The three weeks before Easter at NLCF, we’re focusing on the three traditional aspects of Lent – God, ourselves, and others. Last week was focused on God, so we increased our prayer as a community and learned the Lord’s prayer together. This week the focus is on ourselves – how badly we need God and reminding ourselves of where our provision comes from. We’re doing that by participating in some simple fasting as a community. Next week we’ll focus on the needy in our community where our church can have a direct impact.
What is fasting?
A simple definition of fasting would be to abstain from food or drink for a period of time, for a specific purpose. Fasting has been a spiritual practice and biblical discipline since ancient times and is still used today to bring us closer to God.
Fasting is not just skipping a meal – fasting is an affirmation of the word of God. It is saying that we trust God and we trust what he tells us in his scriptures and through revelation to our hearts.
As recounted in Matthew 4, Jesus was led out into the wilderness and tempted for 40 days. He fasted through all 40 days. I can only imagine the type of hunger he experienced. One of the temptations given to Jesus by the devil is to turn stones into bread so that he may eat and be satisfied. Jesus replies by quoting Deuteronomy 8 which says,“‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
By doing this Jesus affirms that God is the provider of all things, and that there are parts of us that cannot go without nourishment from the Lord, and only the Lord.
This week when you fast, don’t just skip the meal. Take that time and pursue God. Talk to him, listen to him. Acknowledge what he has done for you and ask him to provide in every part of your life. Pray for a specific situation, whether it be healing for you or someone you know, or a friend to come to know Christ, or whatever it is that seems like it’s too powerful for us to manage on our own.
Total Water charity
Don’t forget to set aside the money you’d otherwise use for the meal you’re fasting through and bring it on Sunday. We’re going to give this money as a church to the Total Water organization – a ministry started by our missionaries in Danli, Honduras to provide the local community with clean water and sanitation.