Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who let the pig out?

This morning I committed to a couple friends to fast tomorrow for the She Speaks conference happening next week. This is an annual conference that trains women to lead women's ministries in their churches, and trains others to write and speak God's messages of grace and love. As you might imagine, that causes some stirring unrest in the spiritual realm.

Every year the P31 team faces a lot in the final weeks of preparation, and this year has been no different. And every year the participants do too as they start to doubt their decision or worthiness to attend. So I decided to fast and to pray over this for a day.

Here's the thing ... it was right after breakfast that I decided I would fast tomorrow - that's the day we agreed to do this together. And 15 minutes later I felt like I was starving. I ate some more. Twenty minutes later, still hungry. All day today I've had an insatiable appetite. I keep grazing and grazing, and still I feel unfulfilled.

What's worse, nothing in my kitchen seems to "hit the spot." Not my beloved Chocolate-Mint Zone bars, not my Quaker Simple Harvest dark chocolate chunk granola bars, and not even those Eskimo Pie Nestle Crunch pops in my freezer. Yes mam, that's right, I've eaten all three of those in the last six hours - in addition to lunch. Actually, I had two of the Nestle Crunch Popsicles. (Told you I love chocolate). Fortunately or unfortunately (however you want to look at it), I'm out of that Starbucks chocolate I last posted about.

I finally stopped putting food into my mouth long enough to ask, "Lord, what is going on here?! Who let this pig out?"

Slowly I realized Satan does not want me to fast tomorrow, so he's trying to get me to think there is no way I can possibly do it. I can't fast. I'll never make it. I'll be too hungry. It'll make me miserable. I'll fail. And then I realized I'm feeling exactly how the She Speaks attendees are feeling right about now: I can't speak/lead/write. I'll never make it. I'll fail.

And that was all I needed to decide to start my fast today, right now, instead of waiting until tomorrow. Because I can do it, and I will. And all of you nervous, doubting She Speaks attendees can do it too - and you will.

I realized the pig in this scenario is not me at all, it is Satan.

So despite my affinity for chocolate and coffee, no more for me until Friday while I focus in on God and take up the mantle of prayer. I tell you all of this because maybe you too have been thinking yourself a pig, or thinking that you can't try because you will surely fail. Well, I think you are wrong. And I have it on good authority that you are more than a conqueror in Christ! (Romans 8:37)


32 comments:

  1. I will lift you up tomorrow. It truly has been nutty leading up to this one.
    Charlene

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  2. Lysa asked all the proverbs 31 readers to pray for all the proverbs 31 speakers so hear I am I'm praying.
    "K"

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  3. Rachel, I'm not able to make the conference, but I am praying for you guys. The last couple of Bible Studies I've done - A Beautiful Offering by Angela Thomas, and Daniel by Beth Moore have both had a segment about Fasting. For the last 24 hours I've fasted, not food, but TV-my addiciton of the moment. My fast was going to be up tonight, in time to catch "Top Chef", but I think I'll stand in the gap with you and continue to pray and fast through tomorrow.

    Please pray for me that God will direct me regarding Divorce Recovery ministry opportunities and I'll pray for you and all the speakers and attendees of the PS31 Conference.

    Oh, but our God must be up to something really, really good for Satan to be in such a tiz.

    You're in my prayers. Blessings, Roxie

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  4. Rachel and all the P31 speakers, you are in my prayers. Rachel, I applaud your recognition of the truth behind the urges! I too have been led to think about making fasting a part of my walk. I haven't done it yet, but it is weighing on my heart. God bless you all and may your event be fruitful and beneficial to all! You are doing a great work.

    In Christ,

    Karen from CA.

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  5. THANK YOU! I am one of those who is thinking "what am I doing going to this conference?" I can't tell you how much all of the encouragement from the Prov. 31 ladies has meant to me! I know the Speaker's team has been under attack and I will be praying for you all as well. Thanks again for your sacrifice of prayer and fasting, I look forward to meeting you at the conference.

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  6. I'm reading these posts and I don't know one person?! I feel like I am going to miss a great conference...I will pray for all of you. Like I said, since I don't know you and the ones I do know aren't here as I post..I just ask that you all visit my blog and pray for me also because the devil is always telling me I am going to fail in the ministry and I refuse to believe it!!

    I pray that the conference meets all the needs of the attendees and that their speakers are filled with the Holy Spirit as they speak. Amen!

    Donna

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  7. I could so feel for you as I read your post!! I have often felt that same terrible craving when I want to fast. What a reminder that even in that we need HIM!

    I want to pray for you and the others--that God would have His way, totally.

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  8. Rachel,
    I will also join in with the others and agree and lift you up in prayer as well as the attendees. May GOD's spirit rest upon you! GOD BLESS!

    LaTonya/FL

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  9. As Lysa requested I have been praying today for all you ladies on the She Speaks Team. I pray that God will wrap His loving arms around you individually and also as a group. You're in awesome Hands!
    God bless you!
    Marilyn in MS

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  10. I'm praying for you! Now I will add chocolate urge control to the content! I can't wait to see you all there. It's going to be sooo awesome!!

