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“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’.” Matthew 16:24 NIV
When Moses received the Ten Commandments, he spent 40 days on the mountain without food or water. When the prophet Daniel waited for God’s deliverance, he fasted, confessing his sins and the sins of his country. Before Christ began His earthly ministry, He was tempted in the wilderness, and He fasted. But why? When we fast, we deny ourselves the necessity of food or the pleasures of this life and, for a time, we make feeding our souls, by hearing from our Lord, a higher priority than feeding our bodies. Throughout history, people have fasted at times when they had an urgent prayer request, were looking for direction or were taking on a special assignment. Still, fasting, a staple of the Christian life, passed down through generations, may not be as familiar to us as other spiritual disciplines, like having personal quiet time or praying. Because we live in a “me-first” culture, we forget that life in Christ is not all about us. We are tempted to tell God how we want Him to act so He can make our lives easier. “Give me what I want right now. Please don’t make this painful. And by all means, keep me safe”. Fasting allows us to line up our hearts and prayer life with God’s desires rather than pursuing our own agenda. By denying ourselves, we invite the Holy Spirit to examine our lives and lead us into the plans He has for us.
Lord Jesus, as You lead me to fast, thank You for speaking into my life.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, as we choose to fast, thank You that it allows us to line up our hearts and prayer life with Your desires rather than pursuing our own agenda. As we deny ourselves, we invite You, Holy Spirit, to examine our lives and lead us into the plans You have for us. AMEN
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