When God called me to a fast unto worship through song and dance He reminded me that I was created for His pleasure. And that…
I was made to worship God,
and to bring Him glory.
“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” Isaiah 43:7
“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:11
I was excited for the hour each day when I would find some new songs, dance unto the Lord, read scripture out loud, and intercede for others. I knew it would be a time commitment, but I wasn’t expecting it to include dying to self and I wasn’t prepared for the battles between my spirit and my flesh.
It didn’t take long for other things to become “very important.” There were things that “needed to get done.” A battle would go on in my mind as I tried to justify why I needed to skip worship that day. Some mornings it seemed I was just going through the motions. My worship seemed mechanical.
But then I remembered, this is a fast. Just as with a fast of giving things up, of saying “no” to certain things, this fast unto worship requires obedience, a pushing through of the flesh no matter what else may seem “very important.” No matter how I may feel.
I’m so glad God gave me this verse…
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2
I’m finding this fast is giving me some understanding of how my soul prospers; that when my soul prospers everything else lines up. I know God has called me to fast an hour a day, to worship Him through song and dance, and the Holy Spirit within me longs for the fellowship and the intimacy that provides, but my flesh isn’t always convinced.
I am body, soul, and spirit. I am created in God’s image and my spirit has been made alive through faith in Jesus Christ. I have a soul that will live forever because God’s Spirit lives within me, and my spirit and my soul are housed in my body of flesh and bones. While my spirit cries out for this fellowship, this intimacy, my flesh has its own ideas, its own plans.
My soul (my intellect, my emotions) is caught between my spirit and my flesh.
The one I choose will determine whether my soul prospers or not.
My soul prospers when I deny my flesh and obey my spirit.
There was one particular day of this fast that I experienced an amazing hour of singing and dancing unto the Lord. I can’t put into words the way my soul was so filled, so satisfied! That fullness carried me through my day with a joy and ease I have rarely experienced. The verse, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” became real, tangible. I realized in a new way that, yes, when my soul prospers, everything else prospers.
Along with my verse for the New Year, God prompted me to watch the movie, “War Room.” God has used this movie profoundly in my life. I have no idea how many times I have watched it, but I do have most of the lines memorized! I remember after Mark, Kayla, and I watched it in the theater, Kayla turned to me and said “We need to buy that movie and watch it every day.” I came away from that movie with a passion to be like Clara. I can relate to her role…she experienced some things in her past that she regretted. But rather than living in regret, she chose to obey the Lord, and to speak from that regret with warnings, encouragement, and godly counsel, to another woman who was going through similar situations, so she wouldn’t “step on the same land mines.” I had the awesome opportunity to meet “Clara,” to get her autograph, and to even give her a hug of appreciation for all she represented in that movie. She was a woman who knew the importance of spending time alone with God. She knew the importance of denying self, and of fighting the battle between the spirit and the flesh.
She made room in her day for prayer.
She made room in her house for prayer.
Because she denied herself and won the battle between spirit and flesh, she was able to fight the real battles of life…
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
There is a battle taking place for my soul in the spirit realm. Though my spirit has been made alive, and God’s Spirit lives within me granting me abundant and eternal life, as long as I live in this body of flesh, the battle for my soul remains. The enemy of my soul wants to keep my flesh at work so that my soul doesn’t prosper. As long as I listen to my flesh, to its cravings, its feelings, and rely on its understanding, my soul will not prosper.
This is the strategy of the enemy…to keep my flesh striving so that my soul doesn’t prosper, so my health doesn’t prosper, so my life doesn’t prosper.
Satan can’t keep me from heaven, but his strategies can keep me focused on the things of this world so that I am deceived and make choices from my flesh instead of my spirit.
Now that I am aware of the enemy’s strategies against me to keep my soul from prospering,
and now that I have experienced the incredible, tangible joy of how my soul prospers in the presence of God.
I pray I will push through the striving and the feelings of my flesh, listen to the desires of my spirit, and experience the prosperity of my soul, my health, and my life!
For I have been made to worship God!