To Hunger

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Hunger: a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient

Crave: to yearn for; to want greatly

In today’s devotion titled Thirsting After God, Os Hillman explains,

The first requirement to move in greater power and authority in God is to hunger for it. Yet even this hunger is born from God. Elisha hungered after God. Elisha saw many miracles as Elijah’s servant. But he wanted more. He wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. When he asked Elijah for this, the prophet responded, “You have asked a difficult thing.” It wasn’t because it couldn’t be granted. Elijah knew that with great anointing came a great weight of responsibility and difficulty.

It’s day 11 of my fast; the halfway point.  The process of detox, the constant headache, feeling lethargic, and most of all denying myself of things I know I can have has been more than difficult.  The time and energy it takes to prepare the foods I can eat has proven to be challenging.  You have to spend time researching recipes, reading the backs of labels, and checking ingredients.  A lot of energy goes into eating cleaner foods. 

I am not sure what is waiting on the other side of this fast, but I can say that my cravings for certain foods have subsided.  And now, I crave love, joy, and peace.

This is just one of my daily prayers during this particular part of the journey. 

“I want to know this love that surpasses knowledge so that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).  All else is just an empty way of life handed down by bored and unmotivated forefathers.  No thanks! Give me Jesus! If I make someone else uncomfortable, well that’s too bad.”  – Beth Moore, taken from Personal Reflection Series on John, the beloved Disciple.

What do you hunger for?  Do you live to eat or eat to live?

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The Cravings of the Soul

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I now realize that it was not a mere coincidence that Amazon offered a free Kindle e-version of Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave (Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food) just a few days prior to my Church launching 21 days of prayer and fasting.  Yes, I have fasted before, but I have never fully comprehended the reason as to why.  Looking back, I see my heart was in the right place, but my mind was not. 

Through my participation of the Daniel Fast, studying the disciple John, and reading Made to Crave, I am gaining insight and uncovering some truths that were masked by my desire for food and other cravings.

Here are a few nuggets that resonated with me from Made to Crave.

  • Our taste buds crave many things to satisfy, but only persevering with God will make us truly full.
  • Our soul longs to be filled.  It is a longing that God instilled to draw us into deep intimacy with Him.
  • If we fail to fill our souls with spiritual nourishment, we will forever be triggered to numb our longings with other temporary physical pleasures that will never satisfy.

Now, if that is not enough to make one think, in day 2 of my 21 day devotional, I was posed with the following question: “When was the last time we got so excited and consumed about our relationship with Jesus that we would rather not eat?”

Umm…I will refrain from sharing my answer.  It’s best that I keep that between God and me.

So, how would you answer that question?  Would you deprive yourself of food in order to gain a deeper relationship with Christ?

Arthur Wallis once said, “When  man is willing to set aside the legitimate appetites of the body to concentrate on the work of praying, he is demonstrating that he means business, that he is seeking with all his heart, and will not let God go unless He answers.”

What are you craving today?  Does it truly fulfill the cravings of the soul?

The Active Soul

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It’s only January 6 and I cannot believe the difference my one word resolution has made in this short amount of time.  There is a new sense of fullness to my life.  There is no secret to my word; I chose “engage”.  I simply wanted to play a more active role in my own life and the lives of others.

The word can be applied in various ways, but I have chosen to apply it as an intransitive verb (a doable action without a direct object receiving that action).  Gives my word a bit more freedom, don’t you think?

Here are a few of the meanings:
  • to pledge oneself
  • to begin and carry on an activity
  • to take part
  • to give attention to something

I am executing this word by absorbing life, catching up with friends, new and old, and immersing myself in activities that interest, challenge, and fascinate me.  In order to do so, I have to keep this word on my mind daily.

I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said,  “The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul.”

However, the active soul does not come without hardships.  When you choose to engage yourself, there is a bit of risk involved.  You risk being rejected and having your feelings hurt.  Anyone that has suffered a great deal of rejection would rather stay closed in with the walls up high, rather than put themselves in a vulnerable position.  But there has to come a time when the choice to be engaged outweighs the risk, otherwise, life would lack excitement, fullness, and joy.

Les Brown once said, “We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.”

Would you describe yourself as an active soul or are you a spectator in your own life?  Are you in charge of your life or is it ruled by fear and insecurities?  Maybe it is time to make a pledge, to begin, take part, or give attention to yourself or the wonderful life around you.

One Name

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Here lately, I’ve been on this one word kick; one word resolution and now another word has quickly grabbed my attention. This picture has been popping up on friends’ and family’s facebook profiles with a message saying, “A period is a symbol placed at the end of a sentence to indicate no further discussion is possible or desirable.”
After seeing this, I knew the Church Point of Mercy was up to something.  So like any curious person would do, I checked out their website and found a YouTube video to explain the meaning behind this picture.  The message is simple.  In 2011, this Church is going to fill their cities with one name, period.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if Jesus filled it up?  Jesus represents what is good.  He is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 
So why do so many of us resist Him?  Are we afraid will be labeled a Jesus freak? Afraid of what others will think?  What is it that keeps us from seeking His name?
I spent many years on the perpetual roller coaster of my faith – hot one minute and cold the next.  I think fear and a bit of rebellion were part of the reason I was so unstable.  After looking back and reflecting on the last few years, I cannot imagine what my life would have been like with out Him.  Don’t get me wrong, the last few years were some of the toughest I had to face, but I also knew joy like no other.
Jesus. is the truth, the way, and the life (John 14:6).  One Name provides light against darkness, offers security and peace in an uncertain world, and offers joy, happiness, and everlasting love. 
As this Church unites to launch a crusade to make an impact on their city, I cannot help but be inspired to do the same – with  One Name – nothing more.