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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fast your emotions

I was just winding up my quiet time with the Lord when He spoke to me and said ‘Fast your emotions this week, daughter’. That was a strange one! Fast my emotions? Hmm!

I could relate with the fasting bit. I mean, I have been on an extended study on the book of Isaiah and had been meditating on Isaiah 58 that Sunday morning. I know that fasting is not only about denying our bodies food. Indeed methinks that a food fast is the most rudimentary of fasts. With the fast-paced lives many people live today, doing without meals for most of the day has become almost a lifestyle. Millions of people are too much in a hurry to stop and have a decent breakfast, and also get so engrossed in work during the day that they forget or are unable to make time for lunch. Dinner has become widely accepted by many as the one basic meal of the day. What then would be a fast if you are one of those for whom this is your normal?

Actually and in this kind of context, a choice to simply deny oneself of any specific food can be more of a sacrifice to God than not eating all day. I once fasted my top three food delights for a month and I can tell you that giving up my one delicious early morning steaming-hot cup of coffee, rice and beef for an entire month was a major trial. It put a new twist to the words obedience, determination, resilience and commitment for me. It demanded more of me than simply going without meals until 6pm daily could otherwise have. But God placed a demand on my eating and asked that He be my primary delight that month, and so I readily yielded the three things that were my ‘I-can’t-do-without’s’ to Him for that period. And oh was it so worth it or what? Faithful God that He is, He honored my sacrifice and came through for me in the things I was believing Him for at the time.

For many people, the decision to fast television for a week is a huge sacrifice. For others, it could be a fasting of their daily treasured soda-fest. I have heard of people fasting the oddest of things, and I have also learnt not to knock any kind of fasting because I can’t relate to it. We are all different and ‘different things’ mean different things to each of our different selves (this sentence is so completely grammatically wrong but you get my drift right? Lol). Well sis, the beauty in this is that God is so gracious as to meet us where exactly where we are every time. He honors the 6am-6pm food fast as much as He honors the Coca-cola fast by a coke addict. He honors the mustard seed faith as much as He honors the great faith. He is no respecter of persons and He is not confined to the cultures and perspectives of man. He looks at the heart, at the motives and the intents. He is able to establish those who are truly fasting – irrespective of what it is they are fasting for His sake, and distinguish them from those who are going without food for the ritual of it or that they may be seen by men to be righteous (or should I say ‘religious’). I simply love this our God, don’t you sis?

All this to say that I get fasting …true spiritual fasting that is. But in my many years of being a Christian, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talking about an emotional fast. So when God Himself said to me that I should fast my emotions, I had to sit back and think that one through. All He said to me by way of clarification was that I was not to lose my temper all through the week, and not to forget this instruction - no matter what. Now if you know me, I am a calm person by nature. Losing my temper is not who I am, rather I am the one most likely coaxing others not to lose theirs. That God was placing a demand on my emotions simply told me that it was going to be an ‘interesting’ week to say the least.

Let me be the first to tell you that most of day 1 went by okay. I had a few touchy situations at work but handled them calmly enough in my usual way. As I entered my house at the end of the day though, I had to speak with my younger sister about something I had just cautioned her about a couple of days prior. You know what? I started off calmly enough by saying I didn’t want to get upset, and then I proceeded to do just that. In all of two minutes I was yelling at her… and I mean yelling – totally unlike me. Each time she said she was sorry, I found myself yelling ‘You should be’ and then going on at her even further (shaking my head at myself). I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, watching someone else have an emotional blow-up. When I finally forced myself to turn off the tirade, I huffed and hissed my way upstairs. I went weak immediately I walked into my bedroom. I felt completely deflated, like a weight of heavy air was expunged sharply out of my system. I slowly sank to my bedroom couch in an odd calmness cum sadness and as I did so I heard ‘I told you not to forget, no matter what. Fast your emotions, My child. Fast your emotions!’  ….Oops!

I was intentionally very quiet and calm for the rest of that evening and all week. I scribbled those words ‘Fast your emotions’ on several worksheets I had with me at work. I muttered the words over and over again under my breath. I was determined not to forget. I shared the mandate with a friend who came to get my advice on something she was going through, and that helped me minister it to myself afresh in clear terms. I prayed in the spirit regularly and asked the Lord to help me through whatever this was about. Bottom line sis was that I knew God was trying to save me from a set-up from the enemy that would have cost me something major if I succumbed to my flesh. I had figured after that incident with my sister that my emotions were in a more sensitive place than I would otherwise have realized, and rightly so. It had been a busy few weeks and I was pretty tired. I knew in that tiredness that there was an underlying touchiness that would make for an escalation of things which I otherwise would have overcome more readily. God knew this and He was preparing me to be victorious above all else when the enemy showed up like a flood.

