Day Fifty-Nine: Ask

God answers prayers.

Some of you might be thinking…
Ummmmmm yeah. Wow. Sure hope January doesn’t think that is some kind of major revelation never known before.

And some of you might be thinking…
No He doesn’t. At least it doesn’t feel like He does. I have to figure most everything out.

And even then…
Oh yes. Amen. I’m sure He does answer some people’s prayers. But, well, now that I think about it, I don’t recall the last time I asked Him about something.

And there might be a billion other variations, but I think that I probably have typically fallen into that last category. I have known that he does often answer some people’s prayers. But I don’t want to bother Him with my requests because they are so mundane. Surely I can take care of it.

But, just look at how I handled something as basic as eating. I didn’t take care of it!!! I ignored it and I ignored the power that God could have over it.

And really, to break the chains… all it took was to ask. That’s it. Just to ask.

And He was ready. Because He knew what greatness awaited me on the other side of an addiction.

Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:14

And the cool thing about seeing Him work and “answer” prayers in one area of my life is that now I have more faith to trust him in other areas. And it’s so awesome to see that same readiness to answer in those situations.

Day Fifty-Five: Reese’s Vs God

Once again my post for the day comes from what I read this morning in 1 Samuel 17. It’s probably not a “new” story to most of us, but I got this whole new spin on it for me this morning. Although, I should say that it also might be a little comical because I have this slightly overdramatic and overactive imagination. Haha!

Every time I read this story (which is a lot since my son is almost five and loves battles right now) I get chills when David speaks. He has such power, such authority, such confidence in God’s power. And oh, for too long I have missed out on that- the confidence of God’s power.

But as I read the verses where he tells Goliath what’s what, it sorta like automatically “translated” into me talking. Okay that makes no sense. Let me explain. David has just walked out onto the battle field in no armor or sword and armed only with his slingshot and five stones. Goliath, naturally, thinks this is ridiculous and teases him “What do you think I’m a dog coming at me with rocks?” And David’s brilliant reply:

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 1 Samuel 17:45

I want to like yell or like beat my chest or something when I read that! It’s just… awesome! And here’s how “I” say it (to the Devil):

“You come against me with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Olive Garden breadsticks, and 12 ounce ribeyes from Roadhouse, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

And as cheesy as that sounds, that is the power I feel from God in this battle against my Goliath: food.

And David doesn’t stop there. Oh no- he goes another step:

Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 1 Samuel 17:46

He’s not just saying “I have God on my side so I can defeat you.” Here he comes in saying that he is going to defeat and humiliate them. But again- what is the purpose in that? So that the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

And the next verse rocks it too:

And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord ‘s battle, and he will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:47

And wow- this verse gets me at home again. Because I do feel like I am being rescued throughout all of this. But not the way the “world” might look at it. Like, the world wants me to eat low fat, high protein, low carb, high carb, sodium free, gluten free, low calorie, low saturated fat, no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, no, low, high, free.

But the only word I want out of that is the last one: free. You see, God isn’t rescuing me with any diet. He isn’t rescuing me with the way the world expects- the world expected Goliath to be defeated through sword and spear and the world expects me to be rescued by their ways. But God’s ways are not my ways.

And that’s why “I” am winning… because this is the Lord’s battle. And He is going to defeat this addiction in my life.

Easiest. battle. ever.

Day Forty-Six: Processed Ponderings

I have been amazed at how quickly being on a hard-core Daniel Fast has shown me that I was a bit more dependent upon processed foods than I realized. Yesterday I was a little shocked at how little I had to eat in the house. None of it was “horrible” for me per se, but there is just a sea of pretzel chips, pastas, rice, breads, cheese, eggs, etc that I kept trying to revert to at my meal and snack times.

Granted, I really need to go to the store to get some more fruit options. I find myself not wanting grapes (which will work out fine because my youngest lovvvvvvves them), but I tend to really enjoy cantaloupe, pineapple, apples, clementines, raisins, peanuts, avocados, and carrots as my “easy-to-eat” options. My favorite “cooked” thing is certainly potatoes! Yummmmmm! And I just ran out of La Madeline’s Tomato Basil soup which is deeeeelish.

I bring up all of those foods to remind myself that even though I might have felt like this was an incredible sacrifice, it’s actually quite yummy. I think I’ll even purposefully do a “Hard-Core Daniel Day” each week for the duration of my covenant just to refocus my mind off of processed “easy” foods.

But also… you know, the point of “Lenting” is to focus my mind entirely on Christ, and my mind often goes to Him fasting in the desert for 40 days.

Let me break that down for ya.

NO. FOOD. FOR. FORTY. DAYS.

I cannot even imagine that. I can’t even remember the last time I went one day without food much less FORTY. And in the hot, dry desert.

And ya know, now that I think about it. I can’t remember why He did that.

Time to read…

Okay, I’m back.

So, the Bible says in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the spirit.

And then I read about Elijah and Moses’s 40 Day Fasts as well (thanks to seeing it on a Wikipedia page when I was looking for a scripture reference). Elijah was sorta “forced” into it by the spirit because he was running away from Jezebel and had to walk for 40 days through the desert going to Mount Sinai. But again, he was led by the spirit.

Moses was also sorta “trapped” up on the mountain with God for 40 days while God tapped out the Ten Commandments for the covenant. Annnnnd again, led by the spirit or in his case he was told directly by God himself to stick around!

But here is what I think is cool about each of these… being led by the spirit to fast may come with 40 days of trial, but it always ends up TOTALLY RAD. Check this:

Moses – doesn’t eat for 40 days but he is chillin with God Almighty – COMES DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN GLOWING WITH GOD’S GLORY!!!

Elijah – doesn’t eat for 40 days while he has to walk across the desert – AND THEN GOD TALKS TO HIM DIRECTLY AND TELLS HIM JUST WHAT TO DO!!!

Jesus – doesn’t eat for 40 days in the desert – GIVES SATAN THE SMACK DOWN AND HAS ANGELS BRING HIM FOOD!

So, all of that to say, a fast might be difficult, but at the end of 40 days… God’s Power, God’s Voice And Direction, and God’s Strength To Resist Temptation… is there.

That’s about the coolest thing that I have ever had to look forward to!

(If you are confused thinking, “Wait, I thought you were already doing a Daniel Fast?” I’m doing what I call a “flexible Daniel Fast” for the year, but for the Lenten season I will do a regular ol’ Daniel Fast… which I call a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” because only fruits, veggies, and nuts… that is hard core! You can read a little about the differences here. And you can also read my post where I realized I should do a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” for Lent.)