As I walked with a good friend yesterday, in the chill of the cold and icy afternoon, she asked me to tell her about The Daniel Fast. I explained the spiritual basis for the 21-day fast from the Old Testament Book of Daniel Chapters 1 and 10, and shared my 3 motivations for doing the fast – for wisdom in making a decision about a ministry opportunity, to hear from God about His purpose for me this year and specifically what medium He wants me to pursue to share the messages He puts on my heart (speaking, writing, blogging, life coaching, counseling?), and for healing, restoration, & growth in the struggling marriage of someone very close to me.
After explaining the physical aspects of the fast – what foods were included and what was not, how my greatest struggle or “missing” is dairy – eggs, cheese, oatmeal made with milk, yogurt – my friend, who has walked beside me in my spiritual journey for the last 7 years, jumped back to the spiritual piece. She asked me something like “So do you just concentrate on what you’re praying for and wanting to hear from God on all day long, while you’re at work and whatever you’re doing during your day?”.
I was quick to respond – “Oh no, I just added extra listening time and specific prayer about what I’m wanting God to speak to me about to my morning prayer and devotion time. I followed one of the recommendations to make a list of prayer requests to pray over daily. And I also do the daily devotion from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast … so it’s basically just changed the way I spend my morning prayer time.”
This morning I’m rethinking my response. SHOULD I be thinking about the spiritual longing piece all day long? Can I really expect God to speak to me on these 3 critical issues in the hour I have carved out to be with Him in the morning? Both familiar now and mindful of the allowable foods on the fast, is it enough to just pack up the day’s food to take to work, evidence of my physical preparation for the work day, while leaving my pleas before the Lord on my green overstuffed chair until the next morning?
I was struck by Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotion for today called “Walking with God” and based on Genesis 6 – the story of Noah.
… there is a difference between having salvation and actually walking with the Lord. Being saved involves the forgiveness of sin and the blessing of eternal security, while walking with God is a privilege that we live out day to day.
A “privilege we live out day to day” – all day long? I’m guessing so … walking with God, not just sitting with Him mornings for an hour.
And from Genesis 6:9 –
This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
He walked “in close fellowship with God” – hmm, that doesn’t sound like a relationship built on an hour a day, does it? That’s not really walking, which has kind of a feel of constancy – what I’m doing is more like skipping from one morning to the next, hoping God will enlighten me before I stick the dismount and move on to the rest of my day.
As I reread Genesis 6 and take in the full measure of disappointment and sorrow the Lord feels at the extent of human wickedness on the earth, His decision to destroy every living thing is understandable, and yet for Noah – who found favor with the Lord, who walked in close fellowship with the Lord, God gives incredibly detailed and specific direction about what Noah is to do in verses 14 – 21.
Could it be that if I were to walk in close fellowship with the Lord all day long that He may give me specific direction about the things I am praying and fasting for? I am brainstorming all the ways I can carry my morning time with God full force into my work day and beyond …. do you have any ideas to share?