You know when you look at something, but don’t see it? Like when you look in the wardrobe and don’t see the shirt that you want, which is actually right in front of your nose? Or you can be looking for something for hours and then someone else walks into the room (mostly your mother) and finds it in 2 seconds… Happens to teenagers a lot. Also guys. There’s actually a biological reason for it, something to do with peripheral and compartmental vision. So don’t be too hard on your man if he can’t find the milk in the fridge. Especially if it’s not where it usually is, he’s biologically wired to not be able to find it…!
I practice nutritional fasting, and have done for a while. It has been part of the process of working on my neuro-plasticity. As part of the big fat wake-up call that I’ve been talking about over the last couple of weeks, my attitude towards this nutritional fasting has been firmly included.
It seems; I wonder why; that Jesus has an objection to me fasting but not including Him in it…
Now I give you full permission to pat me on the arm and say “There, there, dear…” Because of course it’s totally obvious if you think about it, but did I think about it? No.
I have to confess that I had been trundling along, thinking, “Wow, this is cool! How much longer I can go!” Not even giving a thought to the fact that maybe, I should be making an impact not just on my body, but also on the world around me. If I had stopped looking at me and remembered that this is actually a practice that we’re instructed by Jesus to do.
“When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 (NIV)
Part of the process that Jesus has been taking me through, has been to cause me to recognise where I was including Him, and where I had managed to leave Him out.
This was a vital piece where I had left Him out.
Let’s go back to the place where I had been asking Him how to break through that blockage (or wall, I think I had described it as previously). The process had happened like this:
If you remember or read back, I had been looking for a specific solution for a specific issue. So I asked for a word from Father about that issue, and He gave me one. Because He’s good like that. Actually He’s better than that, because when I looked it up, it was full of an answer bigger than the one that I thought I wanted to hear…
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39 (NIV)
If you notice, I’ve left in the verse numbers and the cross referencing this time. Normally I don’t, but the cross referencing was particularly significant in this instance.
What Jesus had just done, was stand up at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles (the celebration and remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, when everyone who can, treks into Jerusalem) and proclaimed two controversial things. Firstly, He’s just proclaimed in public that He is God. Secondly, that passage He quoted was Isaiah 58, where God tells Israel off for not taking prayer and fasting seriously...
So, what He was very clearly telling me now, in 2016, was exactly the same thing. “Anita, you’re busy doing something that you think will fix things, and it looks right on the surface, but it’s religion, not relationship.”
Talk about discipline.
“No worries” says God “I’m more than happy to give you the answer to the question you asked. However; are you just as ok with following through on the answer you actu