Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dying To The Principles Of This World

Some of you are participating in the 21 Day Fast Event that is taking place in the Church around the world. Good. It is a good thing as we start off the new year with a desire to increase our intimacy with God. We need to do this to remember that we are not from this place. We need to remember that our life is not based on the principles of this world; we are not governed by its philosophies. A fast strips everything away and leaves us alone with God. The Word warns us:

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

You would be surprised how quickly the values of this world can overpower the values of the Kingdom. We are constantly bombarded with them every day. It is like an ocean in which we are drowning. Too many Christians think they can sail through with little effort and not be affected by these values. They honestly believe that they are serving Jesus when they are actually serving themselves.

We should always take a little survey when we are considering the things we are involved in and the decisions we are making:

1. Why am I doing this?
2. Who does this benefit?
3. What value is it based on?
4. Does it have any eternal value?
5. When I am standing before Jesus will I be proud of this moment?

One very simple principle of the Kingdom is that our life no longer belongs to us. Jesus bought us at great price and because of his love we are glad we belong to him. Not belonging to ourselves means that we must live in Jesus, taking on his priorities, his values, his loves. If we do not understand and fail to act upon this one very simple principle, we will never be in step with the Spirit.

Unfortunately we never quite grasp how much we have been deceived because the further we get into it the more we are convinced we are okay. In the beginning there are some nagging doubts but soon the fog covers our eyes and all is well, or so we think. Fasting has a way of clearing that fog and bringing the principles of the Kingdom into sharp focus. It brings a clarity of thought and wellness to our body. There is a clearing out of our entire being. It reminds us of what is important.

We need this. So many of you have expressed that you want 2013 to be a year of greater intimacy with Jesus. Good. Now do something about it. I would go so far as to suggest that you do more than just the Daniel's Fast; try doing an entertainment fast as well. For 21 days turn off the TV, don't watch any movies, turn off the music, except what you use for worship. Stay away from YouTube, FaceBook, Tumblr, except for the ways you use it to communicate with friends and family. Get your thoughts off the principles of this world and for 21 days bathe yourself in prayer, the Word of God, worship and service.

This is hitting a reset button. After the 21 days you will need to figure out how to maintain a closer walk with Jesus while swimming in the vales, principles and philosophies of this world but at least start with the reset. If you didn't start on January 1st it is okay, much of the Church is not starting until January 6th, the first Sunday of the new year. The important thing is not when you start but that do start at some point. Don't expect it will be easy. To withdraw from the values, principles, and philosophies of this world is like coming off of a drug. For the first little while your body and mind will scream for a "fix" but if it does then you know you were in a bad way. This should fortify you even more to go to the end of it.

I pray this will be a fantastic year of growth in your relationship with Jesus but also in your service for the Kingdom. I pray this time of fasting will bring clarity to who you are in Jesus and to the principles that govern our very being. God bless you in your desire for Jesus to increase and for you to decrease. To God be the glory, mighty warrior.

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