Here we are, the last two days of The 40. If you have not already, you are probably dreaming about what you will eat first. Please remember to break the fast simple and slow. Your stomach will have shrunk and food will be more difficult to digest. Chew food throughly and eat small portions. It should take at least three days to get back to eating what you were eating before the fast. Be conscious of what your body is doing, and any discomfort means you should slow the breaking of the fast. All that being said, the day of celebration is almost here. We have sought the Lord together in the fasting, let’s continue to seek Him together in the celebration!
Too often, we become people of extremes. We are either completely for something or totally against it. In issues of morality this may be good, but this can get us into trouble in other areas. Jesus was a man of grace and truth. If you are too full of grace, anything goes and truth gets thrown out the window. If you are totally focused on truth, there is not room for the grace that abounds to do its work in you.
Another area we see this evident is the Spirit and The Word. Some people focus so much on the Spirit, they end up doing whatever they want and the Word becomes useless to them. However, some people are so focused on The Word that they get bound up in religious rules and doctrine and do not allow the a Bible to be The Living Word.
In the same way, we could become so focused on the power, blessing, and benefits of fasting that we begin to believe that this is the only way God will work. Often, people think that I am the fasting man and do not eat or do not like food, because they do not take the time to get to know me. One reason I have focused so much on fasting is because it seems that their is almost no teaching on it in the American church. There is so much focus on fellowship, feasting, and celebration and almost nothing about the benefits and blessing of prayer and fasting. Both have their time and place, but one does not cancel out the other.
This was a problem during the life of Jesus. Which is better to eat and drink or to fast and pray? Let’s see what Jesus has to say about it:
Luke 7:33-35 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.”
John the Baptizer was Jesus’ cousin who came at a time that needed a message of humility and repentance. He was in line for the priesthood and therefore never would lack a meal in his life if he continued in the natural order of things. However, God called him to a life set apart from the culture in order that he could not only be a man of humility and repentance, but so that he could share this message from a transformed life and by being a living example. Repentance and humility was needed in the people to prepare the way for the new revelation of The Truth, Jesus.
Because of his lifestyle, those who did not agree with John said he had a demon and was not from God. They would much prefer to eat, drink, and be merry. No need to repent and humble yourself when you could enjoy the pleasures of this world. Often, we ignore the present word of The Lord because we do not want come into line with it.
However, these same people had nothing good to say when Jesus came along either. Nearly every time we see Jesus, He is with people in their houses or sitting around a table at a meal. He is constantly celebrating and feasting as He ministers to the people. He also multiplies food to make sure that everyone gets plenty even to abundance. The people who wanted John to be more free and to celebrate more begin to accuse Jesus of being too free and celebratory. They said he was sinning by giving into the lust of the flesh. Too much food, too much wine, and too much grace must be in his life. He cannot be from God.
These people have no wisdom,only a desire to follow the lust of their flesh to do what they want, and the desire to make themselves look better than everyone else. It is easier to criticize people for how they act than to examine our own lives and submit them to God that He may transform us into His image. Let’s humbly offer our bodies to The Lord Jesus as living sacrifices to do what He wants in us and through us. Whether we are fasting or feasting, we will sin if we have wrong hearts, wrong words, or wrong actions.
My encouragement for us today is to focus on Jesus and be obedient to what He is calling us to do. We do not need to look around us and degrade or exalt others because of how they look or what they may be doing. We are called to examine ourselves and submit ourselves to God. As we walk in submission and obedience we will be transformed into the children of The Kingdom that we were created to be.
Jesus, help me to always look to You and You alone for approval. I do not desire people of this world to consent to my actions, but I want to align with You, Your Word, and Your Way! I want to praise, honor, and glorify You in my actions, words, and even thoughts that you may be glorified in me and that Your heart would be exhibited from me.
- Submit to Holy Spirit
- Ask to hear His Words
- Walk and live in obedience to all He reveals
Be blessed today to walk constantly coming more into line with Jesus and His way and to exhibit the same grace and truth that He walked in. May you truly become the child of God you were created to be as you are propelled into new levels with Him!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!