December 13, 2021
I want to be clear about this: “fasting” is not about food. It’s about “abstaining” from something. In our case, we are abstaining or GIVING UP wrong ways of thinking. This is simple. Too often, we make things harder and much more complicated than they really are.
Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” He did the heavy lifting. Now our job is to ‘enter into His rest’, by believing what He has already done for us.
Matthew 11:29-30 The Message
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Today’s thought that we are fasting from is simply: “I can’t…”
There are so many things that we think we CAN’T do.
- I can’t change.
- I can’t believe that.
- I can’t go on.
- I can’t make it.
- I can’t forgive.
- I can’t recover.
- I can’t get it done.
- I can’t find a job.
- I can’t find a spouse.
- I can’t go back to college.
- I can’t pay the bills.
- I can’t figure this out…and the list could go on and on.
Believe me, this MENTALITY and ATTITUDE, sets us up to fail, to quit, and to live a negative existence. It is a poisonous thought that we must no longer eat or drink of.
From TODAY ON…we’re replacing this thought with: “I can”.
Philippians 4:13 says: I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME.
4 My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.
Pray About Everything
2 I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.
3 And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you’re right there to help them work things out, do your best with them. These women worked for the Message hand in hand with Clement and me, and with the other veterans—worked as hard as any of us. Remember, their names are also in the Book of Life.
4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Content Whatever the Circumstances
10-14 I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.
15-17 You Philippians well know, and you can be sure I’ll never forget it, that when I first left Macedonia province, venturing out with the Message, not one church helped out in the give-and-take of this work except you. You were the only one. Even while I was in Thessalonica, you helped out—and not only once, but twice. Not that I’m looking for handouts, but I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.
18-20 And now I have it all—and keep getting more! The gifts you sent with Epaphroditus were more than enough, like a sweet-smelling sacrifice roasting on the altar, filling the air with fragrance, pleasing God to no end. You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
21-22 Give our regards to every follower of Jesus you meet. Our friends here say hello. All the Christians here, especially the believers who work in the palace of Caesar, want to be remembered to you.
23 Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
There’s a saying that goes: “if you think you CAN or you think you CAN’T, you’re right.” Either way, you’re right, because as a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
The Spirit of God lives in you. You CAN do what HE CAN do in you. 1 John 4:17 “As He is, so are we in this world.”
1. Think it: “I can”
2. Say it: “I can”.
3. Meditate on Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me!”
4. Give up the thought that there is anything you CAN’T do.
GET IT OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY.
Stop yourself every time you feel like saying it OR correct yourself if you do say it.
Got it? Let’s roll!