And did I see the flood? Oh yes, sis! Oh yes! It came in a way that I cannot readily explain in one post. There were the little waves of issues that kept cropping up, but which showed that a storm was brewing (which I could tell only because I was being attentive). I responded to each with a prayer and a yielding to the peace of God….and let me tell you that it wasn’t easy. Not at all! And then in a totally unrelated way, things finally came to a head at a meeting I had to attend later in the week. But I was ready sis. I was spiritually alert and determined not to let flesh hold sway. And praise God, His glory and grace more than made room for me. It could all have otherwise gone very badly, but I held my own by the power of God and all things did work out for good and to God’s glory. As I sat back and reflected on the week and on that specific day, I could almost sense God smiling and saying to me ‘See?’

So what has this got to do with you? No clue, sis except that when certain things are on my heart to share, they are a sure word in due season for someone who will read the post. Maybe you are in a place where you need to pay attention to your emotions – the overt ones and the underlying ones. Maybe God is telling you to pay attention to the things you are allowing to play out in your mind because of some raw emotions you are dealing with. Maybe He is asking you to subdue flesh and allow Him be the voice that will guide you in something you are dealing with as relates to work, to a friend, to a relative, to your husband, your child….. or simply something you are beating yourself up about. Sis, maybe God has had me share this with you because He is trying to remind you as the year draws to a close, that some of the things you look back on with sorrow in the year past happened because you didn’t pay attention to the fine line between emotions (flesh) and the call to obedience to His voice and word (spirit) and maybe He is reminding you and I that for us to thrive in the year ahead, we cannot do life through the same filter of flesh.

Maybe God is challenging how you are dealing with a real and current challenge you are facing sis. Maybe He is asking you to let go and let Him be God in a particular situation. Maybe this is a word He would have you share with someone close to you that you know is not handling things right in some situation or the other. I have no clue, but I will be obedient and share this and allow the Lord use it in your life as He best sees fit.

What I do know is this, daily as I go and grow in Christ, my heart’s cry is for a deeper connection with my Maker; a deeper alignment of my daily walk with His will and His way; an increasing obedience to His voice – in so far as I have clarity that it is His voice, whether or not I have clarity on the specifics of His assignment. My heart’s cry is to trust Him more, to lean on Him more, to please Him more. I want to be led more by His Spirit, less of me more of Him… a going back to ‘Zero’ day in and day out. Fasting my emotions this past week was just one more exercise in Him assuring me that when I do it His way, the output is always more glorious.

I don’t know where this post meets you, sis. But wherever it is, I speak over you and declare that the Lord will help you, as surely as He always has…. And as surely as He daily helps me.


Be blessed sis….. For you surely are!

Fast your emotions

I was just winding up my quiet time with the Lord when He spoke to me and said ‘Fast your emotions this week, daughter’. That was a strange one! Fast my emotions? Hmm!

I could relate with the fasting bit. I mean, I have been on an extended study on the book of Isaiah and had been meditating on Isaiah 58 that Sunday morning. I know that fasting is not only about denying our bodies food. Indeed methinks that a food fast is the most rudimentary of fasts. With the fast-paced lives many people live today, doing without meals for most of the day has become almost a lifestyle. Millions of people are too much in a hurry to stop and have a decent breakfast, and also get so engrossed in work during the day that they forget or are unable to make time for lunch. Dinner has become widely accepted by many as the one basic meal of the day. What then would be a fast if you are one of those for whom this is your normal?

Actually and in this kind of context, a choice to simply deny oneself of any specific food can be more of a sacrifice to God than not eating all day. I once fasted my top three food delights for a month and I can tell you that giving up my one delicious early morning steaming-hot cup of coffee, rice and beef for an entire month was a major trial. It put a new twist to the words obedience, determination, resilience and commitment for me. It demanded more of me than simply going without meals until 6pm daily could otherwise have. But God placed a demand on my eating and asked that He be my primary delight that month, and so I readily yielded the three things that were my ‘I-can’t-do-without’s’ to Him for that period. And oh was it so worth it or what? Faithful God that He is, He honored my sacrifice and came through for me in the things I was believing Him for at the time.

For many people, the decision to fast television for a week is a huge sacrifice. For others, it could be a fasting of their daily treasured soda-fest. I have heard of people fasting the oddest of things, and I have also learnt not to knock any kind of fasting because I can’t relate to it. We are all different and ‘different things’ mean different things to each of our different selves (this sentence is so completely grammatically wrong but you get my drift right? Lol). Well sis, the beauty in this is that God is so gracious as to meet us where exactly where we are every time. He honors the 6am-6pm food fast as much as He honors the Coca-cola fast by a coke addict. He honors the mustard seed faith as much as He honors the great faith. He is no respecter of persons and He is not confined to the cultures and perspectives of man. He looks at the heart, at the motives and the intents. He is able to establish those who are truly fasting – irrespective of what it is they are fasting for His sake, and distinguish them from those who are going without food for the ritual of it or that they may be seen by men to be righteous (or should I say ‘religious’). I simply love this our God, don’t you sis?

