WHAT COMPELLS YOU?
If we are going to live lives that are “compelling”, then the first question we must ask ourselves is; “What Compells us?”
If we stick to the definition of compelling that we are using for this series then the question must be asked and answered according to this….
“To have a powerful and irresistible effect, to influence, to draw near.”
According to this definition, what compels you?
Embarrassingly enough I am “compelled” to cupcakes at times. The decadent icing on top of the moist, delectable cake is at times irresistible to my tastebuds. More than that, the power they can have over me to falsely sooth my sorrowful disposition, compels me more times than not to eat them!
As silly as that example was, on a more serious and important note, I am also compelled to read the Word of God for I know what it has done for me before! It is also a powerful and influential tool in my life.
I do not know what your answers to this question are, but I do know that there is no shortage of compulsions in this world we live in. Eating, drinking, spending, gambling, gaming, just to name a few!
Truly, we were created with a nature to be compelled and to compel others. The question we must face is, Is our compulsion compelling ourselves toward God, or repelling ourselves away from God?
So again, I ask, “What compels you?”
In II Corinthians 5:14-15, we read what should compel us, and WHY!
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for ALL, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” II Corinthians 5:14–15
I do not know about you, but at times in my life this is easy, and at times in my life this is very hard!
There are some days when my first thought is to run to my Bible, open it’s pages, soak in it’s wisdom, and pour my heart out to God in prayer.
There are other days when all I want to do is sit and eat cupcakes!
The COMPELLING part is what balances me, and keeps the two in proportion!
In order to be compelling, I must learn to be compelled toward God and His Word!
This is something I must do each and everyday!
There is no better practice I know to develop this discipline than FASTING!
Spiritual fasting is all about giving up something to focus on God! To instead of reaching for that cupcake, or cup of coffee, or diet coke, or program, or phone call with a friend, or retail therapy, or…..you fill in the blank, I reach for God. I open His word, I say a prayer to Him and I develop a compelling nature to spend time with Him alone.
While there are many scriptures on fasting and many books written on how to fast, and why you should fast, my favorite is the example set by Jesus Himself…
“After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.” Matthew 4:2
I am not telling you to fast from all food for 40 days and nights. What I am saying is that, if Jesus knew that fasting was important, then so should as well.
Tomorrow, Wednesday March 13, marks 40 days until Easter! Forty days until we celebrate the most important day on the world’s calendar. The resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! If you would like to practice exercising your spiritual muscle, then you could join me in a 40 day Fast. We will begin tomorrow and end on Easter Sunday!
A fast can be anything at all that you choose to give up for a time, commit that time to God, pray to Him and read His word.
It is wonderful to have a book or specific scriptures that you can read each day to help you through. I am using the book by Mark Batterson, ‘Draw the Circle.’ It is 40 days of testimonials to God and scripture. It makes it perfect for a 40 day fast.
You can find another book, or read through a book of the Bible. Daniel is a great book for fasting since Daniel himself sets a great example for us in this discipline.
Remember, fasting is not a diet! It does not even have to involve food at all. It is for the sole purpose to sacrifice something in order to draw our attention to God!
Just imagine how compelling we may become as we draw closer to the One who compels us to Himself!
Speak Truth Love