By Pamela Rae Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-
Ahhh...the holiday seasons! Visions of wonderful scenes of delicious Christmas dinners and tables laden with cakes and cookies and deserts of every kind, coupled with that aroma of gingerbread and exotic spices filling the air.
I was so excited when several Christian friends in the area invited me to their special Christian dinners and gatherings. I can remember those naughty thoughts that began to fill my mind as the dates approached. Mmmmmmmmm!
Come unto me, fragrant little gingerbread cookies! Dance right into my mouth! Come, dainty deserts! Bring a smile to my face as I partake of your succulent, decadent yummyness! Break out the eggnog! Forget all my veggie-organic rules just ONCE this year! Yessssssssss! After all, 'tis the season to be jolly...and to put on ten pounds, only to be dutifully worked off later the following year. Or so we hope (too often in vain....)
Of course, I spoke these words to no one around me. My flesh simply THOUGHT them, which is bad enough. Oh, the flesh..ever the carnal flesh. No wonder Paul the Apostle declared that if we walk after the lusts of carnal flesh, we will die. Amen.
Instead, we are called to crucify the lusts of the flesh, and to WALK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT instead.
However, for me, none of this lucious feasting took place the entire week of Christmas 2013. Nada. Zilch. Nuthin'! Drat, cried my craven flesh!
Why? I had two invitations from wonderful Christian friends to join them on Christmas day in wonderful feasts and fellowship as well. I drooled well in advance as I anticipated both great food and fellowship at this most wonderful time of the year.
But God had A BETTER IDEA!
I never planned this at all. It was something the Divine Holy Spirit led me sovereignly into. Ha-ha...I KNOW it had to be GOD'S idea, because my flesh was so looking forward to those scrumptuous Christmas feasts! Yessirree.........yum yum yum!
And then, God stepped in and with unspoken words, told me that serious things were coming to my life and my nation, and that He was calling me TO FAST INSTEAD.
God led me into only drinking water for the Christmas week (5 or six days... I lost count.) The fast ended Saturday night a week ago.
Well, so much for feasting at my friends' homes.
My spirit had to take authority over my very normal body, and literally say "shut UP, ye carnal flesh! Silence, wretched hunger pangs longing for temporal Christmas goodies! God's will be done!"
And finally my flesh complied and yielded to the spirit, kept silence and dutifully fasted (only protesting periodically with loud gastric gurgles of protest, still feeling somewhat robbed of Christmas festivities.)
But what happens when we yield to God and fast at His leading??? What happens when we take authority over our flesh and even natural desires to eat, to instead obey God and fast?
Amazing things can happen! FASTING AND PRAYER, all performed in secret, can produce amazing results from an amazing God of miracles!
And so I withdrew myself from people, and fasted privately throughout Christmas week. No one saw or knew but Almighty God.
God used this fast to speak to me about many things. He told me that I was not to leave Brother John at this time, and that he needed me. He impressed upon me that my needs would be met, I would be protected, and that even miracles would happen in John's life as I remained at his side for now.
True discipleship means OBEDIENCE to the leading of God for our lives. We put aside our OWN plans, to fulfill the greater will of God for our lives. And so, I am cancelling my previous plans for a sabbatical away from my brother, and instead staying close to John daily to minister to him.
God used this inspired fast to change my mind and direction into HIS greater will and purposes in the world.
Intercessory prayer came into my heart as well. I understand perfectly where America is being taken, and the coming tribulations we will all face in our nation in the future. I felt the burden to cry out for our nation and for the protection of the Christians in our nation at this time. So MANY things to pray about at this time.
I find that when I fast, I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit much more clearly. I almost hesitate to share with readers what the Holy Spirit unmistakably spoke to my spirit during this fast. He even spoke to me clearly about my brother, in the context of miracles and raising John up for His glory.
I feel so much better as a result of this fast. In fact, my body was flooded with such energy during this divine fast, that I was able to work out at a local gym for several hours, walking briskly on the treadmill, lifting weights, working out on all the equipment. And not a twinge of weakness or feeling tired. For me, this was nothing short of MIRACULOUS.
I am still waiting to see the complete divine results of this remarkable period of fasting. Answers to many of my prayers are going to be moving swiftly now, God indicated to me. I have many unanswered questions that ONLY God has the answer to, and am quietly listening in my spirit to what the Holy Spirit is revealing to me at this time.
In closing, please...don't ever be afraid to fast! Our flesh often fears fasting for various reasons, and cringes at the thought of facing hunger pangs as it is deprived of food for a season.
But the fruits of Biblical fasting are incredible, and the results are enormous in every dimension, physical and spiritual.
The wonderful results are well worth the temporary discomforts.
Why don't you decide to seek God for a special time to fast and pray and seek His face, alone with Him? You will be amazed at what God and His Son Jesus Christ can do through your fasting and prayer as you spend time with Him. God bless you immensely as you do so!
-Pamela Rae Schuffert-