Three hundred and sixty-five days have a way of wearing us down and dulling our spiritual edge. Everyone needs to take time periodically to sharpen their edge.
As we prepare to start a new year, how is your spiritual passion? If your desire for reading God’s word, prayer, serving, giving is low, it’s time to take steps to sharpen your edge.
When our edge is lost, we just go through motions. Going through the motions for an extended time will eventually require spiritual resuscitation.
In Luke 18:18-25, Jesus is approached by a young man who has power, position, riches and by his own confession, a godly man. Too often we assume that someone who is successful like this must be close to God. That’s not always true.
All his rule keeping left him feeling like there is something more he should be doing. That feeling may be an indicator that you’re doing the wrong things or that your motives are wrong.
The scary thing is that you can dress like a Christian, talk like a Christian, do Christian things and not be a Christian.
The goal of obeying is transformation. If obedience does not lead to transformation, then our motives maybe wrong, i.e. Pharisees.
2 Timothy 3:5 frames this paradox as, “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” The experiential power of the Gospel comes from obedience that leads to transformation which produces a new life in us.
Following all the rules, yet not allowing God’s word to transform you, is to deny its power to free you and make you into a new creation.
Jesus follows up with one further instruction and says, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Does this mean that in order to be a Christian we must sell everything we have to follow him? Yes and no. The word Luke uses in the original text to describe the young man as “rich” is chrēmata (kray-mah-ta) and is defined as a means of gain.
Following Jesus requires the man (and us) to surrender his entire life, to place his complete trust in God for everything, i.e. your salvation, your eternity, your present, your provision.
We can’t have one foot in our way and one foot in His way.
Salvation is free but following Him will cost you something. It’s not a price to pay for salvation. It’s the price to pay as an undivided follower.
Following Jesus is an all or nothing proposition. Anything that competes for your attention will challenge your passion, commitment, and desire for God.
- Are there pursuits in your life which cause you to put God in the back seat?
- Are you sending more text each week than you are sending up prayers?
- Are you reading more posts than you are reading pages in the bible?
There’s a remedy to help restore your passion for God, fasting! Fasting is a spiritual discipline that will help you regain your spiritual edge.
In the book of Daniel 1, Daniel and three of his friends were exiled from their homeland and set apart to serve the Babylonian king.
“12“Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” Daniel 1:12-13
After 10 days the guard in charge of the exiles saw how Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and were sharper than the others. Fasting gives you an edge.
If you need to rekindle your passion for God, renew zeal for prayer and the word, or if you want to go deeper in your relationship with Him, then it’s time to fast! If you need a breakthrough in your life, it’s time to fast.
Fasting recalibrates your faith. It aligns your actions and desires with God’s word.
By fasting, you sacrifice carnal desires to give preeminence to spiritual desires. Your telling God; knowing and experiencing You is more important than food.
When you deny your flesh of the things it craves you are silencing those cravings so those spiritual desires can resurface. What you feed will live and what you starve will die.
What price are you willing to pay to experience all that God has for you in 2019? What are you willing to surrender in life to regain your passion for God and obtain breakthrough?