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Archive for January 18th, 2016

Starting the Fast

Fasting-Splash-MQ

Joel 2:12-13 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Today, we start a 40 day fast at The Shepherd’s Fellowship as we move past “Consecration Sunday”. As we do, here’s some thoughts to help those involved get started.

Again, a fast is giving up anything that matters to you for a period of time as a sacrifice to God. It is not a weight loss program. It’s not a detox program to get rid of a bad habit. While it might have some side benefits depending on what you surrender, it’s primarily sacrificing for the Lord to draw closer to Him and seek Him.

While people will give up anything from Facebook to certain foods, the goal is to give up something you miss. Then when you feel that you are missing that thing, use that as a reminder and spend that time for prayer, digging into the Word, and receiving counsel and fellowship from other mature Christians to draw closer to God.

Be cautious not to make a frivolous commitment before God. This is something you are sacrificing to Him. While we may slip here and there and lean into His grace, this is also not a casual thing to take lightly.

With this fast, we are humbling ourselves before God so that He can lift us up….. both as individuals and for our church. During this time (and any time), I would appreciate your prayer for myself, my family, the staff (worship leader, kid’s coordinator, and youth coordinator), the elders, the deacons, the volunteers, your brothers and sisters in the church, the vision of the church, and much more. Please be praying against any attack of the enemy to stop the flow of the Holy Spirit in our church and that God has His way to restore, heal, and empower.

We love you guys and look forward to what God is doing in our midst and in the fast. If you have any questions, feel free to touch base with me.

Blessings!

Pastor Tom
theshepherdsfellowship.org

PS – I had a side question that was excellent. Traditionally, we invite those who are interested in doing so to join us for fasting during Lent as we prepare for Easter. This is not a Biblically mandated fast but a tradition. This year, Lent begins in early February and runs into part of the church called fast and someone wondered how that would work.

For me, the current fast is a Spirit called fast and it’s where I am focusing my seeking so for the first time in several years, I will not be participating in Lent with a fast. However, as a pastor and a church, we are happy to support what God puts on your heart with Lent and if you let us know you will be fasting then too, we will be happy to be praying over you as the Holy Spirit moves.

 

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