Sunday, the second talk of this series taught us about a spiritual “discipline” that is rarely taught and even more rarely practiced - Fasting.
What is fasting?
In the Bible, people did without food to better devote themselves to hearing from and speaking to God. Sometimes it was a time to speak to God about their sins, and sometimes it was a time to hear from God about direction. Sometimes it was a time of preparation for what God had next for them. And every time it was a call for a breakthrough in their current circumstances.
Isn’t that what we crave in our lives? A breakthrough in some area. Maybe it is in finances, or in a relationship, or in knowing what decision to make. Maybe it is a breakthrough into greater intimacy with God.
The Truth is this-- we know that Jesus fasted. In Matthew 6 He assumed we would when He said, “When you fast” rather than “If you fast.” It seems that - Jesus Followers Fast.
Yet how many of His followers are really fasting on a regular basis?
At a prayer conference I attended recently, they used a statistic that only 5-10% of churchgoers say that they regularly pray. I do not like unknown stats so I can’t say if that’s an accurate number based upon a study. However, I can say that my own experiences with those in the church do not contradict that number. Whatever the number of those who regularly pray, I think we can all agree that there is an even smaller percentage who turn to fasting when they need any type of major breakthrough.
When our lives and our churches lack the strength and power that Acts spoke of, “setting the world upside down.” There’s no doubt that we are missing aspects in our spiritual walks.
So how do we set ourselves in the best position to receive all God has to give us?
Put fasting back on the table as part of what we do in relating to a holy God.
As I fast in a right spirit - not for health reasons but for heart reasons - these become my prayers that are confirmed in my actions,
“I recognize my need for You, God.”
“I need You more than I need anything else.”
“I crave Your favor and blessing.”
“May Your spirit be stronger than my flesh.”
We have a world, a country, and a city in need of breakthroughs. We are a people who need more of God. Perhaps by taking in less by fasting--- we actually can receive the MORE we so desperately need.