After starting the journey of our 40 day Daniel fast, I began thinking of all the foods I was giving up for the fast...like milk, cheese, chocolate cake, garlic bread, Enrico's... And I kept saying, "You know, God, I hope you know what I'm giving up for you, because this is a lot more painful that I thought."
Seriously, how stupid is that???
Later, when God and I were talking, He asked, "Do you realize what I gave up for you?"
(Insert cricket sounds here).
Needless to say I practically fell on my face and repented for a good bit. He wasn't sugary sweet as we imagine Him to be when He speaks...this was a literal glimpse of His wrath. Something I honestly have never experienced in that form before.
Now I understand what it means to fear Him.
He, the Creator, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Master, the Judge, chose to make human beings for HIS glory, knowing all along what He would have to give up in order to remove the veil and be close and intimate with them. He gave up Jesus, His precious and beloved Son, so that we may be His beloved sons and daughters. HE turned HIS back on HIS SON while Jesus bore MY pathetic sin on the cross. He did that for me....for you...for all of us.
And I can't give up a piece of chocolate cake for 40 days.
You can't give up listening to certain music.
We can't give up our family or our friends.
The world can give up it's complacency and comforts.
Because what would happen if we REALLY got to know God? If we saw how fearful and awesome He is? If we saw how giving and selfless He is? If we saw how loving he is? We'd see how insiginificant and pathetic we are as humans. We'd see how much we so desperately need God Almightly, because without Him, we are nothing.
Yes, God is a loving God, but He is to be feared! Honestly, I'm to the point that I fear Him so much that I don't want to step one toe out of line because I don't want to do anything that might hinder me from Him.
When I started thinking about all those who reject Him and say 'no' to Him, I cried. I said "Lord, but You're so beautiful and holy...why would anyone NOT want you?"
I felt like a child asking why her Daddy got fired from his job.
God answered me with, "It's because they don't love Me."
This absolutely broke my heart, because it breaks my Daddy's heart. His children, who He created with the upmost care, love, and affection, reject Him on a daily basis because He's not what they want. To them, He's not worth giving stuff up for.
One minute I was fearing God, to the next minute seeing His heartbreak. Because this is what it's like to be fully engaged into a relationship with Him. He shows you every aspect of who He is when you're willing to notice and listen and see.
Through this fast, God has fully altered my way of thinking. Not just because I'm giving up food. But because I'm willing giving up stuff that ties me to the world and hinders me from being with Him.
I'm encouraging you to remember why you do the things you do for God, and for you to remember that A) You can't do them without God's help and B) it's all for HIS glory.
We give up stuff for His glory.
We kill our flesh for His glory.
We say no the world for His glory.
We love others for His glory.
We love Him for His glory.
We worship Him for His glory.
It's all for His glory, everything we do, everything we are, and all that He has created is for His own glory.