Fasting causes one to s l o o o o o o w down and to wait and to really hear the quiet promptings of that Spirit of Truth. "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom." (Psalm 51:6)
It was in one of those slowing down times last week that I believe the Spirit helped me to discern truth. I had just finished reading this portion of my new treasure, "Ask What Ye Will" by Flavia Gaines Leitch: "Banish the foes of your soul's welfare from your mind. Pursue them with relentless determination. Anxiety, worry, fear, criticism, condemnation, harsh judgment, impatience, anger, and an unforgiving, unloving spirit... ALL MUST GO. They are not trees planted by the Father. Uproot them. Banish them from your heart. 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.' If a single unholy emotion is allowed to remain in your heart it will come out some way, somehow, and will cast a shadow over your entire nature."
OKAY, now I'm remembering the rude (angry) behavior I displayed in front of my daughters when a foolish teenage girl ran in front of the van (we were just driving through a GREEN light! DUH! Were you even thinking? Note to self, teenagers brains are not fully formed yet) and I yelled at her. Yeah, I actually got out of the car, can you picture me doing that?! Yuck. I'm thinking also about some embittered thoughts I was harboring toward someone, oh, and I guess that whining I was doing on the inside about having to eat oatmeal again.
The gentle conviction of the Spirit is just that ~ gentle. A warning signal should sound when that voice sounds like shame and condemnation. The Holy Spirit may sound something like this in my head, "Um, Dear One, if you continue in those thoughts, they will take root and do damage... whadya say we do some cleansing?" Okay, I'm down wit dat, H.S., but how... ? 1 Thessalonians 5:23 "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through." Ahhhhh, those very words bring peace to me. They remind me that I am not the one responsible for my holiness. I must only open myself up to Him.
The even greater discernment came to me after reading this paragraph in the aforementioned book: "How can you be rid of them? Can you do it of your own self? Not any more than you can do anything else of your own self. ASK OF GOD. Exercise your will to be an overcomer. When God sees that you will to do His will, He will put His back of your will, and all the powers of darkness will flee from your life and your environment." Immediately, after I read that last statement, my thoughts said: "No, You've really just left me alone to take care of my own junk." I stopped. HALT! Hmmm, that was not a true thought. My very next thought was this: "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Now, that is more like it. I kinda felt at that moment that I was the guy in the cartoon with the good conscience whispering in one ear and the bad conscience in the other!
It is often easier to listen to the voices that would heap shame upon me, they seem more right than the alternative... "All the demons look like prophets, and I'm living out every word they speak..." (Jars of Clay). That is why I MUST, at all cost, cling to His Word. Thank God for the Holy Spirit, my Helper, my Comforter, my Intercessor, the Voice of the Father.
Fasting can also remind one of where priorities ought to lie. I was truly touched by the post over at Balancing Everything. Take a look-see if you get the chance.
Chuckle. Did you like my little plug for fasting?! ;-D