Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2
1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The 11th chapter of Hebrews chronicles for us some very key figures of faith in the Old Testament summing them up by saying, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40.
As chapter 12 opens up, we find that the work of these dear saints is far from complete. While their earthly tabernacle has faded, their representation and observation is still taking place today.
Can I Get a Witness?
Overcoming monumental obstacles that included, trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth (Hebrews 11:36-38), The scripture tells us they received not the promise. But they have a vested interest in our success, because the scripture goes on to say, “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect (Hebrews 11:40).”
Many of the witnesses Hebrews refers to were bludgeoned to death, tortured, dismembered, disemboweled, burned at the stake, and sawn asunder. In my wild imagination I envision patriarchs of old peering through the portals of Heaven watching as you and I now battle the forces of spiritual wickedness in high places. All those precious souls watch with baited breath as you and I face the enemy on a new plain. The persecution we face is real, but the brutality is different. While theirs was a physical anguish, ours is mental, and at times physical, with the added intensity of an enemy that is not content to just destroy this earthly vessel of our body, but the devil wants to destroy our soul as well.
The Cheerleaders of Heaven
This may be taking it a bit too far, but I believe the likes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are watching God’s grand design unfold, and are anxiously observing each battle we fight. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think we have a cheering section in the prophets, and in our family members who have gone on before us shouting…”You can make it! Don’t stop fighting! The enemy isn’t as tough as you think he is! God will see you through this! Don’t give up child, the battle is yours!”
Praise the Lord! As much as it means to me to have a cloud of witnesses that want me to make it, and that I know I can make it with the grace of God, having Jesus as my hero is of far greater importance. Yes, I admire my grandparents and loved ones that have gone on to their reward because of their faithfulness in this life. But having Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, standing guard over my life is of the greatest comfort. Apostle Paul must have felt the same way because he said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” With the patriarchs of old cheering me on and the power of Jesus to see me through…I can’t lose!
How Do I Feel?
With day 16 well underway, I’m able to see the proverbial light at the end of this tunnel. My muscles have stopped aching, but I get tired very easily. Reading some material on fasting, they said that natural hunger will return. I’m honestly, not looking forward to that day. You may wonder why. Well, I feel like I’ve finally captured and caged a part of myself that has been literally running rampant my entire life. More on that subject in my final thoughts on the 21st day.
6 thoughts on “21-Day Fast (Day 16) Cloud of Witnesses”
Hey R –
Glad to see you’re doing well. Less than a week now. You are certainly inspirational.
Thank you for all your encouragement during my fast. The ‘cheering’ kept me going – especially during the challenging times.
I’m doing alright in the aftermath (day 14 now)….I was a bit nervous and scared to eat solid food at first but the first 2-3 days were just juice and broth to acclimate my body so that was pretty easy; I’ve been taking it very s l o w l y so far.
I’ll be checking in to see how you’re progressing with this last week…
You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
PS – LUV the header pic! :-) Where is that?
The header is one of my all-time favorite places on the planet…Maine. Boothbay Harbor to be specific. It was taken on our way back from an unsuccessful whale-watching tour. I love the water and I love the east coast. The tour guide said that J.F.K. actually attended a service at the church. Thanks for the comment.
Hey Dish – I’m glad to hear your fast was a success and I was honored to be in your cheering section!
I’m getting down to the wire now. I know what you mean about solid food. I feel like my body is a freshly made bed. I hate to mess it up. Not only that, I’m not sure how my body is going to react to the solid food either. Thanks for the advice. I’m still anxious to make that Linguini dish (yummy).
God’s been so good and merciful to me during this fast. It’s certainly been a learning experience. I’ll be stopping by your blog regularly. :) Thanks for your prayers!
What a joy to be related to the writer of this wonderful Blog’. You have made me proud to be called the mother of Rodger Dale Mangold, II. I wish that I had known the 1st day of your 21 day Fast, but I see it was not meant to be. ( I would of gladly went on it with you, for you see there is strength in numbers.). One thing I have been in your life for sure and that would be an encourager for you to press on with everything you have in order to be everything you should be in the Lord. Walk up rightly these next few days, for when this is over the blessings will fall.
By the way God has given me something too, during this time. I really am asking Him for something and He tells me this, “Due Time”. What is that Lord? and He answers me and said, “My Time”.
My answer to Him is the chorus we use to sing, I believe Bro. Weir taught it to us.
Yes, Lord Yes, to Your Will and to Your Way,
I’ll say, Yes, Lord Yes,
I Will Trust You and Obey.
When Your Spirit speaks to me,
with my whole heart I’ll agree,
My answer will be, Yes, Lord Yes!
He is and will always be my source of strength, for without Him I have none.
Thank you Rodger Dale, for listening to His voice.
Love, Madre’ :)
I know the Lord has made the way for you to Fast as your Pastor had ask. Out of obedience alone without all the endeavor you put into the fast, you will be blessed.
I felt bad that I had not known about it the 1st day that you went on it, but it was not meant to be. But even thought it wasn’t actual fasting on my part I must say that my prayer life for this time definitely went into another direction.
I know that God has heard the prayers of the Saints and I am sure that He is in control and seen the submission of the hearts and what was needed for the hour.
For you see, I too, in a sense have been fasting with you. I can already feel within me something changing.
Oh, just wait and see what the Lord is going to do for all the endeavors will not be in vain. No matter what part in the fasting was performed by those who truly meant business.
Love, Your Madre` :)