Monday, January 7, 2008

The Start of 21 Days

Today begins 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting within our church. The reason we commit to 21 days is because it is thought that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Therefore, if we are able to commit 21 days to prayer, the hope is that it will become a habit and will become something we all do every day.
We fast so that attention can be redirected from things that take our focus off of God and put it back where it belongs...on God. Everyone will choose a fast that works for them or where they feel God is calling them. Some will fast certain kinds of food; some will fast all food; some will fast t.v.; others will fast the computer. So many of us put so many things before God, and the hope is that by giving some of these things up, we will put our focus back where it belongs...on loving God (Ok, very repetitive...sorry!).
I wanted to kick start my 21 days with some verses that God has used to speak to me.
James 1:3 You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. The Message.
I love the way this verse was worded in The Message. How true it is. It's always said you can see a person's true colors when things don't go their way or when things get tough. The same goes for faith. Are you full of faith only when things are going well? When things get tough, does your faith go out the window? This year, my faith has really grown. I used to completely lose my faith when things got rough. I expected the worst. I am proud to say my faith is growing day by day. I'm definitely not where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I was a year ago!
This is a verse I taught Tristan last week because it spoke SO strongly to me.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. NIV
How powerful is that?! Awesome! If we commit our plans to the Lord, they WILL succeed. Period. End of story. I claim that verse and am expecting BIG things in 2008! Thank you, God!
I used Proverbs 16:3 to create a song that would make it easier for Tristan to learn. Now we sing it all the time. He loves it. It melts my heart to hear him sing it. And something really cute is that when I was teaching him what the verse means and we were talking about it, I asked him what kind of plans he has for this year. He told me he wants to be a strong soccer player. So we prayed, committed his soccer playing to the Lord for His glory, and now we're expecting Tristan to succeed. We believe he will be a strong soccer player. :D
The following verse has been speaking to me for the past week as well:
Proverbs 13:4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. NIV
Oh how important to remain diligent in all that we do...especially if we expect success. We won't become successful by merely sitting on our rears and waiting for things to get done. We must strive to become dedicated workers in all areas of our lives.
While doing a Bible study in Ephesians, I read Paul's words and this has become my prayer, and I ask that you will pray this for me as well.
Ephesians 6:19-20
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.
This is one of many areas that I need major growth in. I let so many opportunities pass without sharing my faith or the hope that Christ holds for all. This is an area I hope will strengthen throughout the year and the rest of my life. I'm not content to watch those I love spend an eternity in hell simply because I didn't do my part.
This post isn't the most eloquent, but it is my heart. I wish I had more time to devote to making the words flow, but I don't. Please forgive my haste.