“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:12-3)
Fasting is making room for God. It’s a pouring out of our natural self so we can be filled with His supernatural presence. We are instructed to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, our minds, our souls and our strength. So, we work really hard with all of our strength to get our hearts, minds and souls right with God. Are you familiar with this striving? How long can you fix your minds on God in prayer without mental distractions stealing your thoughts? Can your fix your eyes completely on Him through a whole praise song, or two? How many can you go without drifting? Can you enter his courts with praise and remain there 5 minutes before making one request? Focusing for 5 minutes takes intense focus, great strength. But a beautiful thing happens when we are exhausted of our own strength. The striving fades into yielding. Isn’t surrender what He’s after, after all?
When the body is denied, it cries out. Fasting reconciles the flesh with a heart, mind and soul crying out to God. Hunger pains remind us of our need, and press us deeper into a fully surrendered crying out. A crying out with undivided attention.
Last night the enemy whispered, Brandi, you’re doing too much again. You don’t have time to enter your blog by the deadline. Isn’t better to step aside and let someone else who has more time?
This morning Oswald Chambers said, “Are You Ready To Be Poured Out As an Offering? “If I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” ( Phil. 2:17) Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer—to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others? Or do you say, “I am not willing to be poured out right now, and I don’t want God to tell me how to serve Him. I want to choose the place of my own sacrifice. And I want to have certain people watching me and saying, ‘Well done.’ ”
How did Esther prepare “for such a time as this?” See Esther 4:15-16: “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’ ”
Do you really want all that God has for you? Are you willing to be poured out to be filled up?
Five steps of fasting:
1. Pick a fast that is right for you. If it’s your first time fasting, start small. Can you go without your favorite cup of coffee? Does a social media break frighten you? Give it a try. As a working mom, I’m a fan of the Daniel Fast. Here’s your link.
2. Prepare in advance.
3. Turn pain into praise. Receive hunger pains as a reminder to pray. For encouragement about the power of prayer, read Mary’s story, Storming Heaven for a Miracle.
4. Surrender your own strength. Accept your weakness.
5. Receive the fullness of God’s Power.
In His Unfailing Love,
Sacred Story kicked off a new series this spring called Praise & Practice where we will explore God’s attributes combined with spiritual disciplines. We invite you join us by subscribing to the blog so you can follow along weekly. Look for “subscribe via email” on the homepage.