Corporate vs. Private Fasting
As I continue to seek to draw closer to God over this period and continue to share with you, the world, my experiences in fasting, you might be wondering why I’m being so public about this, especially after referencing Matthew 6 repeatedly. Well, first, this is a corporate fast. I am fasting with my local church as a whole as I said in my first post, Fasting Days 1 & 2. Secondly, corporate fasting has a history of being public. When Ezra called the Israelites to fast, it was far from a private affair. In Ezra 8:21-23, he didn’t just invite the Israelites to fast, he told them that they would fast.
21Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” 23So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
They were out of doors, at the river side, having just told the king (Artaxerxes). We, as a church, are essentially doing the same. We have been telling the world just how God provides for those who believe and are faithful to Him. We’ve told them that regarding the building project. We’ve told them that regarding the healing (physical and spiritual) of ourselves and others. We’ve told them that we are trusting God in all areas that we need His divine and super-charged guidance in, and He’s listening!
God is providing for us, has been providing for us, and will continue to provide for us. We just need to get into a space where we are listening!
Are you listening? I know I am. I’ve asked for clarity on a subject and oh boy am I getting it! Of course I’m not done yet! I’ve still got 13 days to go. 13 days of burying myself in bible studies, devotionals, sermons, and blogs to read. God, FILL ME UP!
Oh wow, what a day. What a day! After recognizing that God is speaking to me about what He has in mind for me eventually with regards to my singleness, I spent some time rereading Ephesians, following along with the footnotes in my study bible as I go along. I’m listening, and I’m doing my best to obey. I’m glad for a shepherd who isn’t afraid to lead and obey what God is telling him.
As I move into day 5, I pray that I can continue to be so submissive to His will. It’s hard. I don’t like public speaking but He’s calling me to share His word from sea-to-sea, all across this globe. He wants me to share His word. I don’t know exactly how this will ultimately manifest itself, but first I need to be changed to where I can be effective in His eyes, not my own. I know part of that effectiveness comes from knowing Scripture well. It’s part of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), after all, and I so desire to have every piece as strong as God can make it. I have nothing to do with making this a strong armor. That’s a work of the Father above. I start out with enough faith, the size of a mustard seed, to trust and believe in Him. He does the rest. He provides people to water and nourish. He provides people to weed around me and to help me grow in His word. Even after I’m mature He still provides caretakers to make sure I don’t get sick and whither. And after I’m mature, He works in me to provide the same for another new believer. For one I might water, another I might prune, another I might weed. Where He needs me, there I want to be.