Articles

GETTING CLOSER TO THE ONE WHO LOVES ME
I cry “Oh that I might know You.” Philippians 3:10
Marjorie Truesdale, Lent 2016

Have you ever considered fasting during Lent with the goal of closer intimacy with your Bridegroom Jesus? I heard a recent sermon on the topic of fasting, with thoughts from the Book of Ruth.* I am sharing only the basic outline, hoping it will spark interest and you will take the time to watch the entire sermon yourself. I am taking the liberty of giving the thoughts below but with a different title.

In the Book of Ruth, Naomi coached Ruth on how to be ready to be for her Bridegroom. The following thoughts are from chapter 3, verses 3 through 5.

1. BE FRESHLY CLEANSED

2 Cor. 7:1 “let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

Isaiah 1:16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Get your evil deeds out of My sight. Stop doing evil”.

2. BE ANOINTED

Anointing oil often has a fragrance. As we spend more time with Jesus, we will pick up His fragrance. He will anoint us with the oil of joy instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:3).

2 Cor. 2:14 “…to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ…”

2 Cor. 1:21-22 “…He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit...”

3. BE BEAUTIFULLY CLOTHED

Colossians 3:8-12 tells us the clothing to remove in order to put on the new garments. “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices…Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Isaiah 61:10 “For he has arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness.”

4. BE COMMITTED

Place yourself at His feet, not in His face, and not seeking His hand (give me this, give me that) but at His feet.

Matthew 28:9 “They came Him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.”

Philippians 2:10 “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…”

5. BE FAITHFULLY COMPLIANT

Our response should be like Ruth’s when she said, “I will do whatever you say”. Ruth 3:5

John 2:5 - “…Do whatever He tells you.”

Matthew 12:50 – “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”


When I have fasted in the past, I was usually asking for direction or intervention for a family member. This Lenten season I am fasting to be in His presence, at His feet, pouring out “time” as my precious commodity. Will the enemy be likely to distract me, mock me or whisper, “give up” or “quit” in my ear?

Yes, I can expect that. Just as he wanted Jesus to fall down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10), he will challenge my desire to spend time in worship. I need to be ready for his onslaught by being “dressed for battle”. Recently I have learned that I need to not only ask for the covering, I also need to have something physical as a reminder. I have a beautiful red, silk scarf with several Scripture verses imprinted on it in gold. Often when I am in prayer, I cover my head with the scarf as a representation of the blood of Jesus.

When I fast I find it helpful to fill out a contract, presenting it to the Lord. I am including copy of that below for your use. I keep this in my Bible, easy to see each morning. I need the “visual reminder” that I am doing what I have committed to, especially when I am tempted to give up or give in, “just this once!”


Planning Your Fast**

Before fasting, ask God to reveal purpose, what to fast from, and length of time (for this particular fast it will be the 40 days of Lent). Take some time to record your thinking process. Use the following questions to guide you.

My Commitment

What is my purpose and what do I want to accomplish in fasting?

______________________________________________________________________________

What is my Biblical basis?

______________________________________________________________________________

What will I be fasting from?

______________________________________________________________________________

What will I delete from my schedule in order to make more time to participate in this fast?

______________________________________________________________________________

God being my strength, and grace being my basis, I commit myself to the above fast.

______________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________
signed/Date


*The sermon referred to from the book of Ruth is, Five Things that Happen When You Fast by Jentezen Franklin, http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/watch/

** (The above suggestions for Planning Your Fast are from The Beginner's Guide to Fasting by Elmer Towns.)