So, I want to treasure Jesus. I mean, really. I want Him to be my delight and my deepest source of joy. and the problem is that I can’t just tell that to my heart and then wake up tomorrow and value Christ above all other things. Because I’m a little bit broken and distorted. And I’m reaping what I’ve sown. I love things of this world because I’ve spent 28 years nurturing and feeding that idolatry. I cultivate my love for worldly treasures by thinking and meditating on them instead of thinking and meditating on the things of Christ. Then I act surprised when my heart yearns for things of the earth and not things of eternity. But you reap what you sow.
And I’m hopeful that through the Spirit I can sow something different. So that I can reap something different.
A friend and I are going to be spending the next month fasting from thinking and meditating on those things that are competing with Christ for our affections. We are going to fill our minds with thoughts of things we want to consume our affections: namely Jesus.
And the point of this post is to see if maybe you wanted to join us. Maybe there’s something you are spending your time, thoughts, words on and as a result it has become more of a treasure to you than Christ. And maybe you too want to sow something different.
If so, here’s what you could do:
1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WANT TO FAST FROM. What is something that you have set your mind on that is of this earth; that is temporary? What is something you spend time thinking about or talking about even more than you think or talk about Jesus? What is something that competes for Christ’s affections? Below are some possibilities:
- Is it your earthly body? How much of your time is spent thinking or talking about your weight/eating/exercise or comparing your body with someone else’s.
- Is it guys? Make a mental note of how often you think about guys (or a guy in particular)?
- Is it the approval of your bosses or peers? How much of your time is spent making sure everyone is happy with you?
- Is it something you’ve wanted for so long that now it’s consumed your heart? How much time do you spend thinking/talking about this desire? Do you believe that Jesus is enough if you never get this desire; if you never get a husband, child, dream job?
Those are just a couple of possibilities, but if you’re still not sure I would just ask a friend what they think? Ask them what they think you may have your heart set on that’s temporary and not eternal. scary question. eek.
2. SET YOUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE. I think this is only possible through the Spirit. I think it looks like a Spirit dependence and constant prayerful awareness of where your mind is going. And then it’s an act of repenting and replacing. You can’t just stop thinking about something. Instead, you have to think about something else. Replace. Push it out. Think on things that are true. Set your mind on things above. Sow something new. Meditate on truth.
3. MEANS OF GRACE. the goal is to get more grace from God. And He has generously outlined some streams of grace for us, so these are the things I’m going to trust in when seeking to replace my current earthly thoughts over the next 30 days.
- Bible. Memorize it. You can only set your minds on true things if you know what is true. And the Bible tells us what is true. So find some promises and memorize them. Our mind really can’t think about too many different things at once. What if every time we were in the car we were reciting and memorizing scripture instead of wondering if our boss was disappointed in us, or thinking about how guilty we would feel if we missed a trip to the gym?
- Pray. Jesus is your only hope. In everything. Always. I want to love Jesus. But He holds all the cards. He alone has the grace I need in order to treasure Him above all. If my heart is going to be changed, it’s going to be an act of God through the Spirit. How I pray will testify to whether or not I truly believe that. If He is my only hope – I’ll ask Him for help. A lot.
- Community. I have a great friend who is doing this with me. We’re going to pray for each other like crazy. And ask each other how it’s going constantly. And send each other texts with scripture and prayers and encouragement. And fast together. In addition – I’ll ask other friends to let me know if they hear me talking about the earthly thing I’m working on fasting from. Accountability can be a great source of encouragement. Let someone know you’re doing this! Let me know you’re doing this!
- Fasting. I’m scared of fasting. Cause I loooove to eat. But I want to love Jesus more. And fasting reminds me what it really means to hunger for Christ. “Christian fasting is…a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away’.
I don’t think I’ll wake up in 30 days and be sanctified. But my hope is that if I think on true things and sow right thinking and imitate what I know is true than the God of peace will be with me. And that sure sounds swell.
I want to press on for the goal, the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.