This post differs from previous posts. Periodically the Lord will prompt me to participate in a financial fast. Just as a "food fast" involves abstaining from consuming food, a "financial fast" involves abstaining from unnecessary spending of money. There are many different ways to fast from food and there are various ways to fast from spending.
From our viewpoint, the purpose of a fast, which may also be known as a "consecration", is to draw closer to the Lord. From the Lord's perspective, the purpose of a fast is to prepare us for something He wants to give us. Anytime the Spirit of the Lord instructs us to fast it is because He has something He wants to impart to us.
Every God-inspired consecration yields a spiritual gain or increase.
This is an important truth. It is ALWAYS wise and exciting to be invited by the Lord to consecrate a portion of your life. It is exciting because He has something He wants to give you! Any spiritual gift or truth or revelation or knowledge or understanding from the Lord far outweighs anything we are instructed to give up. There is no comparison between the value and worth of what He has the desire to give us vs what He directs us to give up, for a time, in order to receive it. Resisting or ignoring His prompting is foolish. Who knows if He will present the opportunity again? Or He may move on to someone who trusts Him enough to obey Him.
It has been a few years since I have had this experience. I am giddy with anticipation! It humbles me to know that the Lord is going to somehow make me aware of something that I currently do not know. Whatever it is, I am grateful.
At this point, I do not know how long the Financial Fast will be. It began this past Thursday. Basically, I am to refrain from any unnecessary spending. For instance, I can put gas in the car but cannot purchase the new eyebrow pencil I will need shortly or the pale pink earrings I would like to have to go with a scarf I bought a few weeks ago at Dollar Tree.
This is a synopsis of what has transpired so far:
Day 1 Thursday - I was at work and realized I hadn't brought food for lunch. I had a few little snacky items in the refrigerator in the office but not enough to fill me up. Of course, because of the fast, I knew I couldn't buy anything. About mid-morning I went to the break room and one of my co-workers had brought two big bags of lettuce from her garden to share with anyone who wanted some. I am a vegetarian so I was ecstatic! Yahoo!!
There was provolone cheese and salad dressing already in the fridge so I was all set. The salad was yummy!
When I got to church the evening of Day 1, there were free, surplus baked goods from the bread store. There was a nice fat loaf of dense, thick-cut, tender white bread and two large cupcakes. I had planned to eat my evening meal before church but had some errands to do so I ran out of time. So after church I made a delicious sandwhich with the free bread and ate one of the cupcakes. The Lord had made provision for my meals and showed me I didn't need to purchase anything.
When the Lord invites us to participate in what He is doing, He will do things along the way to let you know He is the One doing it, He has provided for us and He will help you to be successful.
Day 2 Friday - For breakfast I had a pop-tart and hot tea. For lunch I made toast from the free bread and another refeshing salad from the lettuce left over from the day before. All is well!
In the afternoon an email was delivered to my inbox alerting me to the fact that I had an online store credit. This wasn't money being spent because it was a credit that had to be used for merchandise. I put four items in my online cart and continued to the checkout. The total was more than the credit so I deleted one item and then only owed $5.00. I completed the transaction and went on with my day.
It wasn't until the next day when I was thinking about this post that I realized I spent $5.00 and shouldn't have. 👎 The Lord has not spoken to me about it and I have not had a check in my spirit. Having a check in your spirit is when the Lord causes a "catch" or a "pause" or a "signal" within that something is out of order. I didn't spend the $5.00 intentionally and the Father knows that. I was just in a hurry to get the transaction completed and didn't pay attention.
Several years ago I made a similar mistake a few days into a God-inspired food fast. In that case, I was required to begin the fast all over again. This time I don't know if my error will add two days to the financial fast or not.
Day 3 Saturday - I had a cherry pop-tart for breakfast and my husband took me on a nice summer date for lunch. Later in the evening I wanted some fruit so I drove to Kroger. I got a small shopping cart and headed over to the watermelons. Watermelon and mango are tied for first place as my favorite fruits! I thumped about eight melons, chose one and placed it in the cart. I had only taken a few steps toward the checkout line when I remembered the fast. Watermelon is not an essential purchase. I rolled the cart back to the melon bin, placed the melon back in the bin, put the cart away and left the store.
I thank God that the same way I thumped those melons to determine which one would be the tastiest, He thumped my noggin and reminded me of my commitment. Praise the Lord. I don't want to have to keep starting over!