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  11. AnonymousJune 11, 2008

    I'm praying for you! I'm so excited for this conference even though I'm not going. I'm excited about what God is going to be doing. All these things that He wants to teach, and all these things that He has already taught (to speakers and attendees), that He wants to bring together and work for His kingdom. So many more people that He can reach through the faithfulness of the teachers and attendees. So many more books that will be written to reach people that He loves. So many more people saved as a result. So many more people for His kingdom! He must be so happy!

    Rachel, I find fasting hard too. I read this in 1 Peter 4:1,2 the other day. I had never equated fasting with suffering before, but it's what spoke to me at the time.
    "Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God."
    For many years I stopped fasting, but now when I fast I find that things just work out beter, and come together easier, and I've been growing spiritually faster than when I don't fast.

    He's already doing so much through you guys at P31 ministries. I feel that you guys are so right on target. I can relate to almost everything that is written in the devotionals and magazine articles. I also feel part of all this (P31), probably because I'm part of this Bible study. Thank you so much for this study, and the open door you've given us women to share.

    Be encouraged! May God protect you and your loved ones and give you peace. May your eyes ever be on the One who's loving eye is on you!

    Connie, Canada

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  12. AnonymousJune 11, 2008

    To fullofgrace,

    I'm so glad that things are working out in your family. It must be hard to give your daughter up to live somewhere else. God bless you for looking beyond yourself to the needs of those around you. YOu seem to be at peace about it. I pray God's continued peace over you and your situation, and that He would continue to work everything out for good, and His glory.

    Connie, Canada

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  13. rachel ~
    i will be praying for ya'll this weekend and all the ladies that will be attending.

    isn't it crazy how satan works. how he can really get to us. i am glad that you were able to see through his schemes and realize what he was doing to you! WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US!!

    blessings to you ~

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  14. Debbie in Goose Creek,SCJune 12, 2008

    Thanks for letting us "inside" the author, Rachel. We ALL have some kind of sin that controls us. Mine also seems to be food/putting off exercise. It was a great reminder that I CAN do all through Christ...He will help me every step of the way if I'll just trust and lean on His guidance. Debbie :o)

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  15. Rachel,
    I will be praying for you as you fast today. May you feel an outpouring of God's love in a way you haven't experienced before.

    May God be with the whole team as they minister to these ladies that are coming next week. May it be a time of revival Lord.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

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  16. Lifting you up! Although I am not attending She Speaks this year, I do appreciate all the prayer that goes into this event on behalf of the P31 staff. That is really a cool thing!

    Prayers and Blessings!
    Rebecca

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  17. Rachel,
    I'll pray for you...for your fast and for all of the last minute details of She Speaks. The enemy wants to fill our hearts with doubt and our lives with distractions. But, we have the victory!

    I'm fairly addicted to sweets and gave them up for Lent. I was amazed how the Lord took away not only my cravings, but the desire as well! God showed me that He's even stronger than chocolate!

    I pray that during your fast the Spirit fills you to overflowing!

    Blessings,
    Kelli

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  18. Oh my... we have even more in common! I begin every morning with a chocolate mint Zone bar and a bottle of water! And, I recently discovered the new Starbucks chocolates and now Samantha and I fight over the dark chocolate mocha truffles! Oh my, indeed!

    Can't wait to see you.
    Fellow Chocoholic!

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  19. Hi Racheal and all sisters in the Lord,

    I have been gone so long from here that coming back was with a lot of reluctance. I am glad i did cos i see i have missed so much....and i have finally been motivated again.

    Things have been pretty challenging for me esp last month( May).
    I lost someone very dear to me and my family and cant seem to get over the hurt. He was sister's husband and he died in an auto crash. It was a rude shock to us all.
    He was a wonderful guy, died at 38yrs and left behind a wife( my sis) of 34yrs and 2 kids. It was very painful but God has been faithful throught it all.
    As a result of the loss, i just felt disconnected from a lot of things.
    However, i am glad that i came here today. It feels good to be back as this blog has been a huge source of blessing and motivation for me.

    Racheal...will be praying for your programme today. i guess ur fast will be over today.
    Looking forward to picking up again.

    Lolls. Nigeria

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  20. Rachel,
    Well I pray that your fast went well. I know the feeling everytime I try to get serious about eating right and losing some of this extra weight, I go through that. Thanks for sharing this it gave me some insight on being more determined instead of letting those hungry panic feelings rule me. And I am even considering doing a fast to kick it off. I am Praying that your conference goes well. Thank always sharing with us.
    Be Blessed
    Lynn

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  21. AnonymousJune 13, 2008

    Well Rachel it is Friday so you completed your fast... Way to go girl. I must admit I did laugh about you stuffing yourself, because that is just like me espicially looking in cubboards for yummy chocolate foods and then hitting the ice cream... I pretty much use to do that same thing whenever I began a fast or a diet...

    Good way to stop the pigging out by renouncing satan...

