You might have picked up on a theme in the titles in this series. I have to acknowledge the movie series starting Paul Walker and Vin Deisel for the inspiration for the titles. It just seemed to fit at the time. You’ll not though that in terms of titles from here on in I’ll have to be a bit more imaginative with some titles, so if you have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment.
Round up as ever and before entering this, the fifth part of the franchise, we began with my sheer ignorance to the subject. I’ve then established why this series is so important. Relationships as the key to growth was explored next and recently you read about how fasting opens your eyes to the riches found in the Word of God and how you can feast on that to your heart’s desire. It impacts corporate behaviour as I discovered at the time with quite a number of steers for direction coming through that session for prayer and fasting.
On arriving in the Stoke-on-Trent area in February 2000 I spent a considerable amount of time knocking around with Hughie seeing how he did ministry and that inevitably involved more times of fasting. I recall the first times I did it whilst doing volunteer work at Dr. Victor Pearce who had an office based in Hanchurch facility. Without the strict focus that was there for that groundbreaking weekend, the day seemed to drag and I did not have my mind set on whatever the purpose was for which I was to be fasting.
I even recall ignoring the advice I was given about the nature of the stomach as you fast shrinking. Thus it is important to ease back into eating with basic things rather than gorging on a big meal. One incident still makes me chuckle. The allotted time for fasting had finished and I was famished. A friend had bought in a healthy shipment of patties and they looked good to eat – even better to eat after the time of fasting. So despite the admonition of Hughie I set up for myself four of those patties to consume. No sooner had this task been completed than my groaning began. As I groaned and moaned, clutching my stomach and feeling unable to be of any use to anyone and any time in the near or distant future, Hughie mercifully laughed in my face at my folly. Lesson learnt. As the Bible probably would have said, reaffirming a Jamaican saying, ‘if you don’t hear, you’ll feel’.
A vital lesson also learnt at that time of fasting that is something so crucial to the exercise is that it is crucial to be focussed. Distractions come and go and so it is easy to think of other things are wander off and although you’re physically starving your mind is not on why you are in essence dedicating time to God. The benefit of the time is not in doing an act for God more as it is in what God chooses to share with you during that time and for that it is so crucial and so challenging to remain focussed.
Indeed this would be a recurring theme in a number of future endeavours and sometimes those benefits were obvious from the beginning, as others snuck up on me. In the next entry discover one of the first significant breakthroughs that personally allowed me to experience some of those benefits.
For His Name's Sake