Recently, PAUSE66 hosted their winter “Shades of You” event with a Ladies Paint Night. The theme was, “The Vision to Excellence: What Path are You Following in 2018?” This was explored by giving the ladies an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that they encountered during the year. Afterwards, they wrote those obstacles on a canvas and painted “red bottom shoes,” to symbolize the trail that they will follow in 2018.
My intent for this activity was to create something that will serve as a constant reminder of the path of life God orchestrates. Many of us have dreams and goals that we want to pursue, but distractions often get us sidetracked and those plans never get started. Unless steps are taken towards turning dreams into concrete plans, those visions never become a reality. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps.” Being able to accomplish what God desires, takes His guidance. Following those directions requires focus.
One way to train yourself to hear from God is to fast; abstain from food for a certain period of time. There are several types of fasts, but the one that I enjoy starting my year off with is called “The Daniel Fast.” This fast is based on one done by the Prophet Daniel (Daniel 1:8-14). It is a partial fast in which some foods are eaten and other foods and wine are restricted. Every year starting on January 2nd, my church begins this endeavor for 21 days. It is a great way to start the year.
This tradition is a challenge because sacrifice is required. It is meaningful because this is a great representation of what it takes to focus on the path God desires for us. The sacrifice can cause participants to focus on the things that are important. Denying oneself of favorite addictive foods forces one to find strategies to deal with those cravings. It encourages you to lean and depend on God for His help during your temptations. This is how God wants us to to live; to trust Him and to ask for guidance in every area of our life.
I look forward to starting my year off in this manner. It provides an opportunity to purge, so that I am ready to receive whatever God wants to impart to me. I can more easily tune my ears towards God, so that he can make the necessary adjustments without any distractions. Listening to God’s voice is a requirement to know the steps that God wants to ordain.
Please consider joining me during the January 2018 Daniel Fast. Even if you have never fasted, you can still participate. Start the year off with God as the focus and you following His footsteps. Let’s support each other as God continues the process of molding us into His masterpieces! Email me to get started: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Starter: Speak to my heart today. I want more of you Heavenly Father and I want you to lead my pathway Guide my life and give me a vision to pursue. My life is not my own, so I will surrender it to you. Your will be done in every area. Amen