Thursday, May 31, 2007

Post Pentecost Fast

The past two weeks and continuing this week the sermon series has been on Chapter Two of Acts. We're talking about the Holy Spirit and Pentecost and speaking in tongues and other manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is not a topic that has been covered very much at my church or many churches I have attended in the past so it is pretty interesting and exciting.

The main point that my pastor has been wanting to get out about this particular chapter is what if we did what the early church did ie pray for ten days and see how God works in a mysterious and amazing way. The other tagline for this series is to ask God to amaze and perplex us as He did for the early Christians in Acts 2. Amaze us and perplex us. Most of us do ask for God to amaze us, but do we really ask us to perplex us. I think this is pretty cool because it means that we don't have God figured out. That He is constantly and consistently doing things that don't make sense to us, that force us in a way to continually rely on Him. Not because He's manipulative but because He is so BIG!

As part of this journey, we have been challenged to have a post Pentecost fast for ten days where we seek after God with a little more intensity than normal, where we are little hungrier than usual, where we listen to His voice calling to us a little more closely, where we open our hearts up to Him a little more vulnerably. And then we see what God will do. This is a time of no expectations other than allowing God the opportunity to amaze and perplex us.

A fast is not only a time to give something up, but it is also a time to add something, to heighten the spiritual quest, to deprive oneself of something usual which will heighten the senses and to add something unusual or out of the ordinary that will satisfy the heightened senses.

As I thought about what I wanted to fast I had lots of ideas: give up my car and walk, fast a meal, fast a type of food, fast television. I had ideas about what to add: focus on praying for something specific like a husband, a job, family or friend relationships. I asked God what I should give up and add. I thought about it. And then I realized what do I really need more than anything. I need to know God. That's it. That's my point, that's my focus.

So I am fasting an extra amount of sleep in the morning and getting up a little earlier than I normally do. I put on my walking clothes and walk around my neighborhood for 30 minutes. I have needed to make time to get to know God so that is my sacrifice. I am being intentional about what I am adding. I'm not praying about a set list of things. Instead, I have told and asked God that I simply want to know who He is. I want to know Him. I am walking with Him and talking with Him and wanting to get to know Him just as I want to walk and talk and get to know a friend or a potential mate.

Since there is so much to know about God, I wanted to make it simple for myself to get started. Otherwise I would never get anywhere. So I found a list of the names/attributes of God. Each day I will meditate, focus, ask God questions, sing about that one name or attribute of God. The list I found has about 700 different names and attributes of God found in the Word.

So instead of just 10 days, I have over two years of "material" to work with. I'm so looking forward to getting my focus back where it should be and knowing God. Everything else is a bonus.


Hyla said...

wow- that's awesome
How's it going??

Lisa said...

well the past two days, I've slept :) but I'll keep going. The days I have done it have been really good. I need to find a list with more scripture references so that I'm not just trying to meditate on what I think, but get the context. I haven't found that yet, so that's one reason why I've slept instead of walked. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Would love to know your reflections on this!

Sounds great...and convicting!