Fasting with focus.
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I gained 7 pounds during the Christmas holiday time. From eating the cookies I baked and all the delicious party food that comes with this wonderful celebration of our Savior Jesus Christ, it should be no surprise to me. But it was ☹.
However, I wasn’t too upset because every January my family and I usually do some type of fasting. We fast for better focus on God and his plans for us and also to purify and cleanse our bodies and lives of unwanted impurities. There are many things that we digest and do, physically and mentally, that are wreaking us inside and out. Some of these things become habits that are harmful to us, physical and spiritual. A good reset by fasting a couple of months or so, can help us to focus back on God and the plans and purposes he has for us.
This year we did something different for the food fast – we did a Paleo style fast. We usually do a Daniels fast, but after seeing a post for the book: The 30 – day Thyroid Reset Plan: Disarming the 7 Hidden Triggers That are Keeping You Sick by Dr. Becky Campbell it peaked my interest. I checked the book out from my local library, read it in one day and was eager to reset my body (and mind). Side note: this is not a Christian book, when she talks about meditation and other “mindful” things, replace it with God’s truth found in the scriptures and prayer.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 NLT
This book is very informative, and I recommend it, even if you don’t have thyroid problems. I lost 13 pounds and feel wonderful. My craving for junk is gone, replaced with a stronger craving that only God can fill.
When we fast, we want to be focused on God first. Fasting without focus is just a diet (author unknown of that quote). In addition to fasting from certain foods, its good to fast from certain activities that takes your focus away from God. One of the things I fasted from was social media. Social media is one of the biggest things that have taken my time, that I will never get back, from God and other priorities.
In addition to fasting is to pray. Powerful praying from the scriptures. Focused scripture prayers have helped me immensely. They help us to worship and praise our holy God. They remind us of our blessings and blesses us as well. They help us to grow deeper with the Holy Spirit and gives us clarity of thought. I was gifted and blessed with the book, Praying With Confidence. 31 Days of Powerful Moments with God by Jeff Leake, during my fast. This book has transformed my prayer life for the better! I have seen miracles and blessings while praying these prayers. (I recommend purchasing this book to use all the time!)
Fasting is a form of worship to God. It’s not for the whole world to know that we are fasting. It’s a humbling experience. We aren’t the focus of a fast, God is the focus.
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 NLT
There is so much gained from fasting, I’m just covering the tip of the ice berg. Every one’s fasting experience is different. There is no right or wrong thing to fast from, it’s what the thing or food, or both that is taking your focus from God.
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Perfect submission. In todays culture submission is almost a hate word – especially to some women. Today it is all about YOLO (You only live once), you do you, anything goes, etc; to submit to anything or anyone is out of the question. Even throughout history to submit to another person has bad connotations. We think of slaves, indentured servants, degraded wives, tenants of noble families of old, and many other examples.
According to Oxford American Dictionary the definition of submit is to yield oneself to the authority or control of another, to surrender. However submission is actually not that bad. Through out our lives we have had to or are submitting ourselves to people. When we were younger, we submitted ourselves to our parents, we submit to our employer, we submit to laws and government. We know that our lives are better when we submit to certain people and authorities.
I think you know where I’m going with this... There is a perfect submission that we can do that can give us a freedom like no other. A freedom from our desires, sins and control. Freedom from the burden of pleasing others and keeping up with the culture. This freedom free us from lies, guilt, shame, condemnation and lasting pain the enemy tries to pin us with. This freedom comes when we willingly submit ourselves to Jesus as our Lord and savior.
When we willingly submit to God we are blessed, we grow in righteousness and holiness. We will live a thriving, prosperous and abundant life! It doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and troubles in this life.I have experienced some this week! Monday I witnessed a child I know get hit by a car, she was slightly injured praise God, and my furnace broke Tuesday night! But because of my perfect submission to Jesus and God (and praying without ceasing), I know things will be alright.
The key word is willing. God doesn’t make us do anything because that isn’t what perfect love does. He wants us to do it on our own, cheerfully, without grumbling. When we submit willingly it exhibits a level of strength and intelligence, because it is not easy (I know that for a fact!). It takes a wise and strong person to submit to the Lord; to give up trying to control our lives (and others). In losing control we are actually gaining something priceless: Life!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8: 1-2 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 – 6 NIV
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 NIV
“Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love”
This second stanza of Blessed Assurance (Crosby, 1873) beautifully shows how perfect submission is. Choose perfect submission.
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Happy New Year! Welcome back to the she who honors 5 day challenge. Be the She who honors God with her everything. I pray the forgiveness challenge (week 4) broke some chains and you are feeling lighter. Thank you, Lord for helping us to forgive others. In Jesus name. You made it through to the last week of the SWH 5 week challenge. I knew you would. When you commit your plans to the Lord you will succeed.
Day5: She Who Honors God with her money.
Money, money, money, money, money! Last summer I had a poll on twitter and asked what type of posts they would like me to do. I had 4 choices: relationship with God, money/ finances, relationships and substance abuse. The results surprised me! It was a tie 39% wanted posts about their relationship with God and 39% wanted posts about money/finances! That is why I decided to talk about it in this challenge.
Where ever we go, internet, social media, magazines, tv, newspapers we are bombarded with ads, business propositions, saving money, how to make millions in 2 days, how to get more money, how to have side hustles, make money with your passions, spend this to get that, etc. Personally, I get a little tired of it.
Money is an essential, that is true, but the world tells lies that money will make us happy, win friends, have respect, the top dog and nothing can touch us. Money isn’t a magical potion for those things. Please don’t be deceived. It does not fill the void that only God does.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10(NIV). Money isn’t evil it is the love of it that can make people do some crazy things.
I’m not saying being rich, wealthy or having lots of money is a bad thing. It's what we do with that money or how it affects us is what God looks at (our heart). Is it honoring God? What did I cover on day 1 of the challenge? Putting God first in all things, that includes money. Whatever our income give at least 10% back to God. That’s called tithing (I’m sure you know). Tithe is usually given to our churches. Think about it, 10% is not a lot of money. Some probably have spent more than 10% of income on hair, clothes, shoes and other things!!! I know I have. A tithe can also be to charities that are doing God’s work, like homeless shelters, starving kid and missionaries.
The main principle about money is when we give generously God blesses and good comes to us.
“Praise the Lord.[b]
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.”
Psalm 112: 1-5, 9
“6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
God will provide, trust Him, give generously and we will be just fine. There are many more scriptures about giving and how God gives in return. I know because I have trusted the Lord and followed this principle in my life and He has never failed. I love giving, it makes me feel good (which is another perk).
Day 5 challenge is take some time to think about your spending habits. Are you giving to God first? Are you spending your money wisely? Is money ruling your heart? If you are having money troubles pray for wisdom and guidance and for God to fill your heart in place of money. Seek help from a financial professional if needed. Start tithing if you haven’t.
Woo hoo! You have completed the five day challenge! Awesome! Thank you for doing the 5 day She Who Honors challenge! I pray this will help you be the she who honors God with her everything. When you are honoring to God remember you will thrive! Let your light and life point others to seek Jesus!
I pray for us to get complete knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding to be fully pleasing to God in all that we do. In Jesus name, Amen. (see Colossians 1:9 – 10)
Please spread the word about the She Who Honors 5-day challenge and the She Who Honors website to be emboldened, educated and inspired to be the she who Honors God with her everything! Your word of mouth, shares,tweets,pins and comments are really helpful!! Follow me, I follow back. You can find my social media and other accounts second from the top in the left column. Thank you! Love ya!
Christina Leeman MPH, CHES, writer and educator emboldens Christian women to live lives worthy of God.
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