Last Saturday I checked out of a hotel in midtown Manhattan and made sure to tell the front desk employee that we had an enjoyable visit. Our overall stay in New York City (a first for many of my family members) was a great experience. The location was within an easy walking distance to Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Times Square, so there was never a lack of things to do. Eateries were also close by and the shopping possibilities were endless. In spite of the air temperatures being cold enough for snow and sleet a couple of the days, we still experienced comfort on every level possible.
Soon, I am going to purposefully “check out” from the normal comforts of life in order to tune in more to the heart of God. The Daniel fast begins in about a week at my church, and I purpose to be a part of this season of cleansing. It’s not going to be easy. Some of the comforts that I will give up include coffee, Diet Coke, sugar, meats, bread and television.
Jesus, my perfect example, also participated in a fast that lasted 40 days. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1). There He went without food, was exposed to the elements and wild animals, and was tempted by the devil. Common sense would ask, “Why put yourself through that? Can’t you have a relationship with the Father in heaven without all that suffering?”
“Checking out” for a fast is not about maintaining a relationship with God; it’s about going deeper. The Father is always ready to take us to new heights in our journey with Him, but we have to be still to listen. Jesus didn’t dare launch into His earthly ministry without first heeding the call of the Spirit to get alone with God and receive direction.
I am looking forward to discovering the treasures that the Lord has awaiting me this month. While the flesh will be made weak through denial, the spirit man will become stronger as I connect with my most Holy God.