A fast that God approves
Many churches and individuals begin the New Year with a 21-day Daniel Fast. My church has done it for the past several years and I have participated in many of them. Last year I did not because I dreaded facing weeks of preparation reading labels, spending extra money on appropriate food items, looking for recipes that were Daniel-fast approved, etc. etc. etc.
(In 2016 I wrote a post about why this approach to fasting was troubling to me—see the link below to read that post).
To me this whole modern approach to fasting seems to be the antithesis of Daniel’s motivation for fasting. Daniel 10: 1-3 says he was in mourning because of a vision: “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (NIV)
Two things strike me about Daniel’s fast in this passage:
(1) Daniel’s motivation for fasting was about a Great War he saw in a vision. What if we entered our fast truly mourning the “Great War” the enemy is waging against our nation, our culture, our youth and the Church and crying out for God’s intervention.
(2) Just as Daniel entered his fast focusing on the spiritual by denying his flesh and refusing the king’s rich food—so our focus for fasting should be on denying our flesh and humbling ourselves—not spending our time focusing on what foods we can and can’t eat during the fast.
This year I am participating in the fast, but with a new freedom. I’m simply giving up what I personally consider my “choice, rich and pleasant foods” and focusing my attention on spending time drawing near to God in His Word, in worship and in prayer.
If you are participating in a fast this year, I suggest you search your motives and seek God for how He wants you to fast. Trust Him to lead you.
Click here to read my other post about fasting: The Daniel Fast: Are We Really Denying Ourselves?
Our destiny as a nation lies not in the hands of any political candidate or party but in the hands of the CHURCH!
America is currently caught up in an unprecedented frenzy of political madness! The leading candidates from both parties seem more like characters from a sleazy movie rather than leaders who possess character, integrity and the ability to lead a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles.
But then, it can be argued that we are no longer a nation “under God” or governed by His principles. Our courts, public schools, universities and even churches have turned from belief and adherence to the Scriptures and have embraced the popular culture and political correctness which espouses individual freedom with no absolutes. Continue reading
Some of you wholeheartedly agreed with my last blog, “Will the Real Church in America Please Stand Up!” and others disagreed with the position I took. In this blog I will explore the issue from another angle.
Perhaps there is a place in today’s culture for the megachurch that appeals to a more youthful generation. The loud praise bands on stage, the coffee bars and casual atmosphere of these churches may draw in those youth who would never darken the door of the traditional denominational church with its organ music and robed choirs. These churches are often referred to as “seeker-friendly.” Perhaps they could also be viewed as “evangelistic outreaches.” Continue reading
“Religion is what you have left when the Holy Spirit has left the premises”–Bono
When someone uses the term religion, they are usually referring to a belief system based on a set of man-made rules and traditions often devoid of God’s Spirit. But might we also apply the term to our Sunday morning rock concert services where high decibel music and caffeine are needed to pump life into what we now define as church?
With our popular seeker-friendly mega churches topping the charts in church growth, it would be a stretch to describe the atmosphere on Sunday mornings as “holy, reverent, pregnant with expectation and full of the power of the Holy Spirit.” Instead, multi-media presentations and strobe lights excite our visual senses while ushers pass out ear plugs for an older generation not quite “with it.” I dare say, if God actually showed up in awesome power and holiness, I fear there’d be a lot of lattes spilled all over the church carpet! Continue reading