This is in Vogue...you?
I have seen the magazine covers as I am sure you have too.
Question: Is there any value in fasting?
Last week, I went home to Southern California to speak at T.H.R.I.V.E.1 and Pt. Loma Presbyterian, San Diego2 on The 15 Most Important Minutes in The Day (a topic that gets me very fired up!) In my travels, I had the privilege of meeting a couple people--one on the ground and another in the air... both now indelibly etched in my mind and spirit - which galvanized me to write this briefing. 'Ready??
Sometimes I feel something very deeply in my soul . . . okay, maybe more often than the average human being.
On the other hand, sometimes my mind is quickened by a scripture or a desire to feel closer to God;
and still other times, my spirit is moved deep within me by the magnitude of a situation in which God's intervention or grace is needed~
a situation in which God surely must act.
At such times, I remember this gift... fasting.
Fasting can unlock breakthroughs in the spiritual realm that cannot happen in any other way by looking to God and his power rather than our own.2 What is fasting? Fasting is denying ourselves food or something else (something that is a part of our normal everyday life...social media? coffee? Netflix? Fact is, for most reading this, we deprive ourselves of little. It is easy to forget that our true strength must surely lie somewhere else ~ like an Amighty God.
Christ followers fast-
--to increase awareness of God in our lives,
--to increase effectiveness in praying for others (intercession)
--for guidance in decisions
--for increased concentration on a spiritual matter
--for healing or breakthrough in physical or mental well being . . .
'Is fasting commanded in the Bible?' Nope. However, why would we refrain from the simple, humble activity if it increase chances of seeing the mighty hand of God move?
In most cases, fasting is a private matter between God and us, but on the other hand, one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is not private at all; rather we see desperate need, fasting and prayer and a miraculous response by God. 2 Chronicles 20.1-30.3 This entire event moves me so much!
There was the time when the disciples were unsuccessful in casting a demon out of a boy (Mark 9); when they asked Jesus why they could not do it... Jesus said, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9.29
We have amongst our community right now several who need a miraculous move of God - one who was recently diagnosed with ALS - two children at home, Michael. Then there are two women who desperately need the hand of God to move in their cancer-ridden bodies, Rebecca and Rachelle. . . a few others whose lives have been racked by the pain and tearing away of a marriage gone all wrong, Sabrina and Diana. Please lift these before the Lord with me, specifically on Wednesday. And you? What are you carrying, my friends across the globe?
Pray. Fast. If it is your first time, perhaps give up a meal; the point is that you feel a craving and will be reminded to pray. Concentrate some time asking God to be merciful to these who need him so. Medical diagnoses do not have the final word!
Fasting is good for your body, it is good for your soul, it is great for your spirit.
I love you each, I love you all ~ really I do. I awaken at night and pray for you.
I pray this over you - The Blessing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKd0B2YhHpk
Pressing on, leaning in . . .
1 - THRIVE is the Bible study that I started in a shopping center parking lot in San Clemente, California, during the pandemic, Spring 2020, when California shuttered our churches--the front page picture on www.pastorwoman.net. At a time when we needed to be together, needed the hope and strength of God, I would not keep silent. Shocking.
2 - pursueGOD.org
3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%2020%3A1-30&version=NIV