Here we are, day four! It is my prayer that all who have joined the fasting movement do not faint during these 21 days! Why? Among other reasons, because of Matthew 6:16-18.
16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
We, of course, are on a corporate fast and those within our congregations know we are fasting. But the principle of fasting is unto the Lord and for no other reason remains. And He will reward us. We battle that as Christians sometimes… reward, because we want to go after God for the purpose of pursuing Him. But isn’t pursuing His word and its truth pursuing Him? Absolutely! His word teaches us that God will reward a life that is seeking Him through fasting. We know that God is moved by what’s in our “heart.” That is why the men in Matthew 6:16 received no reward from the Lord. They weren’t going after God. They were doing it just to be seen by man. Their pats on their backs were their rewards, and it benefitted them nothing.
Remember, whatever we feed will grow stronger. By denying our flesh its appetite, our spirit inside grows more in-tune with the things of God. I am certain He longs for us to hear Him clearly, His direction, His warnings, His words of affirmation and love. We not only benefit from more of God in our lives, we receive other rewards. If I see my child’s heart as God sees ours and he is asking for something that I desire for him to have, wouldn’t I want to give it to him? “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11. God “wants” us to have more of Him, more of the Holy Spirit in our lives, more of His goodness poured out! He is good! There is no fiber of falsity in that statement. He is good! And He longs for us to draw near so we can see, taste and know His goodness!
Okay fasting family, if you began on January 9th, ask for God’s grace and empowerment to meet you today and take you beyond. He will do it! But, if you began the fast and gave in to eating, don’t fret. Remember, He is good! He is looking at your heart! Make a decision and begin again, and ask for His ability to work in you to see you through the fast. Establish your reason for fasting: “Lord, I want to hear You clearly. I want to be free from what has entangled me. Lord, I love You and I need healing, restoration, deliverance.” Whatever your need is, bring it to the Lord as you fast and pray; and your Father, who knows you long for more of Him, will reward you.
I’m praying for you! Stretch your faith to believe God for a better year, even if you’ve felt let down before. Or maybe I should say “especially” if you’ve felt let down before. Never lose your expectation. We please God by our faith. BELIEVE AGAIN. We will reap a harvest if we do not give up, Galatians 6:9. “Through faith and patience we will inherit what has been promised,” Hebrews 6:12. We declare this very moment that 2012 WILL BE A GREAT YEAR, EXPECTATION FULFILLED!