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Crossing Cultural Divides
How can you cross cultural divides and engage with the strangers next door?

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Fasting Is Not about Persuading God

Will you consider the possibility that fasting is not about persuading God to do anything?
I believe we negate the grace of God when we drag an old‐covenant concept of the fast into the new covenant. Let me illustrate:
The longest “so‐called” fast that I ever did was for forty days, eating only vegetables and grains. But I consider that fast as sort of toothless, because vegetarians eat this way every day. What did I get out of that fast? I don't remember getting anything out of it other than an increased appreciation of meat.
I've done a few water‐only fasts for a few days at a time. And I went through a long period of doing a 24‐hour water‐only fast one day a week. What did I get out of those fasts? I don't remember getting anything other than irritability with a hint of self‐righteousness.
And then I began to realize that God extended His grace to me regardless of my efforts to try to persuade Him with my performance.
In fact, some of His greatest acts of grace toward me were at the times when I couldn't perform at all—fasting or otherwise.
For me, fasting was an effort to manipulate God—as if I knew what I needed more than He knew what I needed. If I could just perform for Him in a way that would please Him then maybe, just maybe, He would do what I asked of Him.
There is only one problem with this approach:
For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. (Luke 12:30 NKJV)
God already knows what I need—before I e

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