Fasting, It’s Not Just An Option
Yesterday was the first day of a 21-day corporate fast that I’m participating in with my church, Bridges of Hope Fellowship.
Why fasting? Well, in Matthew 6 Jesus gives us 3 disciplines for every Christian to follow: giving (Matthew 6:1-4), praying (Matthew 6:5-15), and fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). The language is clear that Christ did not consider these disciplines optional, but we are to do them for all the right reasons. Why corporate fasting? We are seeking God’s direction as we move forward in building our new, permanent facility. While the building is not important, it is a tool for us to better reach our community. From the beginning we have went to God and asked for His direction and provision to go forth in this endeavor. So far we have found His favor because of our faithfulness and as we near completion (should be done by the beginning of July) we are not only praising Him for providing for us but continuing to seek his will as we outfit the church with what will be needed to deliver His message to our community. So we are fasting as a body to draw closer to Him so that we may seek His will and hear His word without distraction (Fasting Focus)
We are also, as indicated at the above link, seeking healing in the body of our members. As imperfect beings, we are subject to the ravages of disease and time. We are believing in God for a healing like has never been seen before.
Lastly, but no less important, we are seeking the salvation of family, friends, and co-workers. It would please us to know end knowing that our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, co-workers, and friends were with us in heaven, sharing in the eternal reward that only God has to offer. In this regard, all we are asking is that their hearts be open to God’s word and that we are given the boldness to proclaim it as we are lead to do so.
That is just our corporate goals. Many of us may (or may not) have individual reasons as well for joining in on this fast. Personally I have several things I’m praying about or for.
- Spiritual renewal in my family
- A job for myself and others without work
- That God continues to lead me in my relationships with others, and one in particular
- A friend, that his heart may become unhardened to God
I know God will show me His will in each area that I am praying over, both the corporate and personal reasons.
My first day was simply amazing. God has blessed me with a loving church that has no qualms about going out and doing His work. They also have no qualms about loving on everyone that walks through the doors. It helps to have a great, Godly leadership. Elders to help lead us (with the pastor being the senior Elder) and Deacons to do what needs to be done.
The biggest thing God has personally shown me is that He is indeed going to be faithful to His children that are faithful to Him. I have also seen personally just what the enemy will do to keep us from being faithful to Him in this endeavor.
God is truly showing me what He has in mind for me. From Godly men giving instruction on having a Godly marriage to even the curriculum this week for the bible study I’m in with a good friend. Some of this He has been showing me for a while. I’m ready to listen God, speak to me!
As I continue in my fast today, I will continue to seek to be closer to God through reading His word, through prayer, and through giving of my time to that work which He is leading me in. To God be all the glory!