Monday, February 4, 2013

Fasting is turning and tasting

I sought the Lord and he answered me, he delivered me from my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Fear the Lord you His saints, for those who fear Him lack no good thing. Psalm 34

Today is the first day of our fast. You may be feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of three days without food and wondering how to make this more than just a three day diet. We are with you in this! We will gather around a broad theme each day that will help us to seek the Lord together, just as David sought the Lord in this Psalm. Of course God has his way of speaking individually to us, but here is what we will focus on as a community today and tonight as we gather to pray.

1. That seeking the Lord means developing a healthy fear of Him.
Interesting that David asks the Lord to deliver him from his fear, but then encourages us to 'fear the Lord.' There is even a promise attached to fearing the Lord. "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear the Lord." These are two different fears.
One is terror and foreboding of some created thing, the other is faith-filled reverence towards the Uncreated One. Do we fear the Lord? Or are our hearts full of other fears that rob us of trusting and obeying the Lord? When we fear the Lord, he delivers us from the fear of man, the fear of the future, the fear of financial loss, the fear of rejection etc. and empowers us to trust Him and obey Him. Let's repent from these fears and turn in reverence the Lord, for those who fear Him lack no good thing.

2.That seeking the Lord is feasting upon Him. "Taste and see that the Lord is good. The Lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
As we've said, this is not simply denying ourselves food for the sake of it. It is to feast on the Lord. To taste and see that He is good. Today let's ask God to fill us with a clear sense of His tangible presence. He loves to draw near to us as we draw near to Him.
"The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Take time in your lunch break today to be silent before Him, to listen to Him, and take refuge in Him.

3. That seeking the Lord is trusting Him with our troubles. "This poor man called and the Lord saved Him out of His troubles."
Try not to start here. Fasting is more than asking God to sort out our troubles. He cares more about changing our hearts than our situations. But he does care about what troubles us. So bring your troubles to Him. Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you. Those who look to Him are radiant.
Enjoy the day, and we'll see you tonight.

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