Good morning Jesus, I begin my day entering into your presence Jesus my Lord.
Starting tomorrow Tuesday, October 1st for 30 days we are going to challenge ourselves to live out and put into practice what we have spent a year reading about Jesus. For the 30 Day Challenge starting in October my daily post each morning will have us read that mornings Bible passage, a short reflection on the passage and watch a 3-4 minute short video. These will encourage us to do some type of action that day of following Jesus. I also want to encourage each of us to spend one day a week fasting and in prayer over our this time together and our Churches.
FASTING: Since I am asking you and encouraging you to fast one day a week in prayer over your walk with Christ and that of your church, let me explain what is fasting. Fasting is a means of grace where you place spiritual food over physical food. Fasting from food from Sun up to Sun down is what is meant by fasting, however if because of medical or other reasons that is not possible for you, there are other ways to fast. You can fast by cutting out some things in your life that distract you from God. You can fast from all social media for a day: Facebook, Instagram, snap chat, gaming, and use that time you would spend searching, connecting, and catching up with other people with searching, connecting and catching up with God. What do you need to let go of or “fast” from in order to focus on God? What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do? Isaiah chapter 58 is my go-to chapter in the Bible on fasting. I have pasted a section of Isaiah 58 in my post below. Read it and listen to how Isaiah explains fasting. Then begin praying over the next 30 days.
"Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
3 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
God, when I read your inspired words through Isaiah, I understand the fast that You choose for me is a fast from my flesh, a fast from selfishness and self-centeredness. It's a fast that frees me from the tyranny of my self and turns my heart to the things on Your heart.
Give me Your heart, Lord. Open my eyes to see the needs of those around me and fill my spirit with the power to do something about it. Give me time and passion for people like you have, in the ways that I can make a difference. Let me be part of the move of Your Spirit in my city and spheres of influence to rebuild the "ancient ruins," to "raise up the foundations of many generations" and "be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets" (v. 58:12). Let me first seek these things in me.
Fasting is not about ancient rituals or even faithfully executing spiritual disciplines. Fasting is about putting You first, as Your Spirit overcomes my flesh so You can change the world around me through my life. This is the fast You choose. (v. 5) So by the power of the grace of God at work within me, let this be the fast I choose. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My family, I pray today you will reflect on the question, “What is the fast you choose for me God?” I pray you will reflect on what forms of fasting, service and prayer God wants to use in these upcoming 40 days to draw you back into deep discipleship with him. in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!