Joel 1:14-15 – “Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. 15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and it will come as destruction from the Almighty.” NASU
Saying that we live in a troubled world is an understatement, but something we dare not fail to remember. We need reminders, from time to time, of the times in which we live so as, to prevent us from drifting into complacency or adopting a “Que, Sera, Sera” attitude. We dare not think that if we ignore the conditions they will dissipate or disappear. THEY WILL NOT! When there is a lion in the street ignoring the lion won’t make the street safe. When there is a wolf at the door, denying his existence and seeking to isolate ourselves inside won’t take away his threat. When the world plunges into chaos, corruption, disruption, and evil raise its ugly head, the silence of the church only facilitates, empowers, and emboldens that evil.
Paul advised us that we are in a spiritual battle and to combat that foe we must utilize spiritual weapons of war, which we have through Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 10, the apostle tells us that these weapons are supernatural and through them, we can ‘pull down strongholds’ the enemy has and is erecting. We are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We can do all things through our Lord Jesus Christ and nothing is impossible with God and in Him, nothing is impossible for us.
The Power of Prayer is wonderfully evident and clear in both the Bible and life, as many of us have learned. It is not a desperate attempt to sway God from taking some action or get Him to take some action He is either reluctant to do. It conditions our hearts, develops our faith, emboldens our witness, and reminds us of God’s promises. Prayer, when effectual, inspires a change of heart and mind and propels into action to achieve that which God through His Word and Spirit has and does promise. It becomes a mighty weapon to combat the assault of the wicked one, enabling us to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and having done all to stand, to stand firmly on God’s Promise and Person.
Fasting was a much, utilized weapon in the Old Testament and New Testament and has been a cornerstone of the church for centuries. The diminishing of that weapon or practice is a more recent phenomenon and we have allowed that weapon to be lost to our own hurt spiritually. Fasting is not simply abstaining from food for a specified period, of time, it is an endeavor in which the Spirit of God takes control of the fleshly mind and desires and turns our focus singularly upon God and His Purposes and Plan. It is a means whereby we can ‘humble ourselves’ before God. It is a means whereby we can focus on God first and foremost. It facilitates a renewed or new yieldedness in our lives and often produces a brokenness that moves us nearer to God and helps us realize our dependence upon Him.
In natural warfare, successful participants know their enemy, know their resources, know their weapons and know how to use them. When we set aside a time for ‘fasting and prayer’ for whatever reason we are engaging in spiritual warfare. In view of the current condition, unrest, upheaval, and depravity of our world we must wake up and realize, THIS IS WAR! In war, there are casualties and there are victors and vanquished. If we truly care about what is happening our America and around the world and we are Christians, we should be inspired, encouraged, and challenged to discover the root cause of this destruction. We should desire to utilize our weapons most effectively and consistently. We should be willing to die for the cause of God and Freedom. If we love God, love people, and want to see as many salvaged and saved as possible, this call is for us. I believe that we are being called to “National Fasting and Prayer.” Let’s bring in 2017 with a commitment to intercession, proclamation, profession, and the pursuit of the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.
God, bless you as you focus on Him and His Purposes for your life and your world!