I encountered my first flub up on this fast in terms of diet regiment.
I'll confess my story then give some application to how this works universally then tomorrow we'll pick back up with Philippians 2.
I was pretty much smooth sailing all day yesterday (Saturday) and was filled spiritually by spending some time with lifeWorth Group leaders in the morning.
But then 4 p.m. came. I was hungry and it was Shaina's birthday. My option was leftover rice and natural salsa in a all wheat all natural tortilla wrap or I convince Shaina that it would be good for us to go to dinner to celebrate her birthday and that one flub up for her birthday isn't that big of a deal.
I convince her...namely because leftovers for a birthday dinner aren't exactly exciting her. So we go to Ruby Tuesdays. I order water (still the only beverage I've had for two weeks). Then I order the Salad Bar...with Cheeseburger Sliders...with french fries. Then, we stopped at Giant Eagle on the way home and Shaina picked up a little chocolate cake for her birthday treat. And I ate a piece.
I'm back on the wagon today...but let me tell you a couple things 1) It wasn't nearly as satisfying as my mind told me it would be. 2) My body didn't (and still isn't!) responding well to such harsh treatment. (Curse you John Kohler!) :-)
But here's the point...we will employ any number of tactics to get what we think we want that we're not supposed to have...Here's a few:
Justification...This was a big one..."But its Shaina's birthday...But I've been good to this point...But, others have failed already...etc." Some of us need a good ol' fashioned but amputation.
Blameshifting...Adam said "but the woman you gave me..." Our first way to get out of responsibility is to put it all on someone else...or God. Its as old as Adam...and doesn't help us grow in the area of integrity. I found myself blaming others on the Fast who had slipped up, modified or quit for why I shouldn't be faithful.
Entitlement...13 days of faithfulness ought to land me one day of indulgence right? Wrong...The minute you think you're owed something is the minute your judgment and spirit are clouded. The only thing you and I are entitled to is our sins being punished by banishment from God's presence...But for those who have been changed by Christ, the reality is that we have been set free and are Sons and Daughters of the King.
Flesh is Weak...Some of us try to do it all in our own strength rather than abiding in God's presence and love to sustain us, equip us and rescue us. Then we fall hard. We know that a flashlight without batteries doesn't operate very well...but yet we go around without our batteries all the time and wonder why things are too tough or we are caught in sinfulness.
NOW...IF AND WHEN WE DO MESS UP...ITS NOT ABOUT US RESIGNING OURSELVES TO THE STATUS OF FAILURE...ITS NOT ABOUT US PULLING OURSELVES UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS AND TRYING HARDER...ITS NOT ABOUT SOME TYPE OF DIVINE KARMA THAT GOD CATCHES US WITH BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN LESS THAN GOOD...EVERYTHING...ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING...IS OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO MAKE MUCH OF HIM.
I'm doing the Daniel Fast...to make much of Him as the God who is my portion.
I messed up on the Daniel Fast...which today has me seeing more clearly that He isn't my entire portion and I need more of Him. So I can make more of him in my shortfalls.
I am granted my health to make much of Him.
I am diagnosed with a bad report to make much of Him.
I am healed to make much of Him.
I'm not healed, to make much of Him.
Do you understand? The point of this fast...The point of the Christian life... is not ever to be dictated by life's circumstances! It is today and always about
the Glory of God and our opportunity to make much of Him...BECAUSE OF and DESPITE OF our circumstances.
Make that your goal in this final week of the fast. That He would really be the center of our motivation, our sustenance and our victory!