"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Upside-Down Fasting

She's been talking about it here and here,

And I've been reading,

Seeing how it mirrors what I've been going through.

Ever since I started this,

Took on this challenge,

It's been changing me -

Literally rocking my world.

I don't know how something so simple

Could do so much.

It's Him.

It's all Him.

I was worried that I wasn't really fasting for Lent,

That I didn't have anything good that I could fast from,

That I wouldn't make this a time to know Him,

That it wouldn't draw me closer.

I never imagined that the challenge would do for me what no fast ever has:

It made me want Him -

Want Him in a way I haven't since Passion.

I never realized that I could feel that joy every day,

Walk with Him and know Him,

Desire Him more than anything.

And that's the key, isn't it?

Desiring Him more than anything.

I have found such indescribable joy in Him,

Simply in who He is,

That I find myself losing desire for all other things,

Not caring about what once seemed so important -

For now the smile on my face is so big

That my muscles hurt,

But I can't stop smiling

Just because of who He is.

The really cool thing is,

When I want Him more than anything,

The fasting happens all on its own.

I don't even have to try.

I can walk and talk with Him long past dinnertime and not be hungry,

I can spend all day wanting nothing but His presence,

Forget the homework,

Forget the TV,

Forget every thing I've ever known -

Save Him.  (that's "save" as in "except", just in case the wording made that hard to catch)

He is all I need.

I think there's such worth in planning to fast,

In intentionally sacrificing,

For I know that He has honored those sacrifices,

That He has moved in amazing ways -

Oh, I have heard the stories! -

But I have never experienced that,

Never seen Him move in my fasting -

And I know why.

I wasn't fasting because I wanted Him,

I was fasting out of obligation,

Out of duty.

If I want to give up,


And see Him move,

My giving up must start here -

It must start with Him meaning everything to me.

It's funny.

No one ever told me that before.

No one ever explained that I shouldn't intentionally plan to fast unless I was fasting because I wanted Him.

Really, though, it was right in front of me the whole time.

He said it Himself.

He was here in the flesh,

Then He wasn't.

And He said they'd fast when He wasn't,

It implies - doesn't it? -

That they'd fast because they wanted Him back,

Because they wanted Him

Wanted to be with Him.

And I am learning this,

Learning that all fasting of worth must be done upside-down, . . .

Or should I say right-side up?

