I just listened to an excellent teaching by Mike Bickle from the Zechariah conference at IHOP-KC in September. I strongly encourage you to take an hour and listen to this teaching.
I want to share a few of the words that really impacted me.
5Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: "When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? 6When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? 7Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous?" (Zech. 7:4-7)
Eat and drink: In both their fasts and feasts they focused on themselves without regard for their relationship with the Lord or His larger purposes for their nation. Whether in times of fasting with mourning or in feasting with celebration, the same issue is key:
- Their national feasts were to be a time to remember God's goodness with gratitude. Their holy days became merely holidays where they enjoyed food and recreation without taking time to rededicate themselves to God.
- Fasting and feasting are both to be based on the same value of desiring a deeper relationship with God. Fasting was not just about obtaining blessings to make their life easier and feasting was not just getting time off for more recreation. They viewed the feasts as time off from God, instead of it being a day to draw closer to Him.
As we fast and pray during the Global Bridegroom Fast this week, I am choosing to go without those tasty foods and drinks that I enjoy so much. I don't want to do this out of obligation. I also don't want to finish this fast with excessive feasting.
I want to celebrate God's goodness with thanksgiving, prayer and worship. I want to draw near to Him and devote extra time and energy to cultivating deep and meaningful relationship with my God and Savior. I also want to spend myself more in seeking the advancement of God's kingdom instead of being so worried about the condition of mine. I want to offer my small sacrifice of tasty foods out of love and with great joy.
I invite you to find ways in your own life to celebrate Holy Days this season and not just the holidays.
Still Counting Gifts:
- #640: Spring like weather in December
- #641: Extra time in recent weeks with my squishees, Noah and Kingston
- #642: Extra time in the HOP this morning
- #643: Finally feeling inspired to write about something
- #644: Hope in my heart
- #645: Remembering that my struggle is not with flesh and blood
- #646: The full armor of God that protects me
- #647: Time to connect with friends and celebrate Christmas
- #648: Opportunities to trust that God will provide for me and my family
- #649: Space in my life to breathe