4 Ways to Improve Your Prayer, Fasting, and Devotional Life in 2017 - Part 1
1. Remember that Fasting is Between You and God
We have a growing number of people coming into our doors at all of our New Life campuses. Many of you are unfamiliar with a fasting lifestyle. Sometimes it is easy to hear how others are fasting and feel that the way we are fasting is not enough. Sometimes people feel as if they are unspiritual because they are not fasting as intense as someone else. Do not play the comparison game! When you go into a fast, you need to purpose in your heart how it is that you are going to fast for 21 days and stick to that plan. Even though we are doing a corporate fast, and therefore publicly talk about it to encourage everyone on their fast, the way you fast is between you and God. The bottom line is to come up with a plan, make it stretch you and make it difficult for your flesh, and stick to it!
Refuse any kind of guilt or condemnation that the enemy tries to put on your during the fast.
2. Fasting is About Growing in God
When you are first introduced to fasting, it can seem extreme and ridiculous. Let's face it, if we are going to follow Jesus the way the Bible says to, we are always going to look extreme! We live in a wonderful country where we are free to practice our religion. But America has a religious philosophy that is far different than true Biblical Christianity.
America’s philosophy of religion (spirit of religion) says:
- Your religion should never ruffle anyone’s feathers – But Jesus said He came to bring a sword! If we're going to truly follow Jesus, then you and I are going to ruffle some feathers at some point! (Matthew 10:34-39)
- Your religion is just something you do on the side and should always be private – But Jesus gave us the Great Commission to tell everyone and instructed us to fearlessly declare His message! (Matthew 28:19-20; Matthew 10:24-33)
- Your religion is what is comfortable for you – But Jesus says that growing in God will cost you everything. Every advance in the Kingdom I've made, every breakthrough I've had, and every revelation I've received has cost me. I've never made any spiritual progress by being complacent or apathetic. But here's the sweet part, the radical price you pay to experience the Kingdom on earth, ends up being an embarrassingly small price for what you get in return! (Luke 9:57-62)
- Your religion is what is truth to you – But the Bible is the absolute standard of all truth, faith and conduct. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT says, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work." Religious philosophy says there is no right or wrong and that truth is relative. But God says there is right and wrong and that truth is absolute. I think I'll believe what God says, how about you?
Tomorrow I'll give you two more practical keys that will help you have a strong and consistent devotional life in 2017!
Marc P. Eidahl