Counting 10,000 Reasons,

Numbers 170-277 (again, not counting today's):
  1. He is highly exalted (Exodus 15:1)
  2. He hurls horse and driver into the sea (Exodus 15:1)
  3. He is our Strength (Exodus 15:2)
  4. He is our Defense (Exodus 15:2)
  5. He is our Salvation (Exodus 15:2)
  6. He is my God (Exodus 15:2)
  7. He is a warrior (Exodus 15:3)
  8. His right hand is majestic in power (Exodus 15:6)
  9. His right hand shatters the enemy (Exodus 15:6)
  10. He throws down those who oppose Him (Exodus 15:7)
  11. He has great majesty (Exodus 15:7)
  12. He unleashes His burning anger (Exodus 15:7)
  13. He is majestic in holiness (Exodus 15:11)
  14. He is awesome in glory (Exodus 15:11)
  15. He works wonders (Exodus 15:11)
  16. He causes the earth to swallow His enemies (Exodus 15:12)
  17. His love is unfailing (Exodus 15:13)
  18. He leads His people (Exodus 15:13)
  19. He guides in strength (Exodus 15:13)
  20. His power makes the nations fear and tremble (Exodus 15:14-16)
  21. The power of His arm holds the nations still (Exodus 15:14-16)
  22. He brings His people in and plants them on the mountain of His inheritance (Exodus 15:17)
  23. His hands established His sanctuary (Exodus 15:17)
  24. He reigns for ever and ever (Exodus 15:18)
  25. He makes bitter water fit to drink (Exodus 15:23-25)
  26. He issues rulings and instructions (Exodus 15:25)
  27. He rains down bread from heaven (Exodus 16:4)
  28. He hears grumbling (Exodus 16:6-9)
  29. He gives meat to eat in the evening (Exodus 16:8)
  30. He gives all the bread you want in the morning (Exodus 16:8)
  31. His glory appears in clouds (Exodus 16:10)
  32. He fills His people (Exodus 16:11-12)
  33. He sends enough quail to cover a camp (Exodus 16:13)
  34. He sends dew that turns into bread (Exodus 16:13-16)
  35. He gives everyone as much as they need (Exodus 16:15-18)
  36. He gives the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29)
  37. He provides enough bread for His people to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29-30)
  38. His bread tastes like wafers made with honey – sweet (Exodus 16:31)
  39. He gives enough bread to leave some as a remembrance for future generations (Exodus 16:32)
  40. He fed His people for forty years (Exodus 16:35)
  41. He makes water come from rocks (Exodus 17:5-6)
  42. He blots out people's names (Exodus 17:14)
  43. He is our Banner (Exodus 17:15-16)
  44. He wars against those who lift their hands up against His throne (Exodus 17:16)
  45. He is our Helper (Exodus 18:4)
  46. He saves (Exodus 18:8)
  47. He is greater than all other gods (Exodus 18:10-11)
  48. He tells people what to say (Exodus 19:3-6)
  49. He carries His people on eagles' wings (Exodus 19:4)
  50. He brings His people to Himself (Exodus 19:4)
  51. Those who obey Him are His treasured possession (Exodus 19:5)
  52. He comes in a dense cloud (Exodus 19:9)
  53. He descends in fire (Exodus 19:18)
  54. He covers mountains in smoke (Exodus 19:18)
  55. He causes mountains to tremble (Exodus 19:18)
  56. His voice answers (Exodus 19:19)
  57. He breaks out against the unconsecrated who approach Him (Exodus 19:21-22)
  58. He brings His people out of slavery (Exodus 20:2)
  59. He speaks (Exodus 20:1)
  60. He punishes those who hate Him to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 20:5)
  61. He shows love to those who love Him to the thousandth generation (Exodus 20:6)
  62. He holds no one guiltless who misuses His name (Exodus 20:7)
  63. He blessed the Sabbath and made it holy (Exodus 20:11)
  64. He gives long life (Exodus 20:12)
  65. He comes to test His people (Exodus 20:20)
  66. He is to be feared (Exodus 20:20)
  67. He comes in thick darkness (Exodus 20:21)
  68. He speaks from heaven (Exodus 20:22)
  69. He allows people to see that He has spoken from heaven (Exodus 20:22)
  70. He demands sacrifices and offerings (Exodus 20:24)
  71. He causes His name to be honored (Exodus 20:24)
  72. He comes and blesses His people when He causes His name to be honored (Exodus 20:24)
  73. He takes away sickness from His worshipers (Exodus 23:25)
  74. He establishes the borders of His people (Exodus 23:31)
  75. He drives out peoples (Exodus 23:31)
  76. He allows some to see Him (Exodus 24:9-11)
  77. He chooses not to raise His hand (Exodus 24:11)
  78. He gives laws and commandments (Exodus 24:12)
  79. His glory settles on mountains (Exodus 24:15-16)
  80. He calls from within clouds (Exodus 24:16)
  81. His glory is like a consuming fire (Exodus 24:17)
  82. He lets people enter His presence (Exodus 24:18)
  83. He dwells among His people in His sanctuary (Exodus 25:8)
  84. He meets with His people (Exodus 25:22)
  85. He speaks to His people (Exodus 29:42)
  86. He consecrates places by His glory (Exodus 29:43)
  87. He dwells among His people (Exodus 29:45)
  88. He rescues His people that He might dwell among them (Exodus 29:46)
  89. He fills people with His Spirit (Exodus 31:2-3)
  90. He fills people with wisdom (Exodus 31:2-3)
  91. He fills people with understanding (Exodus 31:2-3)
  92. He fills people with knowledge (Exodus 31:2-3)
  93. He gives people skills (Exodus 31:2-3)
  94. He appoints (Exodus 31:8)
  95. He gives ability (Exodus 31:8)
  96. He makes His people holy (Exodus 31:13)
  97. He made the heavens and the earth in six days (Exodus 31:17)
  98. He makes a covenant with His people (Exodus 31:18)
  99. He inscribes His law on stone tablets with His own finger (Exodus 31:18)
  100. His anger burns against those who turn away from Him (Exodus 32:7-10)
  101. He rescues His people with great power and a mighty hand (Exodus 32:11)
  102. He threatens disaster (Exodus 32:10)
  103. He listens to the pleas of His servant and relents (Exodus 32:11-14)
  104. He commands people to kill brothers and friends and neighbors (Exodus 32:27-28)
  105. He sets apart those who stand for Him against their own sons and brothers (Exodus 32:29)
  106. He blots people out of His book (Exodus 32:33)
  107. His angel goes before His people (Exodus 32:34)
  108. He punishes people for their sin when the time is right (Exodus 32:34-35)

 Linking up over here today, the practice of sacrifice (finally, my post matches the prompt!), walking with Him at A Holy Experience.

Please take the time to read some of the other beautiful posts at the bottom of this one.  Maybe drop a comment, too?  It's such grace.

Also, anyone who'd like to join me in counting?

(If not, that's okay, too.  No one did last week.  But just in case . . .)



Sylvia R @ the Sylvr Pen said...

Well! You've got me all excited! And counting, BTW.

Just stopped round to see if you'd put up a fresh post, and got surprised by what's here. Thanks for linking to my site. I just linked back, and soon want to post about the challenge, and try to get more people involved. I'd been going to suggest you invite others into it, and am so glad you've gone ahead with that.

I didn't tell you, but I thought your challenge (or your brother's, in a sense) was a great idea, and started my own list March 3rd. So I'm way behind you, but not as far as you'd think, because once I got going sometimes it was hard to stop! I planned on 10 a day, at least each weekday, but often name more.

I'll be putting up a linky link as soon as I get them copied out of my (messy) journal onto my blog.

God bless this challenge -- and you, for getting it started!

CynthiaJSwenson said...

I think this is a beautiful idea Mary. Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

Mary said...

Thank you, Cynthia, for your support. Really, though, I can't take any credit. It's all Him.

Thank you, Sylvia, for coming on this journey with me and sharing it with your readers. It's an indescribable blessing to see God use this! All Him, for His glory!

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