In 2015 the Women’s Ministry at Country Oaks Baptist Church is focusing on strengthening body and soul. We offer the following encouragements as you seek to glorify God in your body:
Encouragement from a couple of books:
I’ve been wrestling in my soul over several thorny issues in my life. The lack of resolution is causing me much pain (and writer’s block ) so I decided to take Mark Batterson’s advice from The Circle Maker -Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears. I decided to go on a Daniel Fast.
Batterson says: “When I have a big decision to make, I circle it with a fast. It doesn’t just purge my body, it also purges my mind and spirit. When I need a breakthrough, I circle it with a fast. It doesn’t just break down the challenges I’m facing; it breaks down the calluses in my heart… Fasting gives you more power to pray because it’s an exercise in willpower. The physical discipline gives you the spiritual discipline to pray through. An empty stomach leads to a full spirit. The tandem of prayer and fasting will give you the power and willpower to pray through until you experience a breakthrough.”
I’d heard about the Daniel Fast before. It’s a partial fast (see Diet Devo Day 16 – for definition of partial fast) based on events in the life of Daniel in the Bible. Here’s a couple of websites that can help you out if you want to know more about the diet and what you eat on it: http://www.daniel-fast.com/aboutthefast/and http://danielfast.wordpress.com/daniel-fast-food-list/
“Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that allows you to connect with God on a deeper level. When you fast, you deny yourself food or certain foods, for a specified period of time as an act of surrender. You are, in essence, saying “God, I have to have your help in this situation. I don’t know what to do (sounds like me) and I’m willing to sacrifice my time, my physical comfort, and my desires so I can hear from you.”
Encouragement from THE Book:
Here’s the The Message version of Luke 9:23: Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
Isaiah 58 (NLT) The ultimate guide on biblical fasting
“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins!
Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Note to Self:
Thomas A’ Kempis reveals the source of peace: Choose always to have less than more.
originally published on July 27, 2013 – theWordchick.com