Homeless, Hungry & Alone… chapter 1

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Homeless, Hungry & Alone...
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Chapter 1

It is the end of December 2010 and Pastor Wes has invited the people of Richland Assembly to join him in a 21 day fast starting January 2 – to deepen our personal relationship with Jesus, pray for our community, loved ones, healing, guidance, direction, provision, etc.  Debra and I are joining him in this fast.  We have done a 21-day fast at the beginning of the last two years and they have been amazing!  Both times, we did a Daniel Fast (consuming only fruits, vegetables and water). Two years ago we fasted and prayed about our trip to Israel with Ken Gaub.  We knew we were supposed to go, but we were just weeks from needing all the funds ($9,000) and only had $450.  God challenged us through Matthew 13:44, where Jesus gave an example of a man finding a treasure of great value in a field and the man selling everything he owned in order to purchase that field. God basically said, “Brian & Debra, If you believe that I want you to go, what are you doing to get there?”  Being challenged by the above scripture out of Matthew; knowing that a trip to the Holy Land was indeed a ‘treasure of great value’, we began to sell things.  What’s amazing is the moment we started doing this, God provided exceedingly more than we ever could have imagined. We didn’t have to sell as much as we had thought we would need too and He still provided the $9,000 in exactly 40 days from the day our fast ended and none of it came from our family budget!

Last year we fasted regarding the stirring we had to move to the Tri-Cities to be closer to my son Logan.  We wanted confirmation – for if we moved, we’d be leaving everything we’ve known and taking a huge step of faith into the unknown.  God provided that confirmation through our time of fasting and praying.  Today, I am writing this journal entry from the living room of our home in West Richland, WA – two blocks from where Logan lives with his mom.  God is awesome, faithful and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

So, this year, as we begin this adventure of another 21-day fast, we are full of excitement and expectation as to what God is going to do as we diligently and earnestly take the time to pray and listen for His voice.   We have decided this year to again do the Daniel Fast, but to integrate it with some all day full fasts (only water or juice) as we feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do.  We do have some specific needs and requests we will be praying for, but this time is really focused on getting to know our Lord and Savior better.

There is a big difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus personally. The apostle Paul, after his life changed on the road to Damascus, was left without all that was familiar to him  (Paul had been a dedicated Pharisee – teacher of the Jewish law).  God moved him from that life into a life of relationship – with Jesus, sacrifice and missionary work.  Some time later, Paul wrote these words in Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” Paul had gained an understanding of God’s priorities and how ‘knowing Christ Jesus’ personally was the most important ‘thing’ he could and would ever gain in his life – above money, possessions, personal relationships, jobs, etc.  This is often what fasting does – it helps us to set aside the normal ‘business’ and ‘mode of operation’ of life for a time to focus our energy and efforts on seeking God and knowing Him more.  Often, God will use our time of fasting to re-arrange our priorities to be more inline with what He values – and nothing compares to that.  In fact, not only does nothing compare to knowing Him personally, but in the end, when it’s all said and done, that is the only thing that will remain – everything else will fade away.  All those other things aren’t bad – money, a job, possessions, exercise, education, etc., but fasting helps me to put them in their proper place in relation to Jesus.  Where I can get in trouble is when I put those things in front of (or instead of) a growing personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  So, that is why we are fasting – to know Jesus more deeply and passionately and to allow Him to set or reset our priorities and what we value as He sees fit.  Fasting is a time of personal sacrifice, but I’ve learned that those things of greatest value in life are often gained only through sacrifice. So, we welcome it with open hearts.  In the past, God has met us at our point of sacrifice and surprised and blessed us beyond what we could even think, imagine or ask (Ephesians 3:23)… and we are expecting nothing less this time as well; for Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Excited for what God has planned,

Brian

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