Fasting From Sin


     I heard Him. It seemed the clearest His voice had ever been. I saw Him sitting there like a mafia boss behind His desk. Bernie His bodyguard was just to His right had a cigar in his mouth and an uzi by his side. And with the accent as sharp as the Brooklyn Brawler, He said,” I want you to go here kid. I want you to go and say what I tell ya. If you do this, I’ll be with ya and you can do anything you want kid. I’ll help ya. Go on kid. Get outta hea and go.”

    His voice was clear as the liberty bell; pre-cracked era. Its vibration shook the very foundations of my doubt. So here I was with His command and my confidence. But what would I do with it. I had a desire deep in my heart and God’s go ahead sign.

   I wanted this job so bad I could taste it so I made my first move by making a phone call. Voice mail after voice mail, the other party was getting to know me very well by my voice. Finally the call was returned and an appointment was made.

    Two weeks I fasted. Not from Mountain Dew or Burger King. I didn’t fast from TV nor the computer. I didn’t fast from an hour or two of sleep in order to have a “quiet time” with God. No! I fasted from sin. I fasted from something I loved the most, selfishness. It was not my intention to do this. It just happened. I wanted something real bad. I wanted more than my own selfish desires. I thought this was what God wanted and I wanted His will far beyond anything of my own. So I fasted from what God tells me already I should not be doing.

    So what better way to get the job, the blessing, than to walk the line and so exactly what His word says and refrain from any hint of sin in my life. Once again my intention was not to fast. It was to simply try my hardest to not sin in return of God’s favor. It was a convincing determination that if I do what God wants, then He’ll give me what I want. You know, the ole’ ask and receive deal that God gave us or the ole’ give us the desires of our heart contract. I had desires so I asked.

     For two weeks I tried to keep my end of an inconceivable deal. For two weeks I prayed more than I ever had. For two weeks I poured myself into God’s word. For two weeks God saw and heard more from me than He ever had.

    Two weeks ended. Confidence and nerves were raised to Level Red. All troops were on guard. All those that had vowed to pray for me were battle ready. The clock had ticked it’s last second. The time had arrived. As I sat across the table, I knew that prayers were being lifted. Questions and answers battled each other across the wooden table of hope and despair. Eyes met while palms sweated.

    Finally the lethal handshake came to pass. The battle was over. Broken questions had lain slain on the tabled battlefield. The wounded answers were weary in their failed hopes of pleasing questions.

    I was numb. Still confident yet numb. Now I lie in wait for the dreaded phone call. Will I move on to round two or will I get set back in hopes to make a comeback. Two days later, the phone rang. My fast was still on. I hadn’t let up. God’s will was not only my desire; it was my bread and water. I hungered for it. I thirsted for it.

    The voice on the other side of the phone was calm. It delivered a message that quickly crushed my hopes. “We don’t need you,” the voice said. My desire for God’s will was simply a desire for my own will. I just wanted to give God credit for it. My fast stopped immediately.

    After I hung up the phone, I sat back and stared at the ceiling. Realizing the loss and feeling unneeded, I climbed in bed to snuggle with the one I thought did need me, my cat. Quickly did I learn she didn’t need me either when she jumped off the bed for and afternoon snack in the kitchen.

    Soon after the crushing blow and the needlessness for me of others did I begin to convince myself, I need me. So my selfishness came back unopposed to welcome arms. So here I am, broken from a two week fast, fallen from an escapade in the word, crushed by a bad deal. Just me, my selfishness, and I together again. The three musketeers, the three amigos, the three stooges, the three blind mice, in need of the three in ONE.

    I had desired to do good and right in order to win God’s blessing. Righteousness is what He desires from us anyway. Not for reward for He is the reward.

 

Lesson Learned.

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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