By: Raymond Harris
I send my greetings to all Faith and Conviction readers.
Some of you may be aware that on August 1, 2010, I began a year-long fast. That fast initially began as a rest period from my intense six-year study that I began back in 2004. What I did not realize is that my desire to rest (from in-depth research in order to better and more fully understand the Bible and to find answers to problems that plague my church heritage) would turn into a year-long fast from both full-time study and full-time work, whether ministerial or not.
During the last year, I have really had to learn to trust Father to provide in ways and through people that I would not expect. Through that year, I have interacted with many different people, some have become acquaintances, others friends, of which some come from different experiences and backgrounds within Christianity and are just as different in their personal experiential faith as disciples. Those 365 days contained unexpected blessings like:
- my family’s “permanent vacation” style housing arrangement;
- my wife and I growing closer even though we had extremely heated arguments;
- my family (wife and children) growing stronger in faith with better unity;
- one of my dearest friends giving me a surprise visit, remaining and refreshing me for almost a full month; and
- the intense realization that God had revealed the reality that he no longer permits me to have a limited definition of fellowship. Father fully revealed that many seek Him and want to know him; disciplining me to understand that his essence is not limited to one particular brand of Christianity.
Yet, those exact same days took me into tremendous trials and tribulations, some experienced during my physical relocation to another state, some financially, some emotionally, some spiritually, some I prefer to remain private.
As of August 1, 2011, I am no longer fasting, but I feel directionless, exhausted in unexpected and different ways, and feeling quite disconnected and distraught about some things regarding spirituality, the process of discovering truth, and the church. I have not lost faith in YHWH or in Yeshua Messiah, but I have found myself questioning and hostile regarding myself, the church, and my role within the church.
I am uncertain of the future, but I am taking the next 40 days to draw near unto the Father, petitioning him through Yeshua to reveal the real me, and my direction. As such, and as difficult as it will be, I will be abstaining from both writing articles for Faith and Conviction and from participating in Facebook and emails; also I will be limiting other things like: film, internet, music, news, phone calls and texting. This will be a time of dedicated devotion, singularly focused on drawing near, in order to receive insight and revelation.
I look forward to seeing you and I look forward to having a renewed (perhaps improved), if not new, direction; a renewed spirit and a discernible direction to take my ministerial efforts. Until then, may the grace of YHWH, the father, and Yeshua the master comfort you and keep you.
I covet your prayers on my behalf during this time.