Day 13, Wednesday, March 7, 2012
We saw yesterday that Christ’s followers’ fasting is different from other fasting. It’s different in one more way: Lenten fasting requires not just giving up of food and stuff, but offering ourselves completely to the Lord. Repentance is a prerequisite when we fast from food. However, what is even more important during fasting is that we learn to offer ourselves, our sins, imperfections, shortcomings and all to God the Father. It is for the purpose of Him accepting us as we are and then working on us as a Master Craftsman according to His perfect will and use us for His glory. So, God desires that we present to Him our whole beings. However broken our lives may be, God can and will still work on it, as the Psalmist David wrote out of his experience: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
When we are ready to give up ourselves completely at the feet of our Master, we will acknowledge our powerlessness. We will also give up our illusions that we are the masters of our own destiny and our world. This will help us give up control that we so strongly want to have over not just ourselves but also over others. Surrendering ourselves will bring us to the acknowledgement that we are not really the masters of this universe; rather, it is God, the Creator, who is the Lord of the universe. Such a realization is truly humbling because we resent so much being told that we are powerless and not in control. But when we are brought to this point, we too can say along with the Psalmist: “In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame” (Psalm 71:1). Another Psalmist promises that, “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3). May God help us during this Lent to bring ourselves at His altar and give up our self, control, and possessiveness and to start believing that Jesus became powerless for our sake. And that it was through the surrender, weakness, and vulnerability of Jesus Christ that God worked out the salvation of humanity! He can fulfill His purposes when we give up ourselves at His feet. Amen.