All this to say that I get fasting …true spiritual fasting that is. But in my many years of being a Christian, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talking about an emotional fast. So when God Himself said to me that I should fast my emotions, I had to sit back and think that one through. All He said to me by way of clarification was that I was not to lose my temper all through the week, and not to forget this instruction - no matter what. Now if you know me, I am a calm person by nature. Losing my temper is not who I am, rather I am the one most likely coaxing others not to lose theirs. That God was placing a demand on my emotions simply told me that it was going to be an ‘interesting’ week to say the least.

Let me be the first to tell you that most of day 1 went by okay. I had a few touchy situations at work but handled them calmly enough in my usual way. As I entered my house at the end of the day though, I had to speak with my younger sister about something I had just cautioned her about a couple of days prior. You know what? I started off calmly enough by saying I didn’t want to get upset, and then I proceeded to do just that. In all of two minutes I was yelling at her… and I mean yelling – totally unlike me. Each time she said she was sorry, I found myself yelling ‘You should be’ and then going on at her even further (shaking my head at myself). I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, watching someone else have an emotional blow-up. When I finally forced myself to turn off the tirade, I huffed and hissed my way upstairs. I went weak immediately I walked into my bedroom. I felt completely deflated, like a weight of heavy air was expunged sharply out of my system. I slowly sank to my bedroom couch in an odd calmness cum sadness and as I did so I heard ‘I told you not to forget, no matter what. Fast your emotions, My child. Fast your emotions!’  ….Oops!

I was intentionally very quiet and calm for the rest of that evening and all week. I scribbled those words ‘Fast your emotions’ on several worksheets I had with me at work. I muttered the words over and over again under my breath. I was determined not to forget. I shared the mandate with a friend who came to get my advice on something she was going through, and that helped me minister it to myself afresh in clear terms. I prayed in the spirit regularly and asked the Lord to help me through whatever this was about. Bottom line sis was that I knew God was trying to save me from a set-up from the enemy that would have cost me something major if I succumbed to my flesh. I had figured after that incident with my sister that my emotions were in a more sensitive place than I would otherwise have realized, and rightly so. It had been a busy few weeks and I was pretty tired. I knew in that tiredness that there was an underlying touchiness that would make for an escalation of things which I otherwise would have overcome more readily. God knew this and He was preparing me to be victorious above all else when the enemy showed up like a flood.

And did I see the flood? Oh yes, sis! Oh yes! It came in a way that I cannot readily explain in one post. There were the little waves of issues that kept cropping up, but which showed that a storm was brewing (which I could tell only because I was being attentive). I responded to each with a prayer and a yielding to the peace of God….and let me tell you that it wasn’t easy. Not at all! And then in a totally unrelated way, things finally came to a head at a meeting I had to attend later in the week. But I was ready sis. I was spiritually alert and determined not to let flesh hold sway. And praise God, His glory and grace more than made room for me. It could all have otherwise gone very badly, but I held my own by the power of God and all things did work out for good and to God’s glory. As I sat back and reflected on the week and on that specific day, I could almost sense God smiling and saying to me ‘See?’

So what has this got to do with you? No clue, sis except that when certain things are on my heart to share, they are a sure word in due season for someone who will read the post. Maybe you are in a place where you need to pay attention to your emotions – the overt ones and the underlying ones. Maybe God is telling you to pay attention to the things you are allowing to play out in your mind because of some raw emotions you are dealing with. Maybe He is asking you to subdue flesh and allow Him be the voice that will guide you in something you are dealing with as relates to work, to a friend, to a relative, to your husband, your child….. or simply something you are beating yourself up about. Sis, maybe God has had me share this with you because He is trying to remind you as the year draws to a close, that some of the things you look back on with sorrow in the year past happened because you didn’t pay attention to the fine line between emotions (flesh) and the call to obedience to His voice and word (spirit) and maybe He is reminding you and I that for us to thrive in the year ahead, we cannot do life through the same filter of flesh.

Maybe God is challenging how you are dealing with a real and current challenge you are facing sis. Maybe He is asking you to let go and let Him be God in a particular situation. Maybe this is a word He would have you share with someone close to you that you know is not handling things right in some situation or the other. I have no clue, but I will be obedient and share this and allow the Lord use it in your life as He best sees fit.

What I do know is this, daily as I go and grow in Christ, my heart’s cry is for a deeper connection with my Maker; a deeper alignment of my daily walk with His will and His way; an increasing obedience to His voice – in so far as I have clarity that it is His voice, whether or not I have clarity on the specifics of His assignment. My heart’s cry is to trust Him more, to lean on Him more, to please Him more. I want to be led more by His Spirit, less of me more of Him… a going back to ‘Zero’ day in and day out. Fasting my emotions this past week was just one more exercise in Him assuring me that when I do it His way, the output is always more glorious.

I don’t know where this post meets you, sis. But wherever it is, I speak over you and declare that the Lord will help you, as surely as He always has…. And as surely as He daily helps me.


Be blessed sis….. For you surely are!

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.