes I copied out of the book I was going through titled “A Call to Die” by David Nasser.
These notes are taken from throughout the entire book so they may seem somewhat random. If you have any questions, feel free to ask…although it will be awhile before I get back with you 🙂
The question isn’t “Do you do what you want to do?” but “Do you do what He (God) wants you to do?”
Because Satan is not gentle in dealing with us, we cannot be gentle in dealing with sin.
The real point is that if we genuinely want to follow Christ, we need to be ready for him to point out those things that come between us and him, the thing or the person we cherish more than him. He knows that thing, that dream or that person will be a wet blanket over our Spiritual lives unless and until we move it to it’s right place. Sure we can go to all the meetings and sing all the songs, but until it is removed, it will clog up the lines and short out the connection between us and God.
I’m afraid we have dumbed Jesus down to our level these days. We treat him like a buddy we meet at the mall, or we call the Father “the man upstairs”. Yes, Jesus calls us his friends, but be sure of this: Jesus stoops from the blinding majesty of his heavenly throne in order to stand next to us and call us his friends. He didn’t come from the next street over. He created the entire universe!
When you & I feel insecure, we are more open to God speaking to our hearts.
Our words reveal our hearts.
If you are a conscientious person, be careful not to try & do God’s job for him. Relax. You can be very certain that the Holy Spirit will point out sin when he wants to.
The “law of the harvest” means that we reap what we sow, we reap more than we sow and we reap after we sow.
The desire for power and attention always reaps a painful, destructive harvest.
Our struggle with excuses is the test of our commitment to Christ.
If we are serious about following Christ, we give up our demands for comfort and we follow him to reach both the rich and the wealthy, the robed and the leper.
God’s truth may have been written centuries ago, but it is more up to date than any book on engineering, law or medicine because it reveals timeless insight about man’s heart and God’s character. These don’t change.
Many Christians complain that they don’t what God’s Will is. You can know his will if you read his book.
God wants his word not just to be a “spice” that accents our life, but a daily marinating process that literally soaks into the core of who we are, forever changing our very identity.
Satan wants us to focus on how awful we are instead of on God’s wonderful forgiveness and strength. The more you grovel in the mud of self-contempt, the better Satan likes it. The more you focus on self, the less you focus on God.
Where your greatest possession lies, there lies your God.
Being a bondservant of Christ is not a once-and-for-all thing. We make choices to obey and honor him – or not – dozens of times a day. When God shows us areas in our lives that are too important to us, we need to say, “Yes, Lord, you are right. Help me rip these things from my heart.”
You can’t put on clothes that you can’t find in your closet. They are there for you. Right now. You can find some very easily. Don’t be too quickly satisfied with the first thing you find. Sure it’s wonderful to wear anything of God’s character. But there’s more. Always more. (this is talking about dying to self, and ‘putting on’ the characteristics of God)
He never asks you to put on anything he hasn’t worn himself.
A couple of valid questions are: “Why does God allow suffering?” & “Why doesn’t he rescue us out of it immediately?”. Pain produces character in our lives like no amount of pleasure possibly can. Failure and rejection force us to seek God’s face just as Moses did.
When we are walking with Christ, our lives are acts of worship all day every day. Every single thing we do to honor God is worship. It is a lifestyle, not just a group of songs. God is looking for “walking worshippers”, not just people who sing songs to him.
Today, the words of praise we sing are too often disconnected from our hearts and our actions. “Walking worshippers” connect the dots: their words match their actions.
Worship is turning your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection to God.
Strength comes not from only hearing God’s word, but putting God’s word into practice.
The more we are aware of our sinfulness, the more we will be aware of God’s Grace!
We don’t just dip our toe into it (Grace) only when we become Christians and when we blow it really badly; we dive in head first and soak our hearts in it.
God is just as concerned with the attitude and Spirit in which we pay someone back as he is with the actual restitution.
One of our primary reasons we don’t want to forgive is that we don’t want people to be off the hook. They aren’t. We can be assured that there will come a day that they will give an account before God for what they did, and on that day, he will handle it.
We live to give, not to get.
Remember that he is more concerned with our motive for giving than our actual gift.
Just as God freely gave us the immaculate gift of grace, we should follow his example and give out of our abundance, not from our cast-offs.
The issue is not how much. It’s why.
Generosity is both a heart attitude and a habit.
The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind. It is to get our hearts in line with his will and his Spirit.
“God loves you just the way that you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way.” Dr. Jay Strack
We must constantly check our motives and focus on who we serve – not on our ministries.
The situation might be bigger than you, but it’s not bigger than God.
Often, they (the Pharisees), obeyed only to the extent to which it was convenient for them.
When circumstances squeeze our hearts and lives, what’s inside comes out of our mouths.
What is flowing out of your heart through your mouth?
Focus on letting God purify your heart, and your actions will follow.
It’s not obedience if we only obey when we know the great things that will come out of it or when it is convenient for us.
Let God freely use you in the small things and when you’re ready, he will use you in bigger ways as well.
As you and I are on the road of obedience, Jesus gives us instructions about how to be as effective as we can be in our Kingdom work. First he tells us to “make disciples.” Not pew sitters, disciples. Not retreat goers, disciples. Not people who just buy Christian CD’s & books, but people who obey Jesus Christ.
You and I can’t produce disciples if we aren’t disciples ourselves…
Spiritual depth is achieved slowly by reflection, long walks and long talks with our Heavenly Father; by being still and listening to the Spirit. We may learn a great truth at a retreat or a church service, but it takes time to learn to apply it deeply and specifically in our experience. Disciples learn to be patient.
I would encourage you, if you ever get the chance, to read this book and do a 40 day fast from something…something that is taking your mind away from God and pulling you toward the world. Even if you aren’t able to go through this book for some reason, you can still do a 40 day fast…complete with Bible reading, Study & Prayer of course 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read this!!