Having read the New Testament Book of Acts many times over the course of my faith journey with Jesus, I am convinced that we don’t do what the early church did (signs, wonders, miracles) because we don’t do what the early church did (prayer, fasting, study of scriptures). They experienced and enjoyed seasons of revival, refreshing, and renewal because they gave much attention to specific spiritual disciplines.
The discipline of fasting was a regular practice of the early church, and I am convinced this contributed to the atmosphere of revival, refreshing, and renewal that seemed to penetrate the atmosphere of the church in the Book of Acts. The very act of fasting, self-denial, says to God “We are depending on you”. The early church was “God” dependent rather than “Self” reliant.
The beginning of a brand new year is a great time to cry out to God for a spirit of renewal to permeate our lives and our church. This will create an environment that allows the Holy Spirit to speak, and generates our ability to hear His voice. Acts 13:2 says, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (NKJV).
Remember this as we begin the New Year: “Your Fast is a privilege, not an obligation. It is the acceptance of divine invitation to experience God’s grace in a special way,” Donald Whitney. Experiencing God’s grace in a special way is the spiritual act of renewal.
Pastor Ed Russo
Lead Pastor of Life Church
The Church Sanctuary Will Be Open
Monday-Thursday, January 11-21,
6A-8A & 11A-1P For Prayer
PREPARE YOUR HEART
Be willing to hear what God says needs to change in your life. Tell God that you surrender your life and dreams to Him and that you want His presence to guide you and to go before you each day.
PREPARE YOUR MOTIVES
The purpose of fasting is not to manipulate God but rather to mold us so that we can see His kingdom and His will be done in our lives.
PREPARE YOUR BODY
If you choose to do the Daniel Fast and eat only fruits and vegetables, it will result in the cleansing of your body. You may feel somewhat out of sorts as this occurs and as your body detoxes. This isn’t a mind game; it’s about experiencing God.
PREPARE YOUR SCHEDULE
Schedule time every day to read God’s word, pray and journal. Write down those things that God impresses on your heart. The fast is also about spending time with God daily. Decide now and plan to attend weekly worship gatherings. Create a plan, and commit to spending more time with the Lord.
PREPARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
“The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.” List three things you are expecting and believing God for during this fast.
TYPES OF FASTS
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out! It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all of the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your own body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any types of food from sunup to sundown.
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from a diet. One example is the Daniel Fast, from which you remove meat, sweets, & bread from your diet.
Refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance by abstaining from items such as social media, TV, video games for the duration of the fast.