Day 2 | The Value of "Seeking the Lord"
BY PASTOR RON ENGET | NEW LIFE LEAD PASTOR
Many people do not value taking time to seek the Lord. It is unimportant to them— and why bother? Fasting and Prayer is often painful, and uncomfortable, and seems so unfruitful— from a natural perspective.
The Prophet Jeremiah gives us a fresh view, “This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile,’“ Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV).
God’s people were taken captive into Babylon for seventy hard and difficult years. They had come under God’s judgment because of their sins. God promised to deliver them, and to give them a future filled with freedom, hope, and blessing, but they were required to do something significant first.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,” Jeremiah 29:12-13.
They were to get desperate and seek the Lord with all their hearts. Sin, complacency, and spiritual lethargy must no longer control them. A season of prayer and intense fasting would be required— God wanted to know whether or not they were intent on being His people once again, entirely submitted to His purposes and will.
A season of prayer and fasting is never a time of celebration, it is called a “solemn assembly” many times in scripture. Our flesh must be crucified and our spirit man must rise up to worship and serve Jesus wholeheartedly with passion. When these conditions are met, God promises to restore to us a future filled with freedom, hope, and blessing.
In 2006, when I first called a 21 Day Fast at our church, chaos and commotion arose. I was questioned by many whether or not this was truly a call from God. After all, people needed their energy to work and meet the grinding schedules that life imposed on them. Surely God would not call all of us to an extended fast?
These penetrating questions called me away to hours of intense prayer. Maybe I had been misled by my own mind and heart? Maybe I was carnally imposing on people a religious ritual that was no longer necessary? I had to have an answer, and was willing to accept whatever God spoke to my heart.
After many days, I heard the Lord’s voice very clearly, “The reason I call my people to consistent and regular seasons of prayer and fasting is because it enables them to set aside their own flesh driven and carnal agendas, and gets them on my agenda.”
I had my answer. Now I was directed with a powerful word from God, and I’ve never let it drop. This is such a desperate need for all of us: to be on “God’s agenda,” not “our agenda.”
Since then, we have completed twelve corporate 21 Day Fasts, and we’ve seen the grace and mercy of God driving our decisions as a church body!
We’ve been able to be motivated by a desire to fulfill the Great Commission, not to fulfill our own personal comfort. We’ve been able to discern where the enemy would trick us, discourage us, and immobilize us. We’ve seen much progress for the Kingdom in planting two additional church locations, and we are in the process of launching another!
This truth of “seeking God” also applies to individuals and families. A fleshly perspective will destroy our destiny in God and prevent us from receiving His best for us and our families. The promises of God apply to all of us— and our families— and even to our neighbors in the city we live in.
Its time to get serious about seeking the Lord with all our hearts! This is how God will respond:
“‘I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile,’” Jeremiah 29:14.
Keep on diligently seeking God!
Pastor Ron Enget