I am on Day 21 of a corporate 21-Day Fast sponsored by Fusions Ministries. I am designated their “scribe” which requires me to keep a log of all the written testimonies received during the fast. One testimony in particular left a lasting impression on me. The Faster wrote:
“The Lord delivered me over 20 years ago from sexual lusts. However while feeling prideful and smug, God revealed that I had just transferred the sexual lusts to other things: eating, shopping, watching unholy programs, and movies. Even to the point of recording programs while attending Bible Study. I thank Him for this revelation and repent by abstaining and deleting programs from my DVR.”
Wow, that bold testimony started me thinking about all I had “surrendered” and if I had indeed surrendered those things or replaced them with other affections. Sadly some things have been replaced.
For example, I stopped watching TV in 2011. I have been so proud of myself and quite judgmental, at least in my mind, of those who are victim to television’s pull. But since doing this 21-day fast I realize TV was simply replaced with more time on the internet, particularly social media.
However, even that outlet was unavailable to me during our 21-day fast. So instead of spending more time with God (outside of my 1 hour in the morning) I replaced my loss of TV and social media with snacking. Yes, I am the queen of mindless distractions but I need to stop because when these activities are engaged in inappropriately they become idols.
But God said, “You shall have no other god before me” (Exodus 20:3). Rhonda Hughey writes, “Anything that competes with our love for Jesus can become a substitute for our affections and worship…The church is in danger of continuing to give token devotion to God on Sundays, while assimilating to our culture’s idolatry during the week.” (Day 20 – Loss of Our First Love?)
Where do you spend most of your time? What things do you treasure? The Bible reminds us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
This may all seem like “too much” or “over-kill”. You may be thinking, Doesn’t God want me to enjoy life? Of course He does. He told us, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).
But His idea of abundant living is the polar opposite of what the world tells us is abundant living. Case in point, Eve had it all: joy, peace, a wonderful husband, the Garden of Eden…she had it all. Yet she readily traded it all in for what seemed better, but in the end it led to death.
Today the enemy is out to trick us too. He knows that if we surrender it all to God that our lives will be far more than we ever imagined: joy overflowing, peace that surpasses all understanding, wholeness, and victory over our every circumstance. So he keeps tempting us with lifeless substitutes so that we reject the abundant life that God has promised.
God has so much more for us if we would just give up our idols and seek Him without distraction. Like Donald Lawrence sang, “Let’s get back to Eden and live on top of the world!”
My pray today is that I surrender and not replace.
How about you?
With God all things are possible,
P.S. Sign up today for Surrender Fast 2013. Forty days and a surrendered heart will change your life!