Our church has been on a 40 day fast. We have 9 days to go. At times it seems like a uphill climb, and for me personally, there have been many a “sniff” at the Nutella jar. Many conversations with other church members are about food, and recipes that are “Daniel fast” friendly. On the surface it seemed like it was really just a fast without nothing to show for it, but I can feel things changing. There is something to be said about corporate prayer and fasting. It strengthens the body, and it brings the toxins to the surface. This can be said about one’s personal body, as well as the church body. We are all getting leaner, hungrier and hopeful.
When Jesus was on His 40 day fast, the enemy came to tempt Him. In Matthew chapter 4 it talks about their conversation, but what really struck me was verse 17, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near’.” WOW!! I don’t know if any of you caught that…but it took that 40 days of prayer and self-discipline to have the strength to take the good news to the people. What will it look like when 100’s of us are ready and hungry for Jesus? Can you imagine the power of the Gospel? The enemy is seeing the end of this fast coming, and he is getting desperate. I have had many a personal battle, many of us have, but Jesus is faithful. He has filled me with a renewed hope that this is all worth it. Nothing is more important than spreading the love of Jesus. He is all that matters.
The world is so hungry for Jesus. It is so obvious as one watches the things and positions that people are chasing, only to find themselves still hungry. Hungry for truth, hungry for something real, hungry for significance. The world cannot give it. Many are also turning to eastern religions, finding some peace in meditation, but there is no peace for the forever. Others are turning to addictive behaviour, filling the emptiness with alcohol, sex, drugs, and excessive physical image improvement projects. It just doesn’t work.
Nothing fills that hunger except Jesus.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.