Fasting and Renewal

Photography By Janelle Darwish

Easter is a time to reflect on yourself,
your own sins, and repentance.
Turn to Jesus, be renewed in your mind,
and see things in His perspective,
by the power of His Jesus Holy Spirit.

One day while driving, the Lord said, “show them the same mercy I have shown you” 
I was still hurt and was harboring bitterness in my heart. ” I said out loud with laughter, “Really, did You forget how they made me feel, I can’t”!

Instantly, I remembered how I made Jesus feel when I rejected Him, and when I went to Him like an open book, knowing He has seen the worst in me and of me, He still forgave me.

Psalm 50, The Lord says, to free those who are being oppressed” How do we oppress and imprison ourselves and our own loved ones. We do so through Unforgiveness. When you forgive, you let God give justice, and you are free from their power, but be very careful; if you demand justice, justice will be demanded of you!

I have always beleived that Fasting was just denying yourself from food, but that is not always the case, “Denying Yourself”. Fast from negativity; this is a hard one because the way things appear, but instead of taking offenses personal, stop and ask yourself, “What is oppressing him or her”? It is said that hurt people hurt people. Harboring unforgiveness, resentment, gossip, malice and such, are the things that not only hold you captive, but your loved ones as well. You pass these traditions down to the next generation when you make hateful remarks about someone, or roll your eyes at someone you do not like, or worse, you gossip about someone. Gossip is a destroyer of relationships, and God does not take this lightly, in fact, Moses sister was almost struck down by God when she gossiped about her brother Moses. Moses interceded and cried to God for mercy. Instead of killing her, the Lord struck with a sickness. I would not test God in this! Your kids see and hear everything, and before you know it, the seed of hatred has become manafest into your own children.

But wait, we are talking about someone who hurt you right? Maybe they did these to you and destroyed your reputation among family and friends; I can relate to this pain and for years the wounds were so deep I couldn’t move forward because the anxiety was paralyzing. This is why taking one step at a time in your day’s journey with Jesus is so important for your healing and wellness. Jesus knows all about everything, even your pain. I wanted so much to live in the freedom He died to give me for so long, but never knew how. There is no instant remedy, it takes time, but as surely as the Sun rises every morning, the Son has Risen in your heart, and He is faithful.

Jesus tells the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18:21 about the servant who begged mercy from the king whom he owed a great debt. The king was about to take his servant’s whole family and sell them off into slavery as payment for this one man’s debt. The servant will be tomented day and night for his debts. When we are harboring unforgiveness we are tormented day and night by constantly thinking about how this person hurt us, and then we tell the story to others over and over again; sounds like a broken record after a while. We come to Him seeking mercy and forgiveness, yet within our own hearts, we are still holding on to unforgiveness and holding grudges; let them go now, and be refreshed by the cleansing of our sins with His Blood that cleanses us of all unrighteousness. Ask His Holy Spirit to give you the Mind of Christ, and His Heart for those who have hurt you. Pray for them, and bless them every time they come to your mind; do not entertain the devil by feeding off his lies; Jesus wants to bring healing to soul, but you need to do your part first by giving it to Him, and thanking Him for the mercy He had shown you. Seek counseling from a professional, instead of telling people who can’t help you get better; sure they can give you dry crumbs and bandage your wounds temporarily, but healing from the depths needs some professional help, time, and committment on your part. When the pain arises in your mind and heart, remind yourself of the things He had forgiven you for; this enables you to be merciful towards those who had hurt you. Be honest, the Pharasees were self righteous; we are the Righteousness of God only through Christ Jesus.