Friday, January 27, 2012

Resolved To Go The Distance (fasting series)

As I read through the book of Daniel again I am struck by the very first chapter. It is something that I believe would help us today improve our service to our Lord:

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. (Daniel 1:8)

For whatever reason Daniel was given not to take part in the rich foods of the royal court. This is a type of fasting and Daniel was resolved that he would serve the Lord even in this place according to what was laid on his heart. Do we really think that would have been an easy thing? All that choice food and wine, rich in its appearance and aroma? But Daniel was resolved.

We could use a lot of resolve in our walk with Jesus these days. Far too many of us are allowing ourselves to be "defiled" as we are attracted to the richness of sin and distraction. There is very little resolve in us to give all of ourselves to God. I think we believe we can do it on a payment plan or something, giving a little bit every day until our account is paid up. But this is not what the Lord has called us too.

There are certain things in our life that reveal the lack of discipline and resolve in us and one of those things is the discipline of fasting. Perhaps you have never gone there and perhaps you see no need for it. That is the current attitude of the Church that not everything is necessary that we read in the Word, but I find it in great men of faith like Daniel, in the prophets and even in our Lord Jesus Christ. Our problem is that our lack of resolve in this reveals the lack of resolve in our walk in Jesus Christ. The Christian walk is not a flimsy thing that you can drop off and pick up where you want to. If you want to be used of God, to be convinced of the presence of Jesus and overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit we must learn the discipline of going the distance and serving in the hardest of circumstances. Discipline, resolve, sticktoitness is what we are missing.

Yet, even in this God's grace covers us. Where we are lacking he will provide. If you simply put your hand to it, determined to go all the way, he will enable you to go all the way with him. You will be known as a person who goes the distance. Even if you have failed in this in the past he will make you capable today. You can do it because he enables you to do it. Let's be a people of resolve. Let's set aside the things that defile and seek his will in everything in our lives.

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