“Seek to understand and know God more deeply through fasting.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 20, 2022
“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12
There are many ways God invites us to know Him more fully and experience His love more deeply such as through prayer, worship, confession, and meditation.
Fasting is also a way the Lord invites us into a deeper relationship with him and it’s a way to declare to yourself and to Christ that you want more of what He has for you.
Here are several truths about fasting and its benefit for our spiritual lives.
Fasting is a way of submitting. It’s a way of confessing, “Lord, my life is yours.” When we fast, we align ourselves with God in a way that acknowledges He is the Lord, and that we are not.
We make space in our lives for Him to guide, direct, and lead us as our God. But when we insist that we are our own god and can make our own way, we get into trouble. It’s then that we hurt ourselves, hurt others, and get lost in our own ambition. Fasting helps us acknowledge His rule and sovereignty in our lives.
Fasting is a way of saying, “Lord, I believe you will speak to me and I am making room for you to do so.”
In her book, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes,
“Fasting clears us out and opens us up to intentionally seeking God’s will and grace in a way that goes beyond normal habits of worship and prayer. While fasting, we are one on one with God, offering him the time and attentiveness we might otherwise be giving to eating, shopping, or watching television.”
Because fasting is when we remove something from our lives to hear from God and experience His presence, it’s a way to demonstrate that we believe He’s real and that we believe He will show up to speak to us. Scripture says the Lord speaks to those who call on Him. Fasting is a focused way to put this truth into action because it’s a way to “call out” to God.
Fasting is also a way to receive direction and get unstuck. When a consolidated army of nations threatened to conquer Judah, Jehoshaphat declared a fast for his nation. Scripture says, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord . . .” (2 Chronicles 20:3-4)
Then, the king courageously declared a fast for the nation and led the people in prayer saying, “Lord… we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.” The Lord did indeed show up for them, and revealed that He would fight for them.
If you would like to seek God more deeply and understand His will for you in a greater way, fasting is a way to show Him that you want more of what He has for you.
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4).
Lord, please help me to take advantage of every spiritual discipline you offer to me to know you and your will more fully. Amen.
Choose a time and day when you will fast. It can even be for part of a day. Spend that time in undistracted prayer with the Lord and see how He speaks to you.
Paul Baloche: Open the Eyes of My Heart
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