Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Everything in Moderation

This is a saying we hear and often say over and over. Oh I finally found it. Years of people telling me about it and wondering where it was in Scripture. Oh sure I acted like I knew. Yeah that is in...well scripture. The truth is Philippians 4:5 talks about "let your moderation be know to all men, the Lord is near," in the KJV. What is the point? Well several websites claimed it does not exist. It does but is often translated gentleness instead of moderation.

This has got me to think about what does that really mean. The warning is that we use it to allow us to do whatever. Really this is obvious that it does not mean moderation in things, specifically things completely spoken against in scripture. But that a man of God shows how he can moderate his life. But what is the purpose of Moderation?

Fasting....yeah you heard me right Fasting. The point of fasting I think can be so often misunderstood. Like I should force myself not to eat. I remember in college when I said I was going to fast and go to chapel. My classes were to close together and I had to choose and I chose chapel over the cafeteria. Now was I more right than the person who may have chosen food? Well of course not but it was a choice I made to make sure nothing was above God.

Nothing above God what does that mean? It means there is nothing that I will say I "have to" do this. The danger is the "have to" in our lives become easy justification to miss something focused on Jesus. For example if someone asks you to come help me serve this weekend, I would love to but I have to... It is not that the service or Christian event is more important, it is more about my attitude. That I actually think that God can't fulfill that need. We don't come right out and say it, that "have to" cannot be filled by God but it is an underlying tone. Kind of like scriptures don't exactly say everything in moderation it is understood but not said. The point is I throw out the excuse I "have to", instead of just saying I am hungry and will worship God later. The danger is finding our fulfillment in something other than God.

When I put it this way there are so many things I need to fast. All of the sudden food seems easy. I mean what about music, my car, phone, ipod, computer, and so on. Moderation becomes about no extreme in anything. We build things in our life that we can't live without and the reality is the only thing in my life I don't want to live without is Jesus. But we can find so many other things to put on that list even if we don't think they are on there.

So what if I started fasting things I think I can't live without as a reminder that nothing can replace Jesus. What would that look like?