Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
Church, we have seen the Lord do so many miracles in our midst. From what I have seen, both with my eyes, and in prayer, I can tell you that God is putting in so much work within our little church. Men and women, are making courageous decisions towards Jesus. Children are learning what it is to be quick to pray and slow to worry. People, who believe in what God is doing at Vision LB, are partnering with us financially and have been such a blessing to us since day 1. Who knew that God would do so much in the midst of so much adversity. It is in these times that I believe we need to go deeper.
Though many of us have never fasted, but may have at one time or another observed lent, I believe that God wants to show us how important this time of year is. From Tuesday March 7 until Saturday April 15th, we will embark on a 40 Day Journey that will change our lives forever. If you look at the verses above, the Prophet Joel, is hearing from the Lord.
God is telling him,
“Turn to me with all your heart, With Fasting, with weeping, and mourning, Rend your hearts, and not your garments”
Why would God request this of Joel?
God wanted His people to return to Him, to come closer, to go deeper.
Because God is gracious. He is merciful. Slow to anger. Great in Kindness. He relents from doing harm.
Though we need to grow deeper in these areas, I believe this fast is not only for us, but for those who have yet to know who God really is. For our co-workers, our neighbors, our family members, people who God has placed in our lives for a specific reason.
So what is a Fast?
The simplest way to put it is taking a selfish, or self gratifying behavior (TV, Sports, Internet, Social Media, Soda, Sugar, Meals, etc), and intentionally substituting it with a spiritual behavior (Reading your Bible, Intercessory Prayer, Intentional Prayer, a time to seek the Lord). Personally, in the past I’ve fasted my lunch meal/break, instead of eating and relaxing at work, I would spend the hour in prayer. For this season, I will be abstaining from all personal Social Media accounts for all 40 Days. As we choose what we will give up for the 40 days, remember this is between you and the Lord, it will involve sacrifice, but I promise you, you will grow deeper in your relationship with the Lord.
So I invite you to join us as we take some time to go deeper. To reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross. To take in the miracles, the healings, the parables leading up to the cross, and watch them sink deeper into our own personal walk with the Lord. I am praying that He would give us such a heart for the lost, that it would give us courage to invite as many people as we can to our Easter Celebration.
Let’s go deeper church.