Back on the Blogk (3 reflections from a 40 day fast)

It’s good to be back online after a necessary break. Believe me – I return a lot more sober to the world of Social Media…

While You Were Sleeping

Can you take a message?

I communicated in this post why I was taking a break. I described a project that I was working on, and I’m happy to announce that I’m not as far down the track with the “project” as I would’ve liked to be after being away from cyberspace. Not that I found other ways to get distracted, but I sense that God was doing something a lot deeper in me. But first:

Let me officially announce

To some of you I may have communicated that I was putting out an album at the conclusion of the year called “LIFEmusic”. It looks like the album is going to be pushed back a bit, and not because I’m slacking in my game…

As I said in this post I initially took the period away from social media and committed to other forms of fasting (if you want to hear more about Biblical Fasting try this book by my friend Pastor Joey Bonifacio, and this book by Jentzen Franklin) to focus much more on my project. Little did I know that God was working on me during this time.

Not that he hadn’t been working on me before, but now, my world was a lot more silent, and I could hear a lot clearer.

REFLECTIONS from the 40 DAYS of PRAYER and FASTING

1 – Getting my priorities straight

I had the honour of speaking at Full Gospel Assembly here in Singapore a message entitled One Thing. Always so great to be with my friends there, loved the family atmosphere and was excited for their new move to their new building. Go FGA!

Speaking at Full Gospel Assembly Singapore last weekend - congrats on the new building!

This message though, was derived from a series of reflections that I had glanced upon previously from Scripture, but was prompted to go deeper in studying these particular passages and their mention of the phrase “one thing” in reference to what David, Paul, and Jesus Christ to as the one thing of importance (Psalm 27:4, Luke 10:38-42, Philippians 3:13-14).

I don’t want to give you the “punchline” other than to say study the passages yourself and see what you come up with. All I’ll say is, my priorities are a lot more straight now, and I will “press”, “strive” and “seek after” this in my life from here until the end.

2 – Identity

(don’t forget to check out our latest Identity podcast here where Josh and I talk about this)

Through a number of circumstances over the last 40 days, God has shown me how much of my identity is wrapped up in my performance at work, my ministry, and ultimately my public image in general.

Here’s one of the things that was revelatory in the initial few days off Twitter, Facebook and all other networking and blogging sites including this one – God began to show me just how much I cared what people thought of me. The feedback from my attempts at witty remarks regarding current events via 140 characters or a status updates became more important than what God thought of my heart. This was just wrong.

When the apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome about our spiritual and reasonable act of worship being offering ourselves as living sacrifices, Paul has just finished speaking for eleven chapters about how distracted and in desperate need of salvation humankind is, and how magnificent God is in all of his creation, and his gift of grace through Jesus Christ to receive us fallen beings once again.

Our right response is to let our reputations be sacrificed and allow God the position of glory. Here we find His intention for our identity. (check out this teaching from Jack Hayford – really impacted me with regards to this.)

NB – I’m reading this book by Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Ministries right now, and his testimony in the second chapter of the book has me slapping myself wondering if I’m reading about my own journey. A must for every member of a music or worship ministry.

3. You take care of going deeper, let God take care of going higher and wider.

(image courtesy of freefoto.com)

…his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers…

Psalm 1:2-3 (ESV)

This may be a simple reflection, but one that has hit home in a very real sense. A tree that grows by the stream gets its primary sustenance from that which is not seen on the tree – it’s root structure is fed through the soil and the water. Beneath the surface.

God is definitely desiring for my Christianity to exist a lot deeper in the area which is unseen to the public eye.

In summary – Here’s my prayer:

Let every public blog, tweet, status update, handshake, sermon, worship experience, concert, conversation, hug, offering, shout out, song,  and meeting come from a deep well of private worship and communion with Jesus Christ.

P.S. I love my wife Tina so much, and want to publicly thank her for putting up with her dramatic artistic husband for the last 40 days.

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4 thoughts on “Back on the Blogk (3 reflections from a 40 day fast)

  1. hi p neli, thanks for sharing your reflections and thoughts. Pt 2 was also a major issue God was dealing with me this season.. not just in the 40 day fast but i think my last 1.5 yrs..haha. but it’s come down to the straight and narrow – dying to self-pride.. thank you for the links and scriptures.

  2. Wow. What a blog P. Neli. Appreciate the humility and honesty put into this one. And i love how you’re always seeking opportunities to work with churches other than our own – it’s been my prayer lately that we will all worship God as one people!

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