devotional day 9

Breath, focus, share; these are fasting principles to remember in the next 21 days.

Take a breath - you will survive.

  Focus - make some goals during this fast and then focus.

Share - God wants to hear from you; your joy, your pain, your frustration - everything.

Allow God to speak to you through the devotional below during your fast

from rick clack, leadership school student

When I was 18, I worked in the oil fields of Kern County. I was a new Christian who had just quit drinking and using drugs. Then I got a job where the same activity was expected in order to fit in. This time around it was with men almost twice my age. I was faced with the choice to retreat to the life I just came out of, stand alone as the only Christian, or try to walk a tightrope and blend both worlds. My new life was literally a rescue from death so the choice wasn’t real hard. I suffered a lot of ridicule, name calling and was even set up periodically to see if I really believed what I talked about. I didn’t always do the right thing, but to my surprise God used even my failures to speak to the crusty old guys I worked with.

I recently removed and rebuilt a patio deck and cover at my house. I built my new deck on top of several of the existing pier blocks, thinking after 28 years the ground under the blocks wouldn’t settle any further. After the construction was complete we had heavy rains for several days. To my surprise two old blocks continued to settle under the weight of the new construction, but the newly installed ones were rock solid. To resolve the issue I had to pour additional concrete under old blocks. What a rookie mistake! This wasn’t my first building project. I knew better than to compromise the project by trying to create a hybrid, using new and old products. The compromise cost me a lot of time and effort.

The Lord never wastes and opportunity to teach us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) says,"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

The lesson from both the pier blocks and the job impressed on me that we face the temptation to compromise in almost everything we do. If living the vacuum of compromise didn’t matter, Satan wouldn’t tempt us with the idea that life would be better if we just give in - even just a little. Paul said that he beat his body to keep it in subjection to Christ. I’m not a fan of beating myself up - physically or mentally - but I get the idea that I’m not the only one tempted to compromise my integrity in Christ.

Paul also said in Philippians 3:8, “everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”