Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 17 of a 21-Day Fast

The Lord is so good. I am so proud of all of you who are participating in this fast. The Lord loves His people. The Lord loves you.

Let me share briefly about a way God manifests His love in our lives that we often overlook. In the book of Hebrews we read, "My son, do not despise the chastening (disciplining) of the Lord, nor be discourage when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." (Hebrews 12:5-6)

"Now no chastening (discipline) seems to be joyful for the present, but rather feels painful. Nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11).

When God disciplines us, it is a manifestation of His love for us. In fact, if we are never disciplined by God then we are not His son. (See Hebrews 12:8) We must learn to see discipline in a positive light rather than a negative one. Discipline comes because God is training us to walk in our potential, in Christ. Discipline also comes for God to mature us so that we are able to handle His blessings correctly.

Some of you in the fasting community are asking and believing God for some awesome things. There are many of you who need to be trained and developed in order to be able to handle the blessing God wants to give you. If someone receives a brand new car but has never been trained how to drive it, then they are unable to actually enjoy the blessing. If they do drive it on the road before they are trained, great tragedy might take place in their life.

Some of you are standing in faith and believing God for such great things that He has to train and prepare you for before he can bless you with them. This discipline or training is a manifestation of the love of God in your life. He loves you so much that He is preparing you for the great things that He has for you.

During this time of fasting, when God deals with us like this, we must not be discouraged but rather understand that it is a necessary process in order for the "peaceable fruit of righteousness" to be reaped in your life.

- When it seems so painful "– HOLD ON!!
- When it hurts "– INVISION THE END RESULT!!!!!

Jesus endured the cross because of the "joy that was set before Him." (Hebrews 12:2) He can help you endure also!

Three principles that you need to have active in your life during this time of fasting are;
- confession,
- repentance, and
- faith.

These are elementary principles for Christians. (See Hebrews 6:12) All three of these principles were involved when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior and are to have a continual place in our walk with Him. Confession is simply acknowledging the truth before God. When we confess our sin before God, we are acknowledging that what we did was wrong. Confession is like the opposite of justifying what we have done. We are acknowledging it was wrong and that it was sin. Many people forget that repentance is a step further than just confessing and acknowledging what we did wrong. Repentance is the willingness, in our mind, to forsake sin and have godly sorrow for our sin. We don't want to live or act in a manner that displeases God, again. We are willing to give it up! We are willing to turn from it! Lastly, faith is placing trust and confidence in Christ that He will do what only He can do. Faith is looking toward Christ and His promises and that He will forgive us! He will cleanse us! He will deliver us! He will save us! He will set us free! He will live through us! He will be our victory over whatever we may face! He will change us! He will keep us from sin! He will protect us!

Let this process be in your life during the fast. Acknowledge that when God disciplines you that it is ultimately for your own good and that it is a manifestation of His love for you! Be encouraged! Be encouraged! Be encouraged! One day soon, you will be eating the peaceable fruit of righteousness that this discipline brings! Share some stories on the blog of what kind of blessings came into your life after you allowed God to discipline you! Encourage others during this time. Remember when you were in that same place. Comfort them with the comfort you now have!

Continue to run to Him!

[by Pastor Chad Craig]

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