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Fast your emotions

By December 12th, 2015Uncategorized11 min read
I was just winding up my quiet
time with the Lord when He spoke to me and said
‘Fast your emotions this week, daughter’
. That was a strange one! Fast my
emotions? Hmm!
I could relate with the fasting
bit. I mean, I have been on an extended study on the book of Isaiah and had
been meditating on Isaiah 58 that Sunday morning. I know that fasting is not
only about denying our bodies food. Indeed methinks that a food fast is the
most rudimentary of fasts. With the fast-paced lives many people live today,
doing without meals for most of the day has become almost a lifestyle. Millions
of people are too much in a hurry to stop and have a decent breakfast, and also
get so engrossed in work during the day that they forget or are unable to make
time for lunch. Dinner has become widely accepted by many as the one basic meal
of the day. What then would be a fast if you are one of those for whom this is your
Actually and in this kind of
context, a choice to simply deny oneself of any specific food can be more of a
sacrifice to God than not eating all day. I once fasted my top three food delights
for a month and I can tell you that giving up my one delicious early morning steaming-hot
cup of coffee, rice and beef for an entire month was a major trial. It put a
new twist to the words obedience, determination, resilience and commitment for
me. It demanded more of me than simply going without meals until 6pm daily
could otherwise have. But God placed a demand on my eating and asked that He be
my primary delight that month, and so I readily yielded the three things that
were my ‘I-can’t-do-without’s’ to Him
for that period. And oh was it so worth it or what? Faithful God that He is, He
honored my sacrifice and came through for me in the things I was believing Him
for at the time.
For many people, the decision to
fast television for a week is a huge sacrifice. For others, it could be a
fasting of their daily treasured soda-fest. I have heard of people fasting the
oddest of things, and I have also learnt not to knock any kind of fasting because
I can’t relate to it. We are all different and ‘different things’ mean different things to each of our different selves (this sentence is so completely
grammatically wrong but you get my drift right? Lol). Well sis, the beauty in
this is that God is so gracious as to meet us where exactly where we are every
time. He honors the 6am-6pm food fast as much as He honors the Coca-cola fast
by a coke addict. He honors the mustard seed faith as much as He honors the
great faith. He is no respecter of persons and He is not confined to the cultures
and perspectives of man. He looks at the heart, at the motives and the intents.
He is able to establish those who are truly fasting – irrespective of what it
is they are fasting for His sake, and distinguish them from those who are going
without food for the ritual of it or that they may be seen by men to be
righteous (or should I say ‘religious’). I simply love this our God, don’t you
All this to say that I get
fasting …true spiritual fasting that is. But in my many years of being a
Christian, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talking about an emotional
fast. So when God Himself said to me that I should fast my emotions, I had to
sit back and think that one through. All He said to me by way of clarification
was that I was not to lose my temper all through the week, and not to forget
this instruction – no matter what. Now if you know me, I am a calm person by
nature. Losing my temper is not who I am, rather I am the one most likely coaxing
others not to lose theirs. That God was placing a demand on my emotions simply
told me that it was going to be an ‘interesting’
week to say the least.
Let me be the first to tell you
that most of day 1 went by okay. I had a few touchy situations at work but handled
them calmly enough in my usual way. As I entered my house at the end of the day
though, I had to speak with my younger sister about something I had just
cautioned her about a couple of days prior. You know what? I started off calmly
enough by saying I didn’t want to get upset, and then I proceeded to do just
that. In all of two minutes I was yelling at her… and I mean yelling – totally unlike
me. Each time she said she was sorry, I found myself yelling ‘You should be’ and then going on at her
even further (shaking my head at myself). I felt like I was having an
out-of-body experience, watching someone else have an emotional blow-up. When I
finally forced myself to turn off the tirade, I huffed and hissed my way
upstairs. I went weak immediately I walked into my bedroom. I felt completely deflated,
