Pastor John Siebeling
Matthew 6:16 - And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
We always start the year fasting as a church. All through the Bible you see examples of God’s people coming together to seek God through fasting and prayer. In other words, fasting is both personal and corporate. In the above passage, Jesus makes it clear that fasting is an important New Testament habit. In fact, notice He says, when you fast, not if you fast. Bible historians tell us that after Jesus ascended into heaven, the first disciples were so hungry for the Holy Spirit to move, they fasted 2 days a week as a matter of habit.
I love the promise in the passage above. Jesus promises that when you fast God will reward you. In other words, fasting is a win-win. God moves in your life personally AND as we all fast together, God moves in our church.
Obviously, there are all kinds of fasts. The common denominator is to deny yourself or restrict yourself in some way so that you can put God first right here at the first part of the year. It’s like you are putting 2021 on notice…Dear 2021 - I am seeking God first and He promises that He will reward me and take care of me as I do!
What happens when you fast? At least 4 things…
Come on, make that commitment right now that you are going to fast and seek God for a great 2021. Let’s do it together and watch God move in our lives and in our church.
Prayer Starter: Lord, give me the strength and grace as I fast and seek you like never before. Thank you for rewarding me and moving in my life.
Today’s Prayer Focus: Keep asking God for His grace as you fast. When you feel tempted, pray and ask God for strength and discipline.