Starting the new year with a fast is a great way to re-align ourselves with God as well as place priority on our spiritual lives. This year, Lift Church is corporately fasting and we will be posting a daily devotion for the next 21 days.
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches some basic Christian principles. Giving, prayer, and fasting all help us live a blessed, fulfilled life. Sometimes, people run to God as a “self-help” phase during a crisis. They feel better after going to church for a while or getting counsel from a Christian leader. Then, this “feeling” wears off and they are on to the next thing.
In order to truly experience the fullness of a Christian walk, there are some disciplines we must undertake. This is different from “working” our way to heaven or striving outwardly to change ourselves to please God. We have already been set free by the blood of Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. However, seeking God through prayer, Bible reading, and by denying our flesh one of its most basic needs pushes us to a new depth in our walk with God and clears the path for us to hear from him like never before.
Moses fasted before receiving the ten commandments. Hannah went without food and practically lived in the sanctuary praying and crying out to God until she had a breakthrough in conceiving a child. Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days in the wilderness before he began his ministry.
Fasting helps us hear from God more clearly. By eliminating something as vital as food, we cling to God and seem to feel his presence in a more palpable way. If you are joining us as we embark on this 21 day journey, here are some things to consider:
What do you wish to gain by fasting? Focusing on this rather than what you are giving up will help you stay motivated throughout your fast. Be specific with God about what areas of your life you wish to see breakthrough.
What specifically are you giving up? Some people fast all food; some forego specific items like meat, sugar, or caffeine. Others fast social media, television, or video games. Whatever you give up, stretch yourself and stay the course!
Dear God, help me and each person embarking on this journey of fasting. Give us strength and vision for this new year. Forgive us for our shortcomings and allow us a deeper communion with you. Speak to us. Give us breakthroughs in our health, finances, our families, and every area of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.