Hey folks- we are getting closer and closer to our 21 days of fasting and Prayer initiative!
How exciting it is to kick off 2012 the right way and seek the face of God corporately! We announced our campaign via Social Media a couple of weeks ago and to 2springs Church this past Sunday night! Our hope is very simple…that people (whether 2springers or not) will join with us and experience God in an awesome way! Even for those who simply cannot participate in a Daniel Fast because of health, work issues…we’re just asking that everyone fast in some way (God will lead). Could be fasting from coffee, soda, TV, texting, ect….anything is better than nothing at all!
For the past few weeks I’ve been blogging on types of fast, what foods the daniel fast allows, physical benefits of fasting, ect (read back through the blogs for referance).
Today, lets focus on some spiritual benefits of fasting.
Remember, Jesus said to His disciples, “WHEN you fast” not “if”…so we can assume that fasting, while not required (we’re no longer under O.T. Law), is a discipline that Jesus expected His followers to participate in! There must have been a reason for that, right?! Of Course! The spiritual discipline of fasting carries wonderful results!
Truth be told, it’s Christmas Eve and I don’t want to spend the day blogging + I could write forever and not scratch the surface of what fasting does for us so let me just speak to a couple of amazing spiritual benefits of fasting and focus on one in particular.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting Can Include-
*Deeper Intimacy with God
*Exposure of sin
*Revitalized prayer life
*Abandonement of sinful habits
*Deeper sense of reliance (On His Strength/grace)
*Better grasp on His Word
We could go on and on here
If I were asked to pinpoint ONE benefit of fasting that I’ve enjoyed the most, it would be “Vision”. You know, direction! Fasting has led me continuously to a better understanding of the will of God (as a matter of fact, I consider it dangerous to enter a signifigant decision without fasting and prayer first…I really believe its necessary). And don’t take my word for it! Consider the scriptures! My motivation to really take fasting seriously came from the story of the Antioch Church in Acts 13….
Preparing for the Mission Field
1In the church that was at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch,and Saul.
2 As they were ministering to[a] the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.” 3 Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.
Without me preaching a message via blog here….do you realize what just happened? The Church of Antioch had been born! Great things were happening. People radically saved, a huge, grace filled offering had taken place among a GENTILE Church to go towards a great JEWISH humanitarian need in Jerusalem (thats HUGE considering the tension among the races in that day) and people were being discipled. Awesome things were happening.
The leaders, while excited about what God was doing…were hungry for more! “Whats next?” they asked. What would God have the to do now!?
To find their answer- they fasted, ministered and prayed (look at text above again). The result? The Holy Ghost gave vision to commision Paul and Barnabus and send them out (The modern missions movement was born right here). This is the first recorded instance of a Church funding and sending out a mission team. Wow!
Let me ask you as we prapare for this fast….Is there a particular matter you are seeking Gods will in? School, career, family issues? Need vision? How about corporately, as a church? Are you searching like the Antioch Church for whats next?
Good news – Fasting is used of God to bring vision!
Getting excited? Me too!
Gloria In Excelsis Deo! – Pastor Kyle