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Nehemiah 10:35 NLT
“We promise to bring the first part of every harvest to the Lord’s Temple year after year—whether it be a crop from the soil or from our fruit trees.”
Some of us greet this year with anticipation of good things, some of us with anxiety about what may be coming in the next 365 days.
No matter what you are feeling, one thing is for sure: this is the beginning of a new year. And it matters how we begin the new year. It also matters to God.
The first of anything is special, whether it’s a first day of school or new job, your first car or your first kiss. And maybe you’ve never thought of it this way, but God sees firsts as special, too. He even told the Israelites to bring the first part of every harvest to Him as an offering. Not just to honor Him, but to posture their hearts to receive what He had.That’s what we are doing during the next 21 days. We are dedicating the first of this new year to seeking him through fasting and intentional prayer.
Fasting is a powerful way to do this. To begin the new year. To connect with God. There are a number of ways to fast. Some may abstain from sweets or caffeine, or even completely set aside one meal a day and talk to to God during that time. You can choose to fast meat or carbs or give up that thing that you turn to when you’re stressed (chocolate anyone?). Or how about your daily Starbucks? The idea is that by eliminating something that normally fills us up we will become more aware of our physical hunger and turn it into hunger for God. The exciting thing is, Jesus promises to fill hungry hearts.
The combination of prayer and fasting is spiritual dynamite. When that hunger hits and instead of reaching for that food, you instead pray and ask God to strengthen you, that opens a door for God to move in your heart and change you from the inside out. These 21 days have the potential to move internal mountains in your soul!
So – what is your fast going to look like?