like a weight of heavy air was expunged sharply out of my system. I slowly sank
to my bedroom couch in an odd calmness cum sadness and as I did so I heard ‘I told you not to forget, no matter what. Fast
your emotions, My child. Fast your emotions!’ 
I was intentionally very quiet
and calm for the rest of that evening and all week. I scribbled those words ‘Fast your emotions’ on several
worksheets I had with me at work. I muttered the words over and over again
under my breath. I was determined not to forget. I shared the mandate with a
friend who came to get my advice on something she was going through, and that
helped me minister it to myself afresh in clear terms. I prayed in the spirit regularly
and asked the Lord to help me through whatever this was about. Bottom line sis
was that I knew God was trying to save me from a set-up from the enemy that
would have cost me something major if I succumbed to my flesh. I had figured
after that incident with my sister that my emotions were in a more sensitive
place than I would otherwise have realized, and rightly so. It had been a busy
few weeks and I was pretty tired. I knew in that tiredness that there was an
underlying touchiness that would make for an escalation of things which I otherwise
would have overcome more readily. God knew this and He was preparing me to be
victorious above all else when the enemy showed up like a flood.
And did I see the flood? Oh yes,
sis! Oh yes! It came in a way that I cannot readily explain in one post. There were
the little waves of issues that kept cropping up, but which showed that a storm
was brewing (which I could tell only because I was being attentive). I responded
to each with a prayer and a yielding to the peace of God….and let me tell you
that it wasn’t easy. Not at all! And then in a totally unrelated way, things finally
came to a head at a meeting I had to attend later in the week. But I was ready
sis. I was spiritually alert and determined not to let flesh hold sway. And praise
God, His glory and grace more than made room for me. It could all have otherwise
gone very badly, but I held my own by the power of God and all things did work
out for good and to God’s glory. As I sat back and reflected on the week and on
that specific day, I could almost sense God smiling and saying to me ‘See?’
So what has this got to do with
you? No clue, sis except that when certain things are on my heart to share,
they are a sure word in due season for someone who will read the post. Maybe you
are in a place where you need to pay attention to your emotions – the overt ones
and the underlying ones. Maybe God is telling you to pay attention to the
things you are allowing to play out in your mind because of some raw emotions
you are dealing with. Maybe He is asking you to subdue flesh and allow Him be
the voice that will guide you in something you are dealing with as relates to
work, to a friend, to a relative, to your husband, your child….. or simply
something you are beating yourself up about. Sis, maybe God has had me share
this with you because He is trying to remind you as the year draws to a close,
that some of the things you look back on with sorrow in the year past happened
because you didn’t pay attention to the fine line between emotions (flesh) and
the call to obedience to His voice and word (spirit) and maybe He is reminding
you and I that for us to thrive in the year ahead, we cannot do life through
the same filter of flesh.
Maybe God is challenging how you
are dealing with a real and current challenge you are facing sis. Maybe He is
asking you to let go and let Him be God in a particular situation. Maybe this
is a word He would have you share with someone close to you that you know is
not handling things right in some situation or the other. I have no clue, but I
will be obedient and share this and allow the Lord use it in your life as He
best sees fit.
What I do know is this, daily as I
go and grow in Christ, my heart’s cry is for a deeper connection with my Maker;
a deeper alignment of my daily walk with His will and His way; an increasing
obedience to His voice – in so far as I have clarity that it is His voice, whether
or not I have clarity on the specifics of His assignment. My heart’s cry is to
trust Him more, to lean on Him more, to please Him more. I want to be led more
by His Spirit, less of me more of Him… a going back to ‘Zero’ day in and day out. Fasting my emotions this past week was
just one more exercise in Him assuring me that when I do it His way, the output
is always more glorious.
I don’t know where this post
meets you, sis. But wherever it is, I speak over you and declare that the Lord
will help you, as surely as He always has…. And as surely as He daily helps me.

Be blessed sis….. For you surely

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