Zechariah 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace…
The people of Israel have four set times during the year that they are fasting and setting apart to The Lord. However, the temple has not been rebuilt and all of their daily life is languishing cause God is not glorified in their daily routine. The people are admonished to love truth and peace and be joyful and glad even during the feasts. As they are obedient, even in their daily feasting and eating, a great reward wil be given them.
Let’s read more:
Zechariah 8:21-23 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.’ “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’
The inhabitants of peoples, cities, and nations will be drawn to Israel as they continually pray and seek The Lord. Our daily life is not devoid of divine interaction. Every moment of our lives should be submitted in obedience to The God of the universe. As we lay our lives down before Him, He will draw all men to Himself.
The other thing that is important in this passage is that people are coming from all around because God is with His people. Wherever we happen to be, grocery store, gas station, school, workplace, or somewhere else, people should realize that God is with us. We carry the very Spirit and presence of an almighty God inside us as we are submitted in obedience to Him. He should ever be radiating His glory from us and effecting the atmosphere around us.
As we talk about the glory of God continuously emanating from our being, Here is a final caution from Psalm 78:
Psalm 78:41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.
The day to day lives of the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt were rebellion and disobedience. Because they did not live in obedience and humility, they actually limited the God of the universe from doing what He wanted to do through them. We must continually seek to remove anything our of our lives that would get in the way of Him moving in us and through us. We must seek to never limit God in what He wants to do no matter whether we are fasting or feasting!
My encouragement for us today is to continually seek The Lord and His way. As He reveals a himself to us, may we walk in humility and obedience that He may move how He wants to move, big or small. If it is our heart to seek Him, love Him, and glorify His name at all times, God will be glorified in our fasting as well as our feasting as well as all the time in between.
Jesus, here I am! I desire to be used mightily by You. May every area of my life be completely surrendered to You! I love You and desire for You to be glorified continually through my life. Help me to always lift You up and allow You to have free reign to do whatever You want to do in and through my life.
- Set your heart to seek The Lord
- Ask Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you
- Walk in continual obedience
- Invite Him to speak and move in your daily routine as well as your specialized time with Him
Be blessed to experience and release the power of The Resurrected Lord in your daily life. May you never limit him because of disobedience but release a him in all of His fullness to work through you. As you allow God to move in greater ways during your daily routine, may this propel you into the next level with Him.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
As we near the end of the second week, I want to encourage you to continue to return to The Lord for strength and life. Some may have incredible will power, but the point of fasting and prayer is to humble yourself and say, “God, I need You!” I would not have been able to make it this far without supernatural strength.
Here is another encouragement from Jesus’ words:
Matthew 5:3 Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
Those of us who realize our need for God are blessed and will be spiritually prosperous because we know it is His work in us and not the work of our hands. Continue to trust in the grace and mercy of a loving God, and look to Him for all that you need.
As we continue to press in to The Lord and seek Him, we come to a realization. Most of the time, food becomes built up in our lives as an idol, in the very least as a great treasure. It is what we think about. It is what we talk about. It is what we build our gatherings around. “Which restaurant do you want to go to?”, “What is for dinner?“, and “What are we going to do for food?” are common questions, especially in the American society.
Our culture is built around the value of food, and often our waistlines reflect it. You probably find this out more when you are fasting than any other time. It is almost necessary to become a recluse because family time, hospitality, and all social gatherings are food-centered. When this comfort is taken away, it can be hard to figure out what to do, for the one fasting and for those around them. If you are not eating, for whatever reason, often your own family does not even know how to treat you.
In Matthew 4, Jesus elects to go The 40 to strengthen Himself spiritually to stand up against the temptation of the enemy. What does the enemy tempt Jesus with first? Food! Here is Jesus’ answer quoting from the scriptures:
Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Food is necessary and important for the body to live, but Jesus puts His focus on what really matters, treasuring the Word of God. Even though your body may be sustained physically, you can still become sick and even die of a broken heart or spirit. However, The Word of God brings life to you that you cannot get any other way. Your value has to be on what really matters.
As we are fasting, I pray that even though the comfort of food has been taken away, you replace it with the life giving Word of God. When we read The Bible and seek Him in prayer for a personal word, this is what will sustain us through every situation in our lives. If you have not already, I encourage you to set aside some extra time to read The Bible and pray, especially while you fast. This will help you not only grow spiritually, but sustain you during The 40.
Someone else who knew the importance of the word is someone we know for going through some of the most difficult trials anyone has ever had to face, Job. In the middle of his difficult situation where everything is taken away and even his wife and friends are turning against him, this is what He says:
Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.
Everything that God has to say is vitally important. Job says it should be treasured more than the food that is necessary to survive. In his situation, he did not need food. Food could not help him out of his grief and loss. It could do nothing for Him. However, he was hoping, clinging, and longing for The word from the mouth of God. Life comes from Him! Hope comes from Him! Strength comes from Him! As we seek The Lord, we must have ears to hear His word. When we hear His word, we must be obedient to receive the true blessings He wants to pour out upon us.
Jesus, help me to truly treasure the words of your mouth more than anything in my life. Open my ears to hear You. Open my heart to obey You. I want to base my life upon Your life-giving, life-sustaining word spoken to Me.
- Commit 15 – 30 mins extra time to spend seeking The Lord each day.
- Read The Bible, 1-5 chapters a day
- Ask Holy Spirit to open your ears and help you to truly value The Word
Be blessed with eyes to see the face of God, ears to hear new revelations of His glory, and a heart to be truly transformed by His presence! May this propel you to the next level in Him!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!