Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 1211 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
I am Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Disciples Fast and Worship – Worldview Wednesday
Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1211 of our trek, and it is Worldview Wednesday. Creating a Biblical worldview is important to have a proper perspective on today’s current events.
To establish a Biblical worldview, you must also have a proper understanding of God and His Word. On our Worldview Wednesday episodes we are in a series in which we are covering another detailed review of a book from one of today’s most prominent Hebrew Scholars Dr. Micheal S. Heiser. We are taking a deep dive and will share Dr. Heiser’s insights into the question, which is also the title of his book “What Does God Want?”
Disciples Fast and Worship
Last week we studied how disciples fellowship and pray. This week we will explore two more specific responsibilities of disciples.
The first one is disciples fast.
Fasting may be unfamiliar to many readers. Generally, to “fast” from something means to abstain from that thing. To “fast” from food means to go without eating. This is the kind of fasting we see most often in the Bible, though not always. Jesus fasted (Matthew 4:2). He presumed the disciples would follow his example and warned them to not be hypocrites when they did so (Matthew [6:16]-18). Fasting isn’t about drawing attention to yourself. It’s between you and God.
Fasting isn’t merely about abstaining from food. You can fast from all sorts of things in whatever manner you want. Jesus wasn’t recommending a strategy for losing weight. He had something else in mind when he fasted and when he talked about fasting. While the Bible contains many instances of fasting, there are no specific rules. Paul noted that married couples might fast from sex (l Corinthians 7:1-5) to devote special attention to a matter of prayer.
But why do it? Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:5 about couples agreeing to abstain from sex for a time give us an indication, “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Fasting is a spiritual practice designed to help us focus on prayer. How does it do that? Perhaps an example helps. If you decide to fast from food for a day, whenever you’re hungry, you are reminded to pray. Your fasting is a reminder and directs your attention to the reason you decided to fast.
Another way to think about fasting is to ask what distracts us from prayer or, more generally, our walk with God. The answer might be our phones, television, or some hobby. These are all things we can set aside for a time (“fast” from) to bring our minds back to God and prayer. As an example, what if you decided to do a 24 hour fast from technology. Every time that you would usually check your phone or Facebook you would be reminded to pray instead.
Early church communities fasted so as to collectively focus on prayer (Acts 13:1-3; [14:23]). In the Old Testament, community fasting was also a way to show collective sorrow for sin and repentance (Jeremiah 36:6; Joel [2:12]).
Next, we will study how disciples worship.
You might think worship is easy to define or understand. Well, it is, and it isn’t. We too often equate worship with what happens in a church service, mainly the music. That isn’t worship, at least in terms of how the Bible defines it, though music and song were part of Christian gatherings (Ephesians [5:19]; Colossians [3:16]). Another propensity in our culture is to think of worship as an inner-directed mystical feeling or experience. That isn’t worshiping either. There are a number of passages we could think about, but let’s look at two.
The first one is Romans 12:1-2,“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
The 2nd one is John 4:23,“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.”
We’ve already talked about the first one in our discussion of living a holy life. How do you worship God? Live like Jesus. Don’t be conformed to the world—its values and self-gratifying pursuits. That is worship. True worship is thus a matter of the heart.
The second passage is interesting for a specific reason. Jesus told the woman from Samaria that God is seeking people to worship him. Worship is, therefore, not something that originates with us. We are invited to respond to God’s goodness and love. How and where we do that can vary. We can do this individually, with or without music, within or outside of a church service. We can also do that corporately, in fellowship with other believers.
When believers meet together in fellowship, they are to accomplish two things as we see in Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” In other words, they prod each other to spiritual worship—imitating Jesus. They praise God for his goodness, love, and providential presence in their lives (Acts [2:46]-47; James [5:13]).
). Praise included singing songs and making music (Matthew 26:30; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), but is unmistakably linked to holy living that is mentioned in Philippians 1:10-11, “For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ, for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
We cannot lose sight of the fact that our “spiritual worship” of God is intrinsically tied to the way we live as we read earlier in Romans 12:1-2. It’s not about a thirty-minute experience at home or in a church. It’s about a life oriented by, and directed to, God.
That will conclude our lesson for this week from Dr. Heiser’s book “What Does God Want?” Next Worldview Wednesday, we will discover two additional responsibilities for disciples which are “Confessing and Forgiving Sin, and Study the Bible” I believe you will find each Worldview Wednesday an interesting topic to consider as we build our Biblical worldview.
Tomorrow we will continue with our 3-minute humor nugget that will provide you with a bit of cheer and help you to lighten up and live a rich and satisfying life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 1210 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all, your friend as I serve you through this Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you tomorrow!