Monday, February 18, 2013


For millions of Christians around the world, the Lent Season building up to Easter has begun and many of those millions are participating in fasts of some sort. During the first 21 days of 2013, the entire We Will Go ministry family participated in an important fast for vision and direction. A series of blog posts were written that included testimonies and reflections that spoke to the change God brought and continues to bring in our lives through those weeks of seeking His heart. These posts point to two core realities: 1) Jesus is perfectly worthy to receive all praise, honor, and thanks! and 2) Our WHOLE lives must change after an encounter with the Living God because He never stops refining His creation.

Concluding this series was a story written by fellow missionary Levi Gill with insights from several of the We Will Go team that I want to share with you here at Musings from Graceland. Taken together these words illuminate a path forward — into the reality of heart-change. May they encourage you whether or not you are participating in a Season of Lent. Who knows, maybe they'll even encourage you to consider whether fasting is something the Lord might be leading you to do even if you're not part of a Christian faith community that normally participates in Lent or even promotes fasting.

“We’ve fasted and you’ve spoken, God. Take this hunger and draw us deeper.”


We are daily challenged to find God in the midst of broken lives in downtown Jackson. Without God, our efforts to help friends and neighbors always lack a key ingredient: “unconditional” love.

We know we need access to Love that really empowers and actually sets free.

Put simply, we sought experience with the above kind of love through our 21 day team fast. We did it through bold and continual communion with Father God thorough Holy Spirit.

In seeking to know the Lord better, we discovered a hunger for more than food. We found that “hunger” for God’s help increased with the absence of food. We learned we need His sustaining energy with ordinary calories missing. And He helped us!

Now we can testify from experience how the Lord can give strength to our bodies and our minds when we shouldn’t otherwise have it. One day in the middle of the fast I needed energy to participate in Saturday workday. I asked a friend to pray for strength. I prayed as well, and the Lord provided the needed boost. Thanking God for His obvious help was my only response. It felt so good to finally connect the dots.

It gave me a picture of faith. Faith is the audacity to say, “God helps me. He showed up and gave me strength today. I know it. I want more of His life in me.”

Missionary Laura Sims saw faith in action during the fast. She writes, “The LORD was so tender with me. I got really sick, but HE lavished HIS love on me while I was sleeping. HE confirmed next steps for my family. HE showed me that this time HE would display HIS mighty power to me! HE showed me that I am not to hide the season that we are in, so I should tell my story more. That ripped out some pride. HE also told me that I am not pitiful! HE is my DADDY! I learned to be very thankful for the season of trust that our LORD has us in. What an honor!!! It was an amazing fast, always such a sweet time with my DADDY.”

In Psalm 109 King David says he “gives himself to prayer” in response to false witnesses and wicked accusers who curse him without reason (vs. 4). Imagine someone giving themselves to prayer. Wow! It takes faith to go beyond the routine of prayer and to dive in completely.

We give ourselves to tasks, jobs, and people, but I never considered prayer. We give ourselves to non-eternal things and make earthly kingdoms. Giving ourselves to prayer as an actual source of sustenance was our goal for 21 days. After 21 days, we don’t want to change and go back to the way things were. Although we all return to eating in some way, we cannot deny the lessons learned in the midst – lessons that carry us beyond a special 21 day focus.

Missionary Elysa MacLellan writes, “For us, a family that participated by doing a Daniel Fast, doing without some of our favorite foods made us more grateful for what we DO have and stirred up in us compassion for those who often don’t have anything to eat or very little. And the fast did more than just stir up compassion; it also made us more committed to helping those who have to do without. My kids learned to be more grateful for the simple fare and learned to appreciate even more the blessings that God has given us.”

A commitment to helping those who do without comes with a price tag: total surrender and a willingness to keep growing.

Later in Psalm 109 King David says his “knees are weak through fasting” (vs. 24). It’s clear David trusts God completely for help against his tormentors. His lowly position and weak body teach us that prayer and fasting empower us to call out for God’s help – help for ourselves and help for the task of helping others.

We found our hearts have to change when we get close to God and cry out for help.

Praying for my friends and neighbors, for their struggles, trials, and victories – for the broken and impossible situations – changes the way I see them. Sometimes all I can do is lift them up before God in prayer because I so often lack an answer to the need. He softens me when I pray for my family – for breakthrough in splintered relationships that seem beyond repair.

This softness becomes a strength. When I am needy, I’m discovering, it’s not the same as helpless. When I’m needy I look to God for help, and He gives me vision to see where to step next. He strengthens my willing spirit!

For WWG volunteer Kathy Still, a willing spirit looked like listening and receiving words of life. She writes, “The Lord spoke so clearly on the hardest day of the fast. I am just a ‘simple person’ who loves my Jesus, and yet God speaks to me. Here is what He told me: ‘You ARE somebody. You ARE worthy of My love and everybody else’s love. You have compassion for others. Stop feeling like you are nothing. I have many plans for you. YOU ARE MY CHILD!!! I created you! You have forgiven others, so forgive yourself.’ ”

God motivated us to move forward with what he’s already asked them to do. He tells us to move forward, as Kathy shared, by first recognizing our position as members of His family.

By this, we are encouraged to increase our faithfulness in the small things, which are like joints and fasteners and glue, keeping the structure unified and strong. It’s a beautiful thing – giving ourselves to fasting and prayer – and we are grateful for such a worthy King and gracious Father.

At the end, we press on toward the goal of daily connectedness to the source of love unconditional. Through faith in Jesus we have power for the main task in front of us: loving God and loving people.

Food only energizes the body for a short while. We generally spend lots of time preparing food, thinking about food, planning what eat, talking about our favorite food, and cleaning up after we eat. After a few hours we are hungry again. With such a fleeting energy source, we long – even more – for that which lasts forever. We are hungry to say as Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34).

To read the others stories in this series, visit the We Will Go Ministry blog:

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