Yesterday I enjoyed every bite of my Mighty Fine burger and fries after 21 days of self-inflicted starvation, otherwise known as The Daniel Fast. I have learned a lot during this fast. I learned that I need to set specific boundaries in my personal and professional life. I learned that certain things can set off old insecurities and cause me to react in a way I later regret. I learned that even though I failed in major ways during this fast, God still honors every sacrifice.
I lay in bed last night and cried myself to sleep. I cried so much that I woke up this morning with the most horrible headache. I was mainly filled with anxiety about breaking my fast. My mind raced as I prayed, “I could have been stricter with my food choices; I could have been stronger; I could have spent more time studying Your Word; I could have spent more time in prayer.” I was flooded with lists of things I would gladly give to God. I figured out exactly how much time I could spend teaching Life Studies and ministering to the broken-hearted. This morning I was consumed with these questions: “How will I feel after giving everything on my list? How will I feel when my personal schedule is jammed-packed with Life Studies and discipleship opportunities? At that point, will I feel I have done enough? What is my motive? Personal salvation? Salvation of others?” The Word of God is so clear that salvation is not earned by my “good works”; however, my “works” demonstrate my salvation.
I have never associated the word “potential” with positive things. How often do we say, “He/She is living up to his/her full potential”? The destiny God has for us is activated by our positioning rather than our potential. God’s calling is without repentance, but what about our positioning? Samuel’s life choices are what positioned him to be used of God. He lived His life in the house of God, serving the prophet, and learning. Samuel was prepared when he finally recognized the voice of God. It was David’s time tending the flocks that positioned Him to be used of God. The Lion and Bear were the preparation David needed to run in full confidence towards Goliath with just a slingshot. God isn’t interested in my potential; however, God is concerned with my preparation efforts. Preparation leads to Positioning. Positioning leads to Purpose. Like driving on a foggy road, the road will become clear inch-by-inch, as long as you continue moving forward. Faith requires my action.
Although giving of my time, sacrificing earthly things, and fasting all are pleasing to God, these things alone will never be enough. To feel the awe of His presence, hear His voice, and experience His love—this is truly heaven on Earth. And this is only experienced through a life of complete dedication.
By Danielle Parks