Fasting for Enlargement – Part 2
27 January 08
· Matthew 6:18 - “…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly…”
· Fasting softens our heart and increases our capacity to receive from Him.
· Fasting – from something – to someone. Must focus on benefits and blessings.
· Luke 1:15 - John the Baptist – was great in the sight of the Lord.
- John never worked any miracles but fasted to enlarge capacity for God.
- The presence of God upon his life impacted his nation in his day.
- We tend to focus on ‘giving up something rather than receiving and enlarging in God’.
2. The Key of David:
Beauty = ‘The quality in a person that gives intense pleasure and satisfaction’.
3. Change Your Focus – Change Your Life!:
a) What we behold, changes us:
2 Corinthians 3:18 - “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord”.
· Changed = 3339 = metamorpheo = to be totally transformed e.g. caterpillar -> butterfly.
· This is a process that is ongoing – we are being changed.
· Who is the agent of change? The one making it happen?
= The Holy Spirit
· So often people realise they need to change and try harder but feel defeated.
· Must rely on the Holy Spirit to bring about change within us.
· What is our part? “Beholding” i.e. to gaze at with open eyes.
· Beholding what? Not our problems, lacks, weaknesses but the Glory of the Lord.
b) What it means – “Glory of the Lord”:
· Exodus 33:18 - “Show me your Glory! I will make all my goodness pass before…” i.e. Glory = heaviness, weight, majesty = the goodness and beauty of the Lord.
· Exodus 34:6 - “The Lord God merciful and gracious longsuffering, abounding in truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”.
· What we focus on impacts what we become e.g. Matthew 25:24-26 – Unfaithful servant.
· As we focus on God’s love, His desires, His passions, His goodness we become changed – same image! – from glory to glory => ongoing process.
c) Note: When the servant saw God impacted what he became:
· Eve’s devotion to God was corrupted when she doubted his goodness.
· E.g. 2 Corinthians 11:3 - The same thing can happen to us – passion for God is lost when we focus on the negative, on ourselves and not on God’s goodness.
4. Become Rooted in the Goodness of God:
· Ephesians 3:17-19 - “…rooted and grounded in love”
· Being filled with the fullness of God requires to become rooted in His goodness.
· Rooted = root – part of a plant that grows down into soil and absorbs water and nutrients.
· Grounded = to lay a foundation for a building to be constructed.
· Stability and fruitfulness are connected to drawing upon the goodness of God.
· 1 John 4:19 - “We love Him because He first loved us”.
· When we realise we are loved intensely – passion and devotion are stirred.
· To become a lover of God we must realize and receive His love personally.
· Biggest struggle of Christians = guilt, condemnation, performance orientated.
· I must choose to believe God loves me and focus on His passionate love.
· It is not about trying harder – this leads to frustration.
· Change the focus – behold Him – He loves us passionately e.g.:
James 4:5 - “the spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously.
Isaiah 49:15 - “Can a woman forget her child…?”
Jeremiah 9:24 - “I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness ... delight”.
Jeremiah 3:3 - “I have loved you with an everlasting love”
· ‘As we change our minds – God changes our hearts!’
It’s our responsibility to behold, to focus on, to dwell on the goodness of God.
· Only you can choose that – saturate your mind and thoughts with God’s Word.
· Your emotions are linked to your thoughts – change thoughts – emotions will follow.
· Fill your mind with the truth – not just avoiding sin – change your focus.
· It takes time, energy and perseverance.
· People seek information but don’t renew the focus – Romans 12:2 - Seek methods, but not beholding the goodness of God.
5. Practical Keys:
· Must behold the reality of what God is like – not just books, seminars, meetings.
· Action needed – personal involvement – “Beholding we are changed!”
1) Read what the Bible says about God’s goodness – choose to believe.
2) Focus, meditate – picture and see it in your mind and welcome as a friend.
3) Speak out and personalise, declare the Word of God.
4) Persevere daily – expectant of Holy Spirit changing heart and life.
5) Practice responding – obeying what the Holy Spirit is saying – John 14:21.
6) Practice serving people – Isaiah 58:10-11.