This is wisdom:

March 15, 2008

Tonight at E-12, an end times Bible study group I attend, we touched on a topic that, on the way home, my wife and I discussed more in depth. The topic was on different types, or levels, of fasting, and the differing purposes of each. A speech fast will accomplish things that a sleep fast cannot; a Daniel fast will shift certain things that a water-only fast can’t touch; a one day fast has a distinctive mission that a forty day fast could never achieve.

My wife Kelly, as a nursing mother, cannot (and yes, should not) fast food. But as a mother, she is called to unique fasts that I, as a father, am unable to even sign up for. One is not more effective than the other – we must fast according to the Lord’s will. He alone knows fully of all the varying aspects we are to address, and will be addressed by, as we agree to fast. To prepare for and partake of (and even to successfully complete) a three week water-only fast with zealousness yet without wisdom cannot ever produce the full effect apportioned to you had you fasted as the Father willed, even if the fast He would have had you do was something much “less” than what you effectuated by your own strength.

Allow an example. Someone very close to you, a child of yours or your spouse, has been buried alive. There are a number of tools you have at your disposal: a shovel, a gun, and an atomic bomb. Though the atomic bomb is, without debate, the most powerful of the tools afforded you, and the gun would certainly be preferred over the shovel in some other context, you wisely choose the shovel. The bomb would not save your loved one, and bullets would be useless – only the shovel could bring them out alive.

Something that Kelly wrote on her blog was that part of the fasted lifestyle of a mother is one of pouring your entire being into your child(ren), and entrusting them to our Father, knowing and understanding that His plans for your child(ren) in this life may very well end in martyrdom – meaning that though you only desire that they be safe, you prepare them to die for Jesus! This daily fast does not include giving up food, but your very life, that another life might face death and neither of you be offended at the One whom they’re dying for.

Though this may sound incorrect, martyrdom in itself (when you partner with the will of God – 1 Pet. 4:19) is actually a type of fast, or at least, acts in much the same way as fasts do. At the opening of the fifth seal, John heard those who had been slain for Jesus’ sake, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Surprisingly, God’s reply to them was to “rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” Only by the blood of the martyrs can certain battles be won. Only by the shedding of blood can there be remission of sins (Heb. 9:22).

So let us always ask our Lord “how?” when He tells us “go!” lest we endeavor lighting a candle in a darkened cave using a grenade. And never be jealous of another’s function, or haughty of your own, but let us bless one another and exercise wisdom in application that we would be unified. Our Father created each of us to be unique, and He loves us all for who we are in Him. As sons and daughters of the Most High, be secure in *your* identity in Christ, and edify others in *their* identity.

In closing, I’d like to share a quick testimony. I have a very good friend whom I used to be envious of because of his particular anointing. Continually I would bring in prayer to the Lord questions and accusations and vows – I wanted what my friend had. So Father spoke to me, and began calling out to me, but He called to me using my friend’s name! I was taken aback – “No, Father, I’m Ben! My name’s Ben!” He replied, “But don’t you want to be someone other than who I’ve created you to be?” And I realized then, by His grace, of His love for *me* and for all that I am, with my strengths and my weaknesses. I want to be faithful with the calling on my life, but I cannot do so if I am not both aware of and confident in His decisions.

Holy Spirit, give us revelation and comfort!

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