By Pastor Jeff Johnston (January 18, 2021)
When we fast, we tend to focus on WHAT we are going without. The very things we’re giving up, capture our attention much more than they ever have before. You may not have craved or even thought about chocolate since Christmas, but now that you’ve given it up, it’s all you can think about!
One of the important steps of successful fasting is to go beyond the WHAT, and clarify your WHY. Why are you giving up some of the pleasures of life? Why are you entering into a time of personal sacrifice? Is it for healing? For spiritual intimacy? Guidance from God? Soul cleansing? New righteousness? Breakthrough? A miracle of some kind?
When we get specific with what we are praying for, hoping for, and even EXPECTING to see happen, we increase our chances of freedom, breakthrough and blessing.
Let’s look at what Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8. “ASK and it will be GIVEN to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For EVERYONE who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Now take this a step further. Not only should we KNOW what we’re asking for, and do that asking with boldness, but we should also TEST our asking. My own heart is challenged when I read James 4:2-3. “You have not because you ask not” and “even when you ask, you ask with wrong motives…”
God knows our hearts. He knows that we can ask for good things, and He knows we can ask for them out of bad motives. I believe James is encouraging us to ask God for the right THINGS, and ask for them with the right MOTIVES.
So, let’s make our fast bigger than what we’re going without. Let’s be clear of our WHY, and put purpose in our time of fasting. I encourage you now to take a moment and write down your WHY.
Lord, give me strength today to fulfill WHAT I’m fasting, and clarity on WHY I’m fasting. May this be about more than just what I’m subtracting from my life, but what YOU are adding! Help me to TARGET MY TRIUMPH!