We’re 12 days into our journey of praying and fasting for every person in our city. I hope it has been a good experience so far for you.
Have you been tired, discouraged, frustrated, hangry? Have you had the thought yet, “This is too hard, I’m going to give in and I’ll just do it next year?” No? Really? Yeah, me neither.
The truth is it’s hard to fast. No matter what you’re fasting from, in the moments where we’re weak or we give in, we often just want to give up all together.
But let me encourage you, don’t do it. Don’t give up.
Even if you’ve already broken your fast and you’re disappointed in yourself, get back up and keep going. Nowhere in the Bible, at least that I am aware of, does GOD come down hard on His people for not perfectly keeping their intended fast. Jesus tells us in Matthew, “when you fast….” And then he goes on to say, “make sure you’re not doing it for show, but for the LORD.”
We tend to get twisted up when it comes to our fast. Maybe we start out with the purest of intentions and have several days of being focused. Have you noticed though how easy it is to get sidetracked? How easy it is to become more focused on the fast than the One you’re fasting to connect to? Have you noticed how we can start boasting about our fast and what we're accomplish, about what we’re giving up and how disciplined and sacrificial we are? Hopefully you haven’t done this, but if you have, you’re not alone. The bad news is, of course, that GOD doesn’t seem to be interested in that kind of a fast, that kind of a sacrifice. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’re really not either.
He wants the type of fast that comes from our heart, the type that says, “I want to lay food or dessert aside” or whatever you’re fasting from, “so I can know you more fully,” and when we do this in secret, there is a reward. And that’s what we want too, isn’t it? We want for our heart’s desire for GOD to be louder and stronger than our stomach’s desire for food. We want to want to intercede for the people on our list more than we care about what people are doing and saying (about us?) on social media. But what do we do when we don’t and we give in or when we get our motives twisted?
We don’t stop. We don’t kick ourselves. We don’t punt and try again next year. We don’t fall for the trap the enemy is trying to set that GOD is disappointed. We pick back up right where we left off and keep going. Why? Because we can. Because GOD is with us and for us. Because GOD sees our hearts and He knows we need Him and He knows what happens if we persevere through prayer and fasting. Don’t grow weary and give up. You can do it! GOD has some reward for us and I pray that today you discover what it is!