Good morning, beloved!
I’m here to tell you we serve abundant, amazing God! Yesterday was my anniversary which with all that is happening, we both forgot until Danny reminded us. God gave us so many gifts yesterday. God provided two dear friends to help with my kids yesterday. God provided monetary help from our church. As the day progressed, I realized that our washer was broken. And then God brought a dear friend to take my laundry. God gave us an appointment at Rush today for our little Ella. My parents are coming to help and take us down. I want to give God all the glory for His many provisions. People prayed for us, I thank you. Friends called. Posted on my Facebook wall. God is good. Our gifts for our anniversary were abundant.
We look to you, Lord Jesus to provide and bring peace and hope.
As we turn to the Word this morning, I gratefully thank you for coming and reading this blog. May God bless you and keep you and may His wonderful face shine upon you. We are looking for more information on fasting as Jesus led us in matthew 6:
16 And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and sour and dreary like the hypocrites, for they put on a dismal countenance, that their fasting may be apparent to andseen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full already.
17 But when you fast, perfume your head and wash your face,
18 So that your fasting may not be noticed by men but by your Father, Who sees in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.
So here we go!
Daniel 10: the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was called Belteshazzar. And the word was true and it referred to great tribulation (conflict and wretchedness). And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant or desirable food, nor did any meat or wine come into my mouth; and I did not anoint myself at all for the full three weeks.
4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was on the bank of the great river Hiddekel [which is the Tigris],
5 I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz.
11 And [the angel] said to me, O Daniel, you greatly beloved man, understand the words that I speak to you and stand upright, for to you I am now sent. And while he was saying this word to me, I stood up trembling.
12 Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind andheart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I remained there with the kings of Persia.
So Daniel was in mourning. He had seen the vision of the king and great conflict was coming. So he fasted. He fasted as a result of the chaos ensuing. I include the next set of verses (11-13)..you can see an angel came to Daniel. You can see that God recognized, as did the angel whom was sent by God, that Daniel’s heart and mind were set on understanding and humbling. During those three weeks of fasting for Daniel, there was great purpose, was there not? The angel was in battle with Satan. The war we cannot see with our eyes but continue on: spiritual warfare.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed in God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came to the king of Nineveh [of all that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God], and he arose from his throne and he laid his robe aside, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed nor drink water.
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.
9 Who can tell, God may turn and revoke His sentence against us [when we have met His terms], and turn away from His fierce anger so that we perish not.
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God revoked His [sentence of] evil that He had said that He would do to them and He did not do it [for He was comforted and eased concerning them].
This fast was amazing. Jonah was used by God to turn their hearts. He hated these people and yet God used this unwilling servant to cause a nation to turn to Him. He opened their eyes to their evil ways and violence. And when they fasted (and this was serious..) no water, no food for any living being. God, then, heard and saw their works and He revoked their sentence! Can it be that God, our God was willing to have His mind changed as a result of their humbled hearts? I would say yes.
1 And the Lord utters His voice before His army, for His host is very great, and [they are] strong and powerful who execute [God’s] word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can endure it?
12 Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored].
13 Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].
14 Who knows but what He will turn, revoke your sentence [of evil], and leave a blessing behind Him [giving you the means with which to serve Him], even a cereal or meal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?
Further evidence of our loving God asking His people to turn their hearts towards Him. To grieve their sins, to mourn and in so fasting, restoring the broken fellowship with amazing God. When we have sinned and know we need to mourn and grieve, God hears us. Fasting is a powerful restoration. I will say tho, that Jesus is the Restorer of our fellowship. He is our bridge. Fasting seems to keep our hearts soft and humble.
14 Then the disciples of John came to Jesus, inquiring, Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, [that is, abstain from food and drink as a religious exercise], but Your disciples do not fast?
15 And Jesus replied to them, Can the wedding guests mourn while the bridegroom is still with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Jesus certainly is not vague here. We are in the time after Jesus came, right? Seems to me that fasting is not a choice but what Jesus expects.
Acts 13: Now in the church (assembly) at Antioch there were prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God) and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger [Black], Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
3 Then after fasting and praying, they put their hands on them and sent them away.
4 So then, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from [that port] they sailed away to Cyprus.
In their time of worshiping and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke. He gave direction to the faithful. Another blessing of fasting and worship, clear direction from the Lord.
Pray on, beloved. Pray on.