We are in a 21 day period of fasting and prayer for with my church, 217church. Fasting is when you deliberately deprive yourself of something in order to listen to God and understand His wisdom. As we are studying the book of Daniel, we see fasting and prayer as a valuable regular spiritual practice for those who follow Jesus. When you fast and pray it is difficult, but has great benefits. Over the first week of fasting I have gained a few extremely valuable perspectives.
“I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks” Daniel 10:3
Three Things I Have Gained From Fasting
1 – Clarity – Wow! Because I have deprived myself of food I am seeing with greater clarity my own dependance and desires. Some of them are good and some of them not so good. I can also see with greater clarity steps I need to take and steps for our church as well. When you are constantly reminded of something you are used to having but can’t, it gives you clarity on what is important. Do you need clarity from God? Try #fasting.
“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3
2 – Focus – As I am fasting, I am more focused in my work, my responsibilities, and my convictions. I am finding I know more what I am supposed to be doing and not doing. If God can take care of the birds and provide their food, how much more is His provision guaranteed for His church, my family, and those around me? Do you need focus in your life? Try #fasting.
“Consider the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouses nor barn yet God feeds them.” Luke 12:24
3 – Courage – As I sense my dependency shifting, it creates a perfect storm for boldness and courageous decision making, NOT people pleasing or settling for less than God has for us. Who needs to rise to leadership? God will call them out. I am sensing God telling us to move forward and take courageous, bold steps and to believe. NOT because we see, but precisely because we can’t see. Let’s listen to the Holy Spirit and take courageous bold steps. Fasting is increasing my faith in His plan for our future as a congregation. Do you need courage in your life? Try #fasting.
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2
Will you join me in fasting and prayer for these next 14 days?
Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here.