Almost every week, I receive a forwarded email containing the word "God" in the subject heading. So I take a peek thinking it might be an inspirational story, but as soon as I see that it is a chain letter, I delete it right away. I cringed at the thought that people, even people who call themselves Christians, would think or believe that you can manipulate or cajole God into doing something because you prayed the scripted prayer and forwarded it to at least 10 others. Jesus said " when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words, so do not be like them." Matthew 6:7.
Before I became a Christian, I used to be afraid of receiving a chain letter because I was told 'bad luck' will happen to me if I break the chain. And back then, you literally have to write (however many was called for) and mail it. No internet then! Not only was I lazy to write 1 letter, but also pay for postage when I could hardly buy bread? So imagine my anxiety when I received a chain letter and did not do anything with it. I did not know what to do; throw it away and pretend I did not read it or keep it and pray that no bad luck will happen to me. I would wake up every morning and wonder if it was the day I would have bad luck. I was even afraid to tell people I received a chain letter because I know for sure they would tell me more horror stories. What an emotional blackmail!
Thank God I have been delivered from that foolishness. Jesus died to set us free from sin and bondage. Throughout the Bible, it is very clear that nothing happens unless God 'allowed' it or 'caused' it. I do not believe in luck -not anymore -but in the sovereignty of God. I believe in Gods' blessings not in random chance.
The other day at work, there's this buzz about fasting. One is fasting, simply to cleanse and lose weight; good purpose and right motive. The other is fasting because she wants some "blessings" from God. She told me that she heard a pastor on tv say that -" if you want a big blessing from God, you should fast longer." What a blasphemy towards God to think that He owes us something, that He is obligated to do something for us because we did something for Him. And what really irritates me is that this is taught by so-called "people of God". These people may be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. If you read Isaiah 1 in context you will understand a little bit about God and His desdain for our so-called "sacrifice". God requires obedience, Not sacrifice. To heed is better than the fat of rams.
God wants nothing more than to bless His children, but with His blessings comes discipline. And it is the discipline part that we don't take so well. With the right heart -fasting is very beneficial, spiritually and physically. But when I walked by this ladys desk and saw the heaping of green salad, (almost 2 lbs.) and baked potato with all the toppings, with her lips shimmering from the dressing, I had to ask. "I thought you are fasting?" "I am fasting from meats, I don't like meats anyway, " her quick response. I wanted to roll my eyes, say something preachy then show her Isaiah 58, but I held back and remember instead that I, myself needs to fast. Fast from being critical.
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