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Iowa City Church Podcast

Welcome to the Iowa City Church sermon and teaching page.  We know that life can be confusing, and sometime just plain hard.  We believe the best way to live life comes through following Jesus.  These lessons and sermons are designed to be a resource to help you on that journey.  We hope you find them helpful!

Jan 16, 2023

One year at Boy Scout camp, the emphasis for our troop was to get all of the merit badges pertaining to water. We were in the pool or on the lake most of the week. One of the merit badges we were trying to accomplish was canoeing. Our instructor took us to a nearby lake where we unloaded the canoes and geared up for an afternoon on the water. That day was incredibly windy, and it didn't take long for us to reach the other side of the lake. Honestly, there wasn't a lot of paddling going on, mostly just steering and riding the gusts of wind.

The problem came when it was time to head back to the other side of the lake. It was nearly impossible to paddle our canoes against the wind. We would dig in the water with all of our might, making little progress...only to have the wind push us back when we took a break. It felt a lot like Sisyphus of Greek mythology, rolling the boulder up the hill only for it to roll back to the bottom. The wind was making it impossible to return to the other side of the lake. Being resourceful Boy Scouts, we did the only thing we could think to do, we drifted back to shore a decided to earn our hiking merit badge by walking back along the shoreline with the canoes in tow! The lesson we learned that day was simple: Paddling into the wind is nearly impossible. 

The life of a Christian often feels like paddling a canoe into the wind. There is this sense we get that everything is against us; culture, peers, maybe family or friends--not mention our own short comings, guilt and brokenness. It can seem like an insurmountable task, and our efforts seem puny or pathetic "against the wind".  A sad reminder that we aren't strong enough. But isn't that the point? We aren't strong enough to navigate this faith journey on our own! God will supply us with the power we need to overcome. 

How does one learn how to rely less upon their strength and more upon God's? Spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines are those practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth among followers of Jesus. In most cases, spiritual disciplines force us to relinquish our strength and become more dependent upon God's power and strength for our lives. Case in point is fasting. According to Richard Foster "fasting is the voluntary denial of an otherwise normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity." Less of me. More of God. 

In this sermon we are going to take a look at how Jesus incorporated fasting into his life to help keep him on mission and allow the strength of his Father to power his life and work. Check it out!