The fasting verses …

At the moment the Lord and I are having an ongoing debate about fasting. I have heard others do it as a matter of course. I have never tried it myself. I think perhaps I should. I have tried “not eating” but struggle with feeling ravenous very quickly. I listen and hear Him say, “Try it”. I am never sure what “Try It” means.

And I have an underlying “But I should” – because everyone else seems to – and I hear some talk about how “amazing things” happen whilst they are fasting.  They and their Lord share something special when they are fasting.  Am I missing out … am I not hearing properly … am I good or bad … ?

Because alongside that is the spoken (and unspoken) “discipline” involved: the training to do without, the practice of saying “no” to my “needs”, the extension of my faith through hardship.

So much of the good “teaching” I have accepted as being a “good Christian” – which means not “doing it” must also mean that I am a “bad Christian”.  Doesn’t it … ?

And today – this very morning – He brought me these verses:

The “fasting verses”

“Then the Pharisees and the scribes said to Jesus, “John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink. Jesus said to them, “You cannot make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.'”” Luke 5:33-39

He took me to just one sentence.  This sentence:

“The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

There we are. In black and white:

“They will fast” – Jesus did leave them – He went back to Heaven – I have read about the Ascension – then they “will fast”And that means me because it says so in the bible!

This morning we talked:

GSHJ: See Paul – the Pharisees had their own “disciples” just like John.
Me: Really Lord?
GSHJ: Yep – really. Disciples are just “followers”.  Are you just a follower, Paul?
Me: I used to think so Lord.
GSHJ: Really, Paul? Even with me “indwelling” you are still “just” a follower? How so …?
Me: I USED to think so Lord.

Because I no longer think of myself as just a follower. The union He and me have is too tight. Our relationship is too close. In the same way as I am not a “follower” of my own father.  I am me … I just Am.

Just like I am not a “follower” of my wife in our marriage. We are both our own “me” – yet more than just two x “me” – more like “one” – we just Are.

Just like our own children and grandchildren are not followers – they are themselves – they just “are”.

GSHJ: So you think you are Me, do you Paul?
Me: No, Lord – I do not.
GSHJ: Then just “what are you”, Paul?
Me: Lord, I am me – that’s all I Am – I Am Me.

And we sat quietly for a while … and then He spoke:

GSHJ: Does that answer your question about fasting then?

And – oddly –  my answer is … Yes!

Because He had answered my question – without even mentioning fasting until that last question.

How did He do that … ?

“The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

… the bridegroom will be taken away from them …

… they will fast in those days

How long was Jesus “taken away from them”?

Not very long.  Very traumatically. Very suddenly. Very painfully – terrifyingly painfully.  But the Advocate? The Holy Spirit? The indwelling then, since and today? Is He “not here”, is He not “within”, is He is “not real” – right now this moment – and every moment?

You can try and prove that to me using every “proof verse” you can find – you can debate that all day long.  You can argue, yes and you can argue no.  My answer is very simple:

He IS here, He IS within, He IS real. I have just been talking with Him – and He with me. The bridegroom is here today, right now, as real as He ever was when He walked amongst the dusty peeps. I know – and if He isn’t real to you …

Why not?

So do I fast? Should I fast? Is it right that I fast ?  My answer is “maybe” … and “maybe not”.

Because it does not matter one jot whether I do or not … so long as I Am myself.  So long as I Am not trying to be someone else …  so long as I Am not just a “follower” in some things (and “Me” in others) …

Because when I am “just me” all the time …

Then He will show me.

(and all I have to do is to allow)