At the beginning of the New Year, it is common for churches to call their people to a corporate fast. Well we are joining that movement and asking people to fast with us for 10 days. The questions may emerge, “What is a fast and why should I do it? There are people who have written books on the subject so I am just going to try and give some highlights here.
There are not a lot of instructions about fasting in the Bible because the people who were being talked to were all familiar with the concept of what it was. The same concept would happen here if we went to Europe and talked about football. In the United States we all have an idea in our mind of what the words mean, but in Europe, they are thinking soccer.
Basically, fasting is an attempt to bring our appetites for things under control so we can create an appetite for Jesus. John Piper stated that “Biblical fasting is a way of exposing latent idolaters in our lives. Who we are when we aren’t medicated by timely meals is who we really are.” Our appetites can slowly become addictions in our lives. They can consume our time, wealth, and energy. Stopping them can even lead to withdrawals. This is where who we really are emerges. Fasting exposes attitudes that are hidden beneath our appetites. When these attitudes are exposed we can bring them to God through repentance and be set free of these things. This is why the bible calls fasting “Humbling Ourselves” (Psalm 69: 10)
You may ask, “What should I do?” Ask the Holy Spirit what he wants you to give up during these ten days. Then spend the time, energy, or money that you would pour into this activity into pursuing Jesus. If we don’t spend the extra time pursuing Jesus then it is just a thing we are doing to “self improve”and nothing eternal is going to happen. BUT, (I love that word) if we ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, we can see eternal change in our own lives which will bring change to those around us. So….join us in these ten days. Let’s see Jesus together and give our plans for the coming year to Him. Let’s believe for a revival that is going to shake the Chippewa Valley.