Good morning, Five Minute Families. How is your fasting as a family going? Today is our third in the series on fasting. We are using the FAST acronym to discuss this spiritual practice. F - First things first, A - accountability, S - satisfaction, and T - trust. Today is about satisfaction, specifically finding our satisfaction in the Lord. As Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Before we fully discuss satisfaction in the Lord, we must differentiate between self-satisfaction and Christ-satisfaction. Parents are used to training kids to become satisfied through self-soothing by encouraging the use of pacifiers, blankies, teddy bears, you get the idea. Adults use food, drugs, inappropriate materials and more to become satisfied with where they are in the world. Obviously, we CAN train our flesh, and we are experts at doing so for using an item for comfort. Just as the rich man in Luke 12 was satisfied with his wealth, we can become satisfied with the fruits of our labors and our personal efforts at comfort.
Yet, Christ-satisfaction is a satisfaction unlike any comfort item we could possibly find. Christ won’t add shame, guilt, weight, or burdens to our load. We need not worry about the lost teddy bear when our comfort is in the Lord. We often want to distract ourselves from any pain, and the pain of hunger during fasting is no exception. But, we need to face the hunger so that we can turn not to food for our satisfaction but to God. But, how do we do that is not perfectly clear. Verses abound about finding satisfaction in God:
1. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
2. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
3. The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23
4. For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalm 107:9
5. For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish. Jeremiah 31:25
Here at Clear View Retreat, we want to help families find practical ways to apply God’s word. Our suggestions in how to find satisfaction in the Lord are not the exhaustive list. We are not offering a formula; if there is one, it is found solely in immersing yourself and your family in Jesus Christ and finding what works best for you all in each season that you walk through. What we are proposing are activities you might find helpful.
Be intentional for at least five minutes a day - together - to speak about the Lord and His goodness or His attributes. Keep the focus on Him and you will feel more satisfied than you would believe possible.
During family fasting time, make it a priority to write down both individual and family blessings that are pouring out. You know, like the old song, count your many blessings.
Continue to discuss what about your family identity God is affirming and what in your family identity God is encouraging you to change. Write these ideas down in a journal and review them in future family fasts. The satisfaction that comes from seeing God’s fingerprint on your lives is peace that goes beyond understanding.
Tied closely to family identity is family purpose. Think about the places God has each family member and how that family member can impact others for Christ. Brainstorm ideas together on how each family member can impact their circle of influence for the Lord. When we know and live our purpose, satisfaction is fulfilling and Christ-focused.
And, discuss how at the end of a hard, long day, there is sweet satisfaction in a job well done just like in a God-honoring fast.
Think of fasting like mountaintop experiences and valleys. There will be moments of desire for food (or a type of food) that seems overwhelming like the storms in the valleys, and then you will have moments of closeness to the Lord like those mountaintop experiences. But, we don’t stop and only wish for past mountaintop experiences. We remember them fondly, especially when in the valley of a dark moment, but we look forward and move forward toward the next beautiful, amazing moment that God will bring. Our hunger is short, and our reward is sweet. Be satisfied and be blessed!