Time to Detox

NOTE: This is from the devotional guide of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship. Today is Day One of our Prayer and Fasting week.

Toxic (\ˈtäk-sik\) adj. - “poisonous; relating to or caused by poison.”

Detox (\ˈdē-ˌtäks\) v. - “To abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances”

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The Bible warned us that in the last days, people “will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.” (2 Timothy 3:5a, NLT) [1] They will end up with a religion about God. It will no longer be a relationship with Him. 

We are tempted to smugly smile and say, “We are not like those people.” But, there’s a church way back then who ended up becoming like them. It actually came as a shock because that church seems to be spiritual by today’s standards.
I know what you have done; I know how hard you have worked and how patient you have been. I know that you cannot tolerate evil people and that you have tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and have found out that they are liars. You are patient, you have suffered for my sake, and you have not given up. (Revelation 2:2-3, GNT)
The church in Ephesus was hardworking, enduring, and discerning. The Lord Jesus Himself acknowledged that fact. Still, He was not satisfied with the church. He held something against them. “But this is what I have against you: you do not love me now as you did at first.” (v. 4, GNT) They no longer love Him the way they used to. They loved Him less. 

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The ESV put it this way: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Abandoned. Forsaken. Left. Thus, to love the Lord less than before is equal to turning our backs away from Him.

On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), how would you rate your love for God? Compared to your love for Him exactly a year ago, do you love the Lord more or less now? 

Dr. Edmund Chan of the International Disciplemaking Churches Movement called it “toxic spirituality.” [2] When used to describe a relationship, the adjective “toxic” means “very bad, unpleasant or harmful.” So, spiritually speaking, instead of drawing near to God, we draw farther from Him. Instead of becoming passionate in our relationship with the Lord, we end up poisoned. That’s toxic spirituality.

That’s why we need to detox. To rid our heart of things that make our relationship with God unhealthy. And to keep it from those things.

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Our prayer and fasting week is a spiritual detox. Together with King David, we pray
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Step #1 To Detox: Make Psalm 139:23-24 your personal prayer, trusting God that you would experience a spiritual “detox” or breakthrough during our prayer and fasting week. (One way of doing that is to read Psalm 139:23-24 slowly and repeatedly, preferably in different Bible versions.)

[1] All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV), unless otherwise noted.

[2] Edmund Chan, Cultivating Your Inner Life: Reflections on Spiritual Formation in Discipleship Today 2nd Edition (SG: Covenant Evangelical Free Church, 2011), 46. For our devotionals, I drew heavily from this book.


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