In any New Year, I typically resist making New Year’s resolutions, because, despite my best intentions, they have a shelf-life of about 30 days. Each year, however, I participate in a 21 day fast; fasting one meal per day and spending that time seeking God for renewed vision and focus for the year.
The desire of my heart for 2018 is to draw closer to Jesus and to know Him more. Jesus was the example by which every Christian should and will be measured. The very title, “Christian” means, “One who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ” (merriam-webster.com). In a recent podcast, Bill Johnson, the Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, made a statement similar to the following: “If someone from San Diego, who is used to a climate with the expectation of 10 inches of rain per year moves to Redding, where it is common to receive 20 inches of rain per year, that person may feel as if what they are experiencing is an abundance of rain. And yet, for Redding, these would be considered drought conditions. A drought doesn’t mean there is no rain, it simply means there hasn’t been enough.”
In a spiritual sense, we can become used to a spiritual climate and never realize that there is more of God’s presence, or understanding of His Word to be received. In this context, I am thirsty for more of God in my life. I have discovered that when I fast; when I turn away from those things which may distract me, I invite the Holy Spirit to reveal more of the presence of Jesus in my life. This is the place where direction becomes clearer and confusion dissipates.
This is where I experience more of a sense of security; a “knowing” deep in my soul – the revelation that God has me in the palm of His hand, and fear fades away. Jesus made this statement, pertinent to each of us today, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13, NKJV).
Fasting is a way to adjust spiritually. Because Jesus is to be the standard by which I measure my life, I must ask myself regularly, “Am I producing other disciples of Jesus? Am I a source of miracles in the lives of those around me?” If the answer is no, then I must make necessary adjustments. How? Can we work miracles? It was Jesus’ intention that we should.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12, NKJV). That is the standard. If you are living the Christian life, and yet, you sense a powerlessness inside, there is a solution.
The Bible is clear, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8, NKJV). Fasting allows us to break through areas which may seem to hold us back and break forth into new areas of victory!
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.