Sunday, May 11th, 2014
Beautiful! Like Esther (Part 14)
Beauty Ingredients: Prayer And Fasting
When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly. He went as far as the king's gate, for no one was to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth. In each and every province where the command and decree of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing; and many lay on sackcloth and ashes.
Esther 4:1-3 (NASB)
Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king...
Esther 4:16 (NASB)
'Now, therefore,' says the Lord, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.'
Joel 2:12 (NKJV)
So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
Ezra 8:23 (NIV)
For me, fasting is hard. 'For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh' (Galatians 5:17). It's uncomfortable, but I think that's the point: to get out of our comfort zones. We empty ourselves to be filled by God. If the enemy tempted Jesus to rely on food, he will tempt us, too--that we may learn:
Like Jesus: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God' (Matthew 4:4). Like Jeremiah: 'Your Words were found and I ate Them, and Your Words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart' (Jeremiah 15:16). Like David: 'How sweet are Your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!' (Psalm 119:103).
Like Esther. When faced with a crisis, she did not turn to food. Instead, she turned away from food to God. Because fasting is a time-proven invitation for God to come to our rescue: to hear us, to guide us and to save us. When His disciples failed to evict a stubborn demon, Jesus said: 'This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting' (Matthew 17:21). Prayer and fasting invites the Top Gun into our wars.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: do you fast to hear from God? Even if you are young or face medical conditions that might prevent a total denial of food, you can fast something you love: sugar, for instance. Make yourself uncomfortable, so God can be your Comfort.
'Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified' (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
P.S. The physical benefits of a type of fasting called 'intermittent fasting' are quite remarkable. From an industry-polish point of view, consider it as well.*
To Be Continued...
* Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/06/28/intermittent-fasting-health-benefits.aspx
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.