    The conference is going to be awesome... When women of faith gather, and the holy spirit is let lose....Great things happen.. Love walking in the spirit..

    Well girl friend in God....Your column always makes me smile...You are such a blessing to us folks out here in cyber space.... kathy

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  22. I want to say, "thank you"!!

    What a blessing to have women like you in leadership at She Speaks. I will pray for yoy and the other staff members/attendees of She Speaks.

    We've all had the stomach flu over here and I'm just exhausted! But I know God will give me the strength and health to be prepared to come on Thurs.

    I hope to meet you there. :)

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  23. It's sunday and I guess the conference is over. I hope all went well!! I haven't been on for a bit, I lost my job after 16 years, but God has given me a peace about it. I know He has something better for me.
    For the first time in 3 years we got to see our grand-daughter (her mother isn't very nice) I've prayed daily that God would soften her heart and He did. Isn't He awesome!!! I will be posting on my blog about it all so please feel free to drop in, leave a post.
    Donna, I read you post on your blog and will post a comment there
    God bless each and everyone of you.
    Tommie in Ky

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  24. Thanks for sharing - that Satan is just so crafty - darn it! I WILL be praying for you and the rest of the team. She Speaks changed my life last year, and I know the Lord has big plans in store again. Go BIG!

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  25. Rachel,
    Well how did the conference go? Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.
    Lynn-OR :)

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  26. Be Blessed... thank you once again for allowing us to see your transparency.... There are many things that I am struggling with and I too "pig out" in other areas from a symbolic perspective. But thank God, that Christ lives in me despite all of my insecurites and doubts. Thanks again :)

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  27. I am feeling today l like I am standing at the side of the ocean and I can feel a huge wave approaching. I sense the POWER of it!

    I know that it's the Spirit already descending for the SHE SPEAKS conference. I can feel Him, Lysa and the P31 group! He's waiting for each and every woman to walk through those doors, and P31 ladies,

    God is so very PLEASED with each of you!

    See you there! I'll be the introvert wondering around looking for coffee!

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  28. In this world there is such a need for each and every person to grow in their relationship with God through Jesus Christ, His Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank the Lord for this conference and all of Ps 31 leaders and participants. May God fulfill all your dreams and visions and hope for the big and tiniest of challenges that each of you face.
    I'm glad for this Bible study, and although I've been offline recently because of my travels, so much that I've encountered here has encouraged and sustained me and I've been able to pass that along to others who are hurting. For those that are in "trouble" today, don't give up, seek prayerful counsel, and listen to the Lord as He guides you through.

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  29. Over the past two years in my husband and my youth ministry and our lead pastor's ministry it has been VERY TOUGH. There are a lot of people who are really interested in hearing a message that is uplifting and makes them feel good about the "Success" they have made in their lives. Our lead pastor, and other faithful servants, sometimes take a beating over being true to the Gospel, and not leaving out the significance of Jesus's suffering and His command of us "to take up our cross and follow Him". So over the past two years, many hurtful, bitter, comments and actions have taken place, and for some reason my once Pretty Healthy Self Esteem is now one that is in Crisis. Satan seems to replay the records of the negative comments over and over again...and at the worst times (leading a Bible study, preparing for a mission trip...etc) The Father of Lies is really after my Self Confidence. Our lead pastor preached a message this last Sunday that I felt was just for me. He said we have to learn to ACCEPT OUR ACCEPTANCE from our HEAVENLY FATHER and not live to seek the ACCEPTANCE OF WORDLY SUCCESS OR WORDLY PEOPLE. The Creator of this Universe chose me, loves me and that is AWESOME!!!This Bible Study has helped as well as Girlfriends in God because I am hearing (well reading) the same message over and over again. (It must be something God wants me to really get). I believe very strongly that OTHERS need to hear this message and REALLY GET it. Self-doubt has become an epidemic in the Christian community because Satan wants us to be trembling and not feel called. WE ARE LOVED BY THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. WE ARE ACCEPTED. To all those fellow ministers out there (which really is all of you), but especially the one talking about their hurt on the teen trip they had gone on.....GOD IS FAITHFUL. YOU ARE JUST THE SEED PLANTER. HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST. May God bless you all. Please pray for me!

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  30. Tate I will keep you and your church in my prayers. How blessed you are to be part of a church that remains true to the gospel. Please keep those who are not able to find such a church in their community in prayer.
    Pray that the Lord will raise up leaders in this generation that have the Fathers heart, the Shepherds heart for the body of Christ. Praise God and Pray for all those men and women who are truthful and faithful, speaking the truth boldly.
    Debrah

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  31. thank you so much, debrah. I believe God hears our prayers, and I know they make a difference. It is the only way we have been able to continue in ministry...through His Grace (and His coninued thumb in our back to continue doing what we are doing). I appreciate your prayers. God bless you!

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  32. Rachel,
    I just wanted to let you know I miss you. I look everyday to see if there is a new post from you. This Bible study has been AWESOME. I eagerly await the next one. Hope all is well with you. My prayers are with you.
    Kelly

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