Posted by Kaylee K on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Under: Faith
As we are traveling, we have had the opportunity to worship at several churches across Middle America. In Austin, we have been impacted by a church whose pastor is leading them in 40-days of prayer and fasting (http://www.acfellowship.org/). While he is doing an actual fasting from food for 40 days, he has instructed that this fast can look different as each person discerns -- perhaps it is 40 days without social media; maybe fasting 1 day each week or 1 meal each day during the 40 days; or there could be a particular food that someone chooses to abstain from for 40 days. During our visit a couple of Sundays ago, John and I both felt led to participate in this fast. For me, God is bringing my awareness to "satisfaction".
Across this last week and a half, I've become aware that I do not really have a sense for when I am satisfied and can "stop" (stop eating my meal, stop striving for something else to do with my time, stop bingeing on chocolate...whatever the case may be). Initially, it was with food that my awareness of satisfied was being tuned. However, this past week, as I was trying to figure out what to "do" with our Friday night after a very busy and fun week, I suddenly sensed the question, "What if there isn't anything aside from getting some dinner and staying home to do tonight? Has this week been enough?" The answer was, "Yes" and I immediately felt a sense of relief from the need to figure out "something".
What is it about our culture that seems to always be driving us to seek "more" and then suffer the resulting lack of satisfaction with what is? Could it be that God really meant it when He said, "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps 46:10a)? What might happen if we each learned to be satisfied with what we have, who we are, what we do, and truly recognize that God has provided all we need. I suspect we would begin to experience a peace, start to recognize our blessings and truly experience gratitude, and then realize we actually are not just satisfied, but have abundance and can share it.
To see what the Bible has to say about this, I searched "satisfied" on BibleGateway.com. I didn't need to go any further than the references in Deuteronomy to be convicted and encouraged. Not only does this speak to the sense I was getting about satisfaction, but it also ties into John's and my call and conviction to work alongside the church to care for refugees (i.e., the foreigner, orphan, widow). I love how God leads us!
Here's what I found:
Deuteronomy 8:10 (NIV) "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you."
Deuteronomy 11:15 (NIV) "I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied."
The verses after both of these references warn us to be careful to recognize God and His commands or we will be tempted in our satisfaction to look elsewhere. Satisfaction should point us toward God, but it seems there is a risk that this lack of need (i.e., being satisfied) can give us a false and dangerous sense that we do not need Him.
So then, what might be the right purpose of satisfaction? The book of Deuteronomy goes on to further instruct that we should share what we have with the Levites, widow, orphan and foreigner so they too become satisfied. This is both to God's glory and our blessing.
Deuteronomy 14:28-29 (NIV)
"28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands."
Deuteronomy 26:11-13 (NIV)
"11 Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Then say to the Lord your God: “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them."
It is encouraging to know that through our satisfaction we recognize that we have enough to also give to others. Through their satisfaction because of our offering, God is glorified and we show ourselves faithful and obedient. I pray that I will learn this lesson on even deeper levels as we finish this time of fasting on Sunday and then move into a season of celebration.
In : Faith
Tags: god orphans refugees widows foreigner