by Angie Thomas
I have to admit that I like to eat and drink. The thought of starting a fast always makes my stomach churn a bit and my flesh totally balks at it! What about you? I know the thought of denying ourselves seems so foreign and strange in many ways. Especially for something that is unseen. There appears to be no immediate reward.
But, that is a lie and is exactly what the enemy wants us to think. The enemy tempts us in the same way he tempted Jesus in the desert, “If you are God’s child, why would He ever want to deny you anything? Eat now, enjoy, take what you want, you have freedom.” Matthew 4 exposes Satan’s trick beautifully, “And the tempter came and said to [Jesus], “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” v.3 Satan is basically saying, “If you are really God’s Son, then why wouldn’t you just make some bread for yourself and enjoy. You haven’t eaten in 40 days, surely God would never want His Son to go 40 days without food?” Jesus has a perfect answer, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” v.4 He combats the lie with God’s word. He dispels the illusion Satan is trying to create with the reality of God’s truth in His word.
Joel 2 gives us a beautiful picture of God’s promise to meet us when we humble ourselves before him and cry out in prayer and fasting. The reward is even greater than we could ever ask or imagine.
Joel 2:12-13, 21-23, 24-25, 26
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
“Fear not, O land;
be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!
Fear not, you beasts of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit;
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
“Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
“The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten…
“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
Do not believe the enemy’s lie. Stop procrastinating if the Lord is asking you to fast. I can’t wait to see what He shows us and teaches us on this journey! The blessing of the Lord is waiting.