It is time once again to examine our reasons to commit to The 40. We must constantly refresh the reason behind the fast or we will be drawn away by the enticements of the world to what may seem better.
Why have you committed to press in to The Lord through fasting? Whatever your reason may be for going into this fast, today, I want to give you another one.
Fasting precipitates the Latter Rain. The former generation experienced what they refer to as the Latter Rain and there have been many prophecies about the former and latter rain coming together in these days ahead using the passage Joel 2:23. Though this is the passage used by so many about the coming releasing of The Spirit in a mighty way, few know the context in Joel during this time. Another passage of scriptures you may know well is Joel 2:28-32.
Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
This may be one of the most referred to passages in the charismatic church especially since it is referenced by Peter in Acts 2:17-21 when the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples in such a powerful way. Again, it seems that no one knows the context of what is happening in the book of Joel preceding this. We often overlook “minor” details that can lead us to a true revelation to how God wants to bring about what He has promised conditionally. It is especially important to view the context because this passage starts with, me paraphrasing, these things will take place after something else happens.
If you read the book of Joel, this is a time of tremendous devastation in the entire land of Judah. An enormous plague of locusts had come and stripped the entire country of all vegetation. Famine and drought as well as starvation and death of man and animals was taking place. This was the worst possible moment in the people’s lives, and they needed a solution. The prophet Joel came with a solution:
Joel 1:13-14 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord.
The solution for this crisis is humility, repentance, prayer, and fasting. This plague was a result of the people’s constant refusal to turn to God and follow His ways. Therefore, He allows the effects of their disobedience to come upon them. Turning back to Him is the only way to change their situation, and fasting is a sign of a true repentance and humbling of the heart. In case the people did not want to take the advice of a mere prophet of God, The Lord Himself gives the solution for their problem in the very next chapter:
Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
Here, God calls for repentance, fasting, and prayer. Fasting is a true evidence of a desire to change and come into line with God and His purposes instead of partnering with our own flesh. This is what will cause the grace and mercy of Heaven to be made evident in our lives. This is not just a call for certain group of people like the holy priests or pastors. Vs. 15-17 tells us that it is for:
- The Congregation
No one is left out of this call to come to the Lord in repentance, fasting, and prayer. No this is not a mandatory thing. However, this is what it is referring to in Vs. 28 AFTER you come as an entire people in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer THEN God will pour out His Spirit. The apostles received The Holy Spirit after waiting in unity in The Upper Room for 10 days. We know they were praying together, but I believe they were fasting as well. The outbreak of The Spirit at Azusa was a result of 10 days of fasting and praying together. Here we are, committed to The Lord and each other for The 40. What can God do with our hearts that come to Him in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer?
Jesus, I ask that you will take this simple offering of my life, my commitment to you and use it for Your Kingdom. I desire for The Great Outpouring of The Spirit that has so often been talked about. I come to you in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer right now. Come and move in a mighty way that you may receive the glory that is due Your name!!!
- Read Joel 1-2
- Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how you can partner with Him in your personal prayer time
- Ask Him to reveal how to call your community into humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer
- Be obedient to all that He speaks.
Be blessed with the power to partner with Holy Spirit in precipitating the Latter Rain. May this lifestyle accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!