There’s this great story in John 3 where Jesus was having a conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee, one of the religious leaders of his time. The story begins with Nicodemus approaching Jesus…
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Understandable, Nicodemus was confused by Jesus’ statement and follows with a question…
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
This question Nicodemus asked shows that he and Jesus were thinking on two different levels. Nicodemus thought Jesus was speaking to him about a second physical birth when Jesus was actually telling him about something that happens in the heart of someone who’s chosen to follow Him.
Jesus knew that following Him would mean that your life would be different.
Following Jesus means opening yourself to allow God to shape you, to transform you.
This is what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when he said, “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here!”
To follow Jesus is to open yourself up to transformation.
Throughout history, followers of Jesus have recognized that, although the actual work of transformation is the work of God, there are practices that can help open us to that work of transformation.
I love the way Richard Foster says it in his book, The Celebration of Discipline. Foster says…
“A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain. This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines – they are a way of sowing to the Spirit… by themselves, the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.”
This week, we launched a 21-day journey where we’re attempting to do just that, to prepare a place in us where God can work.
We’re calling it 21 Days of Fasting & Prayer.
Over the course of 21 days, we’ll be practicing a variety of disciplines in an attempt to create space in our lives for God to speak, for God to shape us. Each Monday and Wednesday, we’ll commit to fast from a variety of things. Tuesday’s, we’ll commit to read Scripture and reflect on its role in our lives. Thursday, we’ll spend time reflecting back on our lives. Fridays will be spent giving thanks to God. Saturdays will be committed to prayer, especially as we look forward to the launching of Walker Harbor on Sunday, February 12. Sundays will be spent worshiping together.
We would love for you to join us on this journey either through the daily posts on our Facebook page or by signing up for a daily email here.
For those of you on this journey with us, we would love for you to engage with us either through Facebook or by replying to the emails to share stories of the ways God is working in your life.
Pastor, Jeremy Kreuze