Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such thing there is no law
Over the Christmas period, I sat and prayed about what God wanted me to focus on this year… the word I felt Him draw to my attention was JOY!
I looked back in gratitude for all the tough situations He’d led our family and business through last year…
But He also highlighted that in the midst of it all, I’d lost some of my Joy.
I still felt happy, but definitely some of my sparkle was dimmed.
Nowhere was this more evident that at home- and I’m sure my husband and kids can attest to that!
As a very positive and ‘bubbly’ person, that’s not the mother, wife, daughter, friend or colleague that I want to be, so I prayed about how I could practically work with the Holy Spirit to ‘Shine bright with Joy’ again.
The next Sunday at church our Pastor’s wife challenged our congregation to consider fasting, in whatever way we felt led.
I had tried fasting each week on a Monday in 2019 and had gotten out of the habit; I’m not even sure why!
Anyway, her encouragement compelled me as it’s a biblical principle and I wanted to do whatever I could to start off 2021 with healthy habits that put God first, helped me lean into Him and ‘find Joy’.
Off-handedly, the pastor’s wife mentioned she wasn’t sure exactly what the results had been of her consistent efforts in fasting regularly over the years, but she was sure that many blessings and breakthroughs had come her way as a result.
Being a busy woman, wearing many hats- as are many of you- with a ‘not-yet’ Christian husband and little kids I wanted to find a way that didn’t impact our family (which ended up being start after dinner Sunday night, finish before dinner Monday night).
PLUS I wanted to SEE the fruit of my fasting.
So I ‘talked’ with God about it and decided a couple of things…
- If I’m going to fast, I need to see FRUIT- to know the return on my ‘investment’
- I will document the immediate results- or FRUIT- of my fasting, as proof of His faithfulness and because of the power of testimony
Not only did I want to ooze Joy again, but there are also areas of my family and business I need breakthrough in. Many people I know also need to see the fruit of their labour, along with miracles in their lives.
In the past, I have seen many miracles ushered in when I’ve been seeking God for and praying for OTHERS, so I knew I needed to pray for someone else during my fasting.
Plus, I’ve not always been good at ASKING God for help in areas I need it, so I want to make sure I spend time during my fast praying for myself and at least one other person during each ‘fasting day’.
So, during my first day of fasting, this year I didn’t find it too hard…
But I also got distracted by my kids later in the day and forgot to write down the ‘little miracles’ or drops of wisdom I had received that day.
The next week, I was quite hungry but that brought God more to the forefront of my mind!
As the evening loomed, I knew I really needed to head away from my desk and get some exercise in…
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But I didn’t know if I’d even have much energy for exercise, being so hungry!
I decided I needed to get out of the house to find some quietness to listen and speak with God anyway, so went on a short bike-ride. I figured I could do as much or little as I felt I could manage.
As I started out, worship music in my ears, I began to think about all the little ‘praise points’ I could be grateful for from the day.
GOD SHOWED ME how much WISDOM He actually showers me with when I seek, submit and self-reflect with Him. I was receiving downloads of so many ideas and solutions to problems as I continued on my bike ride.
And I remembered that I hadn’t prayed for the person God put on my heart. As I prayed for this awesome woman of God to feel His love and give her the deep desires of her heart…
I realised a song was playing in my earphones resonating the principle of Kingdom Multiplication
- “All things once sown in weakness are raised in promise” (Song: All things Rise, Vineyard Worship)
- Acts of obedience, sown in faith in spite of our weaknesses, evoke God’s power to be Multiplied
- He multiplies our effort exponentially, maybe not exactly how we expected, but trust He does and it’ll be in His timing.
1 Corinthians 15:44 TPT
“It is ‘sown’ in weakness but will be raised in power. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body”
I felt such joy bubbling up inside me as answers to questions about our business, family life and other simple things popped into my head.
I suddenly felt so excited and inspired and couldn’t wait to get home and jot everything down!
As for the exercise, I was so energised by what God was speaking to me I felt like I had more energy than ever!
I was burning on the inside and filled to the brim with Joy.
I want to encourage you keep going, leaning your ear to Jesus’ chest, so you can sense and experience all the fullness of joy- and every sweet fruit of the spirit- that He has in store for you this year.
Am I looking forward to fasting again next week?
You Bet! Actually, I can’t wait!