Jesus' words in Matthew 6.16 are important: "When you fast..." Consider the things He didn't say:
- If you fast...
- Fasting is no longer a spiritual practice because I am ushering in a new covenant...
- Fasting is difficult...
- Your heart must be heavy, not happy, when you fast...
- Fasting is a way to get God's attention...
Paying attention to what Jesus didn't say is almost as important as attending to what He did say. One of the things Jesus reveals in what He did say is that fasting IS (continues) to be a valuable spiritual practice for His followers.
Fasting isn't a way of getting God's attention, it's a way of getting ours. Or better, it's a way of giving our attention.
As we embark on this new year together, let's summon our attention well and set it on God in a special way. I am calling our church to a 21 day fast to begin 2021. We will begin on Monday, January 11 and conclude together in an All-Church Prayer Service on Sunday, January 31st at 6.30pm.
Fasting means changing our routines and abstaining from something. Fasting can look like abstaining from certain meals, a particular food or drink, or even food altogether (speak with your doctor). It could also mean going off of social media or TV or the news for 21 days. God will help you decide how to plan your fast.
I want to ask you to do 3 things each of the 21 days:
- Pray with Someone Else. It could be your spouse or children, or someone you call up or go for a prayer walk with. It doesn't have to be long, but it should be more than simply praying for a meal or bedtime prayers with the kids.
- Pray for Spiritual Refreshing. Pray for God to vitalize your faith-walk and bring a spiritual renewal to the lives of others in our church in 2021. What do you long for God to do in your life this year? Pray for it!
- Pray for the Comox Valley. Pray for your street and pray for God's will to be done and His Kingdom to come in the Comox Valley as it is in Heaven.
So, as we prepare to begin this together this coming Monday, consider what you can fast from in order to give your best attention to God for these 21 days. This could be great fun!
You may be wondering WHY to even fast? Well, I'll be preaching on this this coming Sunday. See you then!