It is day 9. By now people are starting to see that you’re not eating. Your friends invited you to dinner and you have turned them down . . . twice now. It’s your Aunt’s birthday and your custom is to be first in line for the hot wings and now you just passed on cake that someone tried to hand you.
Eyes are starting to raise and questions are being asked. People are talking behind your back. “I don’t understand why anyone would do that!” “Oh it’s a religious thing!” “Do they think they’re better than us?” All who practice fasting come across this in their journey.
So I started thinking, “What are people saying behind my back?” One thing is sure. My actions give them the material they talk about. So as Bonnie Raitt sang, “Let’s give them something to talk about!”
I Peter 2:12 “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by [your] good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” The Apostle Peter is telling us to give our unbelieving neighbor something to talk about. Our actions will be the conversation at the dinner table, at the water cooler, and at the hair dresser. Some of what they say will be wrong because they don’t understand what we’re doing. But Peter said that on the day God decides to visit, the right words will be spoken.
There’s an account of David before he became King over Israel in 1 Samuel. It tells us of a ‘God Visit’ in David’s life. You understand it is God who promotes you; it is God who gives you favor and it is God that has a plan to use you in His Kingdom.
As people talked behind David’s back they listed six things about him. 1 Samuel 16:17, 18 “And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring [him] to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, [that is] cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD [is] with him. “
They said David was:
a. CUNNING IN PLAYING
‘Cunning’ means to have knowledge of a thing. In David’s case it was his ability to play a musical instrument. David was a player! He was skilled at the harp. As you have been fasting, is there something that God has been telling you to dig into? There is knowledge that He wants to give you. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6. “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”. – Benjamin Franklin
b. A MIGHTY VALIANT MAN
‘Mighty’ means having the energy and the ability to perform the job ahead of you. Are you a person that is able to get the job done? At work are you a slacker; at home do you procrastinate? Do people refer to you as ‘Lazy’ or as the ‘Can Do’ person? ‘Valiant’ speaks of your virtue, being upright, having integrity and being fit for the task. Exodus 18:25 “And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”
c. A MAN OF WAR
That was a strange thing for them to say because David had not been in battle. Maybe God put those words in their mouth? He knows what is inside of you! You have talents and abilities that you are not aware of. It was true about David; he was a man victorious in his battles! Fasting will get you ready for the fight and you are already victorious. If you conquer your hunger you can have victory over every kind of fleshly battle.
d. PRUDENT IN MATTERS
‘Prudent’ means to stand apart, to be intelligent and skillful, intelligent with speech, eloquent with your words, able to put sentences together. You can stand and express yourself without hesitation. When it comes to ‘Matters’, you can take care of business and handle the day-by-day affairs. When a job has to get done, is the management talking behind your back saying, “I think they can do it right and do it on time”.
e. A COMELY PERSON
‘Comely’ refers to your . . . appearance, your dress, your presentation. It is funny but people treat you differently when you wear a suit. Something happened to David’s appearance because when we first see him he is ‘ruddy.’ Yes, God will take you in your ‘ruddy’ condition, but He refuses to leave you that way. He knows you are going to be standing before Kings and Presidents one day, so you better get the presentation down and have your suit ready when you get that call.
f. THE LORD IS WITH HIM
God was on David’s side and David was on God’s side. For without Him, we can do nothing.
As you are fasting and reading these blogs, thoughts are coming into your mind. They are areas the Lord wants you to focus on and pray about. People are going to talk. We cannot stop that, but we can give them things to talk about behind our backs. Remember the Lord has your back!