So as a church family in the city [foyle vineyard] we're taking a month to intentionally seek God and turn our hearts towards Him.
That might sound awfully religious so simply put - we're going to pray and fast. It's an old tradition that has always been part of God's people. Many have misused it and got confused about it. So what do we mean when we say we're going to pray and fast?
Well, fasting is giving up something (usually food or something nice) so you can cultivate in your heart a greater hunger for God. It's not twisting God's arm, we can't do that. It's not whining like a toddler or groaning like a teenager to try and get our way. That doesn't work. It is a choice. A choice to make a small sacrifice that physically costs us something - in order to create a greater focus and longing for the one that we love and follow - Jesus.
So that's what we're doing. We're intentionally choosing to do something physical to express our love for Jesus and to cultivate a hunger for more of Him in our lives.
It's more than that though - we're doing it together? Why together? Why's that important?
Well, because in the story of God throughout the Bible something happens when we make ourselves available to God as a community of His people. It affects and moves His heart when we turn our focus and attention towards Him. And when we do that as a group, together it has a multiplying affect. In the Bible it says this:
"if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." [2 Chron 7:14]
It's possible to move the heart of God, it's possible to affect Him, like a child affects their father when they come humbly asking for help.
That's what I'm believing anyway. I'm putting my hope in a God who is good, who desires to move in people's lives and who has purposed something great for this beautiful city of ours. I'm choosing to let my stomach go empty for just a fleeting moment and letting my passion fixate again on the 'King of My Heart'. And I want to invite you to do the same. To cultivate a hunger in your soul by choosing momentary hunger in your body.
In the prophet Joel, when God calls a fast, he calls it for the whole people from the smallest infant to the oldest. And His response is to promise blessing, breakthrough, vindication from our enemies, fruitfulness, healing and wholeness. So, call me a fanatic but I'm excited and I'm inviting you to get excited too!