“Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room.”Joel 2:15-16 NKJV
OK LWFC folks and all those who have joined us, this is the LAST WEEK of the fast! There just aren’t words to describe how encouraged I am by all those who are participating. I sometimes go to the wall in our sanctuary where everyone signed up and stare at it. I pray for the names on there, and then stare again. It’s just amazing to me that so many would interrupt their routines for 3 weeks to seek God. Then again…that’s what kind of Church that Living Word is. That’s what kind of people you are. Followers who are serious about God and your walk with Him.
To me the most striking aspect of fasting is not the food restrictions…it’s the interruption of my ROUTINES. It’s the interruption in the routines of what I eat, when I get up in the morning, how I start my day, how I order my priorities, and how I relate to others around me who are used to certain behaviors. It’s saying to others, “I know you were expecting me at ‘___________’, but I am participating in our Church’s 21 days of fasting and prayer, so you’ll need to excuse me this time”.
Add to that the fact that this type of corporate fast, even though it’s a challenge for us as pastors and Church staff, is much more challenging for those of you in the secular workplace. In your work environment: 1) You’re surrounded by people going to cool places for lunch, having coffee, and great snacks to munch on during work time, 2) You need to explain to your boss and co-workers why you’re coming in later for 3 weeks so that you can participate in 7AM corporate prayer with your Church, and 3) Keeping your cool among your co-workers while your body is screaming for caffeine and sugar (My co-workers understand that because we’re ALL dealing with it together!).
I salute you! I celebrate you! I am so moved by your love for God and your commitment to honor Him during this fast. Keep it up, we’re on the home stretch! Six more days! Let’s finish strong this week!