"In Jesus Name" - Day 14

Ground Yourself

One beautiful afternoon, my grandkids and I were elbow deep in flour, sugar and sprinkles. Favorite cookie cutters and icing brought out the artist in each of them. Freshly-baked cookies topped with smiley faces, dinosaurs and flowers were now ready to be devoured!
“Why aren’t you having a cookie?” one of my grandkids asked as I served their special creations.
“I’m fasting right now,” I replied.
Puzzled looks stared back at me.
“Fasting means that I’m giving up something good, in this case food, for something better, prayer!” I explained. “It’s a special time to pray and hear God. Jesus and other people in the Bible fasted on a regular basis.”
Finally, one of them said, “I don’t care what you say, fasting sounds like being grounded to me!”
Later that evening, the Lord and I had a good laugh about their response! Yes, at times, fasting can seem like being grounded. Yet, as I have walked with the Lord and He has called me to participate with Him in fast after fast, I’ve learned the discipline of fasting is pure joy! Whether one meal or several meals, an activity or discipline, giving up something or doing something differently, each fast has brought me closer to the heart of the Father.
In the Old Testament, we read that Daniel began fasting for his people after he learned of a war on Jerusalem’s horizon. After he fasted for 21 days, God assured Daniel the answer to his prayer had been on its way since the first day he started fasting and praying. Through Daniel’s perseverance in prayer and his humbleness in fasting, God provided a message—his land would be saved from the troubles of the war. God said to him, “And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive the reward” (Daniel 12:13, msg). Daniel’s fast resulted in peace of mind and renewed trust in God. When we partner with God through prayer and fasting, the kingdom of darkness is no match for His strength and power.
Fasting is not just a great option for enhancing your prayer life, it’s an expectation. Matthew 6:16 says, “When you fast” not “If you fast.” God wants us to live a lifestyle of fasting so we can grow closer to Him. Sometimes it’s necessary to cut out an area of our lives so we can give God our full attention and be molded to His likeness.
Fasting doesn’t have to be hard—just ask God how and when He wants you to do it. Jesus fasted food for 40 days in the desert, while Paul fasted food and water for three days after his conversion. God may direct you to fast a meal per day, several days worth of meals or a certain food group. Fasting doesn’t always include food though—God may call you to fast media, television or other entertainment avenues. There’s no cookie-cutter fast, just God’s will for your personal pursuit of Him.
There are also many reasons to fast. Daniel was fasting for an answer to prayer, but fasting can be relevant in many areas: to break out of a spiritual dry spell, to get closer to God or for unity among a group participating in a corporate fast.
I have now come to the place where I live a fasting lifestyle. I love to partner with God in breaking through glass ceilings in my prayer life. I love to decrease as He increases in every area of my life. I love to reflect on what He has taught me by denying the soul and building the spirit.
Would you like a breakthrough in your relationship with God? Would you like to see and hear Him in every circumstance? Would you like to overcome the Enemy in areas of your life? Well, you can. Ground yourself in Him, and pursue Him with a fast.
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.
~ Andrew Murray

Prayer

Father, thank You for giving us another way to come into Your presence and to partner with and grow closer to You. Show us when, how long and ways to fast. Give us Your heart for the world so we can become kingdom-changers through fasting and prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Activation

  • Search the Scriptures for God’s principles in fasting. (When did God’s people fast? Why did they fast? What was the outcome?)
  • Read books about fasting. (For example, The Beginner’s Guide to Fasting by Elmer Towns)
  • Pray, and ask God to tell you how you should fast.
  • Share what you have learned and experienced from fasting.

Memory Verse

The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJ)

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