In his attempt to identify with the brethren who keeps Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), the watchman tried as much as he could to spend his day accordingly. His goals are as follows:
Identify with the Jewish people (the natural descendants of Abraham) in their physical and spiritual quests (faith in action)
Seek God for revelation of His immediate future plan and purpose for Israel (for prayer and intercession purposes)
Seek a deeper walk in the spiritual realm for the watchman as he has never done this much of fasting (no food and no water) for 25 hours before.
On the day before the eve of Yom Kippur, he took three meals instead of the usual one and half meals. For dinner, he forced himself to eat the full plate of rice as he needed the energy for an outstation travel on the Yom Kippur Day. After his relatively heavy meal, which consisted of steam rice, fish, spinach, and an apple, he regretted the salt (in the form of Japanese seasoning) intake. Within four hours he started feeling thirsty. This was a tough but useful lesson.
At 11pm he attended a worship service in the Prayer House. He was not tired as he had taken one and half hour nap before he left for the service. But he felt uncomfortable with his seemingly parched throat. He knew this was a spiritual distraction as he had never felt this thirsty on normal days. So he just kept his mind on the worship and the presence of the Lord. By the time the service finished around 1.30am he felt normal and fresh.
On the morning of the Yom Kippur, he got up with five hours of sleep to prepare for his outstation drive. He wetted his throat with a small seep (about a mouthful) of water (so he was keeping a modified form of Yom Kippur). He read the Word of God and prayed a bit. By the time he left the house after feeding his dog, it was 10am. During the two hours drive he felt normal except that he did not dare talk with his traveling companions. He listened to an intercessor’s preaching of the kingdom of God.
On arrival of his destination, he went into a room and spent the afternoon alone, reading the Word of God, listening to the Word (on his pocket MP4), working on some of his verses stored in his notebook. He also lied down for awhile with the MP4 on and the room saturated with Bible verses. He was led to read Zechariah and listen to the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy!
By the time he has fasted 19.5 hours, his wife gave him a glass of fruit juice and told him the helper has just made it. She did not join him in the fasting but she refrained her comments. He knew it was not possible for him at this point of time to fast liquid until the 25th hour, so he decided to take the glass and spent half an hour drinking it. After that he took more plain water since he had broken his fast on water. He had his light dinner of fish and vegetable around the 23rd hour of fasting food. He then realized with regret that in his hurry to leave home he forgot to bring the apple truffle which his wife had kept for him in the fridge from previous night! However the bath was refreshing and a real comfort!
He summarizes the experience as follows:
Physical aspect: fasting food was not a problem at all as he has been practicing fasting some main meals for quite sometime. The three meals on the previous day were more than sufficient to sustain him.
Mental aspect: he was drowsy during the afternoon hours. However he could listen to the Word of the Lord and let the Word, which is spirit and life feed his spirit. He wanted to write but he could not do much.
Emotion aspect: he felt a sense of peace and rest in the Lord. There was no hurry to do or accomplish anything. However, the time seemed longer to pass as he felt thirsty.
Discipline aspect: he was not able to discipline strictly as he took seeps of water (about four small mouthfuls) at critical intervals.
Spiritual aspect: this is the awesome part.
Was he able to identify with the people of God in the natural realm who keep Yom Kippur? He could feel the physical (including the mental and emotional) discomfort to a certain extent. Spiritually he could not pray much.
Instead, he went through a whole afternoon soaked in God’s Word: a review of Israel’s history, in the eyes of God, past and future. Leviticus and Deuteronomy narrate their past. Zechariah speaks of their future. The Word session was powerful. He was led through a journey of sadness and hope. His heart was overwhelmed by the heart of God.
As a finale for this memorable day, in the evening he was led to listen to the psalms. The Word of God again displays His mercy, goodness, power and glory! He listened from psalm 1 to psalm 77. Then he stopped. God spoke to him through His Word!
Psalm 77 describes how Israel relate themselves to God. The psalm aptly reflects the Yom Kippur spirit, the watchman thought.
1-3 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long, I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for His help.
4-9 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I searched my soul and ponder the difference now. Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will He never again be kind to me? Is His unfailing love gone forever? Have His promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He slammed the door on His compassion?
10-12 And I said, “this is my fate, the Most High has turned His hand against me.” But then I recall all You have done, O Lord; I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about Your mighty works.
13-15 O God, Your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as You? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate Your awesome power among the nations. By Your strong arm, You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16-18 When the Red Sea saw You, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook.
10-20 Your road led through the sea, Your pathway through the mighty waters- a pathway no one knew was there! You led Your people along that road like a flock of sheep, when Moses and Aaron were their shepherds.
September 18, 2010, 10:09 PM