Community Fast, Day 1: Repentance

Shifting our focus from ________ to the Lord

Hi Normandy fam, 

We are kicking off a church wide fast here soon. Very few things make church people more amped or crabby than fasting! What a fun dichotomy! 
I would guess most amped people have had an experience while fasting, solidifying their love for it. I would also bet money they didn't start that way, more on this later. 
For the other people group, we could chalk it up to "crabby people be crabby". Or as any former wait staff can attest, people lose their manners and their minds when they are hungry. 

When I was in college, I was a YoungLife leader with my best friends. We decided, as a group, to fast once a week together. And we were TERRIBLE. We complained up and down, everyone within a 20 foot radius knew what we were doing, and at the end of the fast, we would gorge ourselves. I don't know if we all had blood sugar disorders or something but it was not a fruitful time. We were immature, performing this legalistic ritual while moaning about it's necessity. Like being in boiling water, our true selves bubbled to the top. Fastforward to a few years after college, I was struggling to find my way, struggling to handle life and was in a desperate place. Two of my friends fasted and prayed with me every Wednesday. I would spend time reading my bible, journaling and sharing what I was learning with my friends. I was hungry for food but I was hungry for the Lord. I needed Him, His peace, His Word and His encouragement. I met with the Lord there and it changed my faith, it changed the way I viewed God's character and how I viewed myself. Now I'm an amped person, still trying to fast and pray every Wednesday, looping in coworkers to join me. 
_______________________

Use this time to discover in which ways are you desperate for the Lord. In what ways are you dependent on yourself? As we begin on our church wide fast, repent and turn away from 
+ worry
+ self-reliance
+ anger
+ complaining
+ blaming

Going without things you need or want, whether voluntary or involuntary, is a surefire way to discover your idols. If you find yourself spending more time in these spaces than seeking the Lord, be honest! God cares about your heart more than anything.

Fasting puts stress on the body and it shows us our delicacy. Being hungry is a vulnerable position, being in need is uncomfortable. And it is expected of us. Matthew 6:16 says "When you fast..." Notice, it doesn't say "should you decide to fast" or "if you decide to do God a solid". When you fast, do so with a humble heart. 

Spend time fasting and pay attention to where your mind and heart go. If you are like me in my college years, take heart! Be encouraged and keep pressing in to fasting. This can be a very meaningful time if you stay tuned into your heart and mind. If you are someone who has had great experiences fasting, please share with everyone at the various prayer sessions this week! Let's all grow in our faith and unity as a church family.

Rachel

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Rachel Benavides has been a Normandy member since 2015, back when she was known as Chester. She produces photoshoots, hangs out with Jesse, one dog she really likes and one she could do without. #behonest