James 4:8 “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
This year I have been trying to fast on Fridays. So far I have been doing well at skipping meals and devoting myself to prayer. On my way to work last Friday, which was Valentine’s Day, the Lord spoke to me as I was driving in my car. He said, “Someone is going to bring in donuts to work today for Valentine’s Day. Even though you are fasting, you can still have a donut.”
Sure enough, when I got to work the receptionist called from the donut shop to say that she was running late because she was buying three dozen donuts. When she arrived, I helped her carry in the boxes and put them in the break room. Just like the rest of my co-workers, I selected my favorite kind of donut and had it with my coffee.
This story may sound trivial or maybe even dumb. Why would the God of the Universe care if I ate a donut or not? But the issue with fasting is not what you eat or don’t eat. The issue is intimacy- purposely following the biblical directive to draw near to God the way He says to do it.
My routine of fasting was not wrong in any way. But unless God breaks in to answer the fast, it can veer off into religiosity or religious routine. Intimacy prevents religiosity. The God who sees everything broke in that day to let me know that He was near and mindful of me. My emotions were stirred by something greater and more personal than a dozen red roses. Who else knows me in such an intimate way?
By the end of the day I confess that I actually had three donuts. But every sugary bite was a celebration of my God who loves to be intimate with my heart and lets me know- be it danger or donuts- what is up ahead for me.
Excerpt from Give Us Life!