I’ve been impressed again as I was reading in the early chapters of Joshua how often God talked to Joshua about what He was “giving” Israel, even though they still had to fight for it.
When they approached Jericho, God said, “I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” When they got over the debaucle at Ai and were going up under God’s anointing, again He said, “I have delivered Ai into your hands.”
Interesting. A past tense verb for a future event. But when God speaks, it’s as good as done, even though there may be many battles before its completion. I like this.
Since He promised that Israel “will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days,” it is as good as done, even though we may not see it with our natural eyes for a few years.
When He speaks of that corridor between ancient Assyria and Egypt along with Israel becoming a blessing upon the earth, it is done though we have yet to see it. When God speaks, it’s as good as done.
Stand firmly on His promises.
Thousands of us are entering or have entered into a time of fasting and prayer in these opening days of 2019. In all my years in the Nashville area, and in other cities, I have never known the body of believers to be so united for such a time of corporately seeking the Lord together with prayer and with fasting.
Fasting is not the easiest thing we have ever done, so why are we fasting and what do we expect from this time? As I was sitting and pondering this, here are some of the things that are motivating me:
- First of all, Jesus expected His followers to connect to God through fasting and prayer. He did not say, “If you fast,” but “When you fast,” and told His accusers that when the bridegroom left, His disciples would fast (See Matthew 6:16 and 9:16).
- I/we need a more complete surrender of ourselves to Jesus, and this manner of full-body praying (that’s what I call it) helps us in that surrender. We humble ourselves through fasting (Psalm 35:13).
- There are areas of our lives where we are not gaining the victory. When this happened to the disciples, Jesus said, “This kind comes out only through prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29 NKJV).
- Because we are desperate to see a greater move of God in our region and in our world.
- Asking for instructions and God’s provisions for the days ahead (Ezra 8:21)
- For healing (Isaiah 58:3-9)
- When we need God’s intervention for a particular crisis (2 Chronicles 20)
- As a way of joining across all lines as we seek to answer the prayer of Jesus in becoming one before the Father, so that the world will know that Jesus is the Sent One from the Father (John 17:20-21).
Let’s join our hearts together during these days and encourage each other as we devote meal times and other times to be before the Lord, expecting Him to work in astonishing ways in our own personal lives and in the lives of those around us.