This post comes from January 2, 2016:
It’s that time of the year again. Fad diets, diet challenges, and resolutions.
Let me offer you something a little different for 2016.
“When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17: 14-21. NASB
This week, I have been in a pre-fasting mode. I have not had a drop of caffeine since Sunday night … I, who usually drinks two gallons of tea per day or more, chose to go cold turkey and I have paid the price for it.
My best friend the last two days has been an ice pack on my lower back as my kidneys continue detoxing and my adrenal glands are wondering what is going on.
See, I am addicted to caffeine. It’s not the tea … It’s the kick of caffeine.
I don’t realize it until I am trying to kick it. Then, when I try to ditch it, it stomps on my back and reminds me who is in control.
One glass of tea … Just one glass would take all the pain away. Just go back to who I had been and all the pain would disappear. The problem is, that is not what I want nor who I want to be. Each glass of water is a step towards freedom.
That is also how sin and spiritual warfare works.
It is so hard to break the habit … The addiction to pleasure is there … It is painful and there are many voices that cry against you. Just indulge once and you will be comfortable again. True. But are you trying to be comfortable or holy?
Jesus said His disciples were powerless because of their lack of faith and their PERVERSION. The twisting of what it takes to be a follower of Christ. There is no such thing as a follower who indulges in sin … Who does not mortify (put to death) the deeds of the flesh.
This year, I want to choose power over powerlessness and His presence over my perverted ideas of what this journey is about.
I challenge everyone reading this who claims the Name of Christ and who are my age (48) and younger to consider these words and contemplate a year that involves prayer and fasting.
Jesus Himself said that these two spiritual disciplines are a threshold to a place in faith that others (including His own disciples) choose not to go.
Flattering figure and flat out busted in spiritual power to fight against darkness? Or, going into the secret place of His presence in a way that you never have before expecting Him to bless you for that obedience …. The choice is yours.
I am not challenging you for the sake of a challenge. I am challenging you for your own good and my own good.
“Every man is as close to God as he chooses to be.” A. W. Tozer
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NASB
NOTE: It is now January 2, 2017 and I have had one caffeinated drink since this post. I don’t miss them and I sleep much easier now. It is hard to cast off what controls us but, when we do, there is a blessing.