Sunday Preview

January 17, 2013

I hope you are doing well. I have been encouraged by the response of many people to our season of fasting and prayer this month. There have been spiritual breakthroughs in the lives of some of our members over the last two weeks.
I want to encourage you to pick your fast up again if you have had difficulty sticking with your original commitment. Years ago I made a commitment to fast for three straight days. I was really busy with my construction work at the time and got so hungry the second day that I broke the fast. The food tasted great, but when the meal was over I felt like I had failed. I waited another two weeks and then started the fast again. The second time I had more determination and I was blessed and renewed when it was over. If you have never done it, you will be surprised how wonderful a simple meal will taste after three days of fasting. The best part for me is when the Scriptures seem to light up and prayers get answered.

When Jesus fasted in Matthew 4, he had three distinct encounters with the devil. First he had to deal with the temptation to end the fast prematurely. Then he was taken to a high place and had to resist the temptation to assume he was no longer bound by the law of gravity. He also said “no” to an offer to become the ruler of the world in exchange for his worship of the devil. Fasting from food and comforts can give us more time to seek the Lord, but it can also leave us more easily agitated. It can help us draw strength and receive refreshing from the Lord, but it can also leave us vulnerable to feeling down and discouraged. It can bring breakthroughs in relationships and tear down barriers, but it can also bring conflicts with spiritual forces of wickedness.

There is no easy way to glide through life in this fallen world; but there is a way to overcome evil, bear good fruit, and enter eternal life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Jesus can teach and guide us so that we know God as our Father. We can trust our Father with all our hearts because He loves us with all his heart. When we fast we are doing what Jesus did, making our relationship with the Father the priority of our lives. There is suffering involved in fasting, but the glory that can be revealed and the breakthroughs we experience are more than worth the price we pay.
May the Lord refresh your soul and enlighten your understanding as you continue to seek him with all of your heart.

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