Joel 2:12-17 NIV
Rend Your Heart
“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the Lord your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly.
Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”
Every year as we near Resurrection Sunday, I feel called into fasting. I am not Catholic and do not follow Lent, but the 40 days of Lent come right before Good Friday and it is a perfect reminder to me that it is the time of year to really focus in on just what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Actually, this is my favourite time of the year. I love everything there is about Jesus and His death and sacrifice on the cross totally humbles me and awakens in my a very deep love for Him. I love Him because He loves me. If it wasn't for His reaching out to me and showing me His love, I would never know Him. It is Jesus who has stirred my soul and my first desire is to honour Him and love Him the next desire is for me to share His love with you and all those I meet.
I am a believer of fasting and over the past few years, as I dive into fasting, I am being led to believe that fasting material goods is not Biblical. I cannot find any references in Scripture to this type of fast. I have found fasting of food, a fasting of marriage relations, there is the reference of when John the Baptist's father had lost his voice for a period of time, and then there is wearing sack cloth. Animals fast, children fast but from my searching I can find no reference to fasting of material goods.
I am being led to believe that giving up something material is like removing an idol. Something that has taken the place of God and this is not a fast. This is good, please don't misunderstand me, this just isn't a fast.
A fast is a time to mourn and seek our Father's heart. A time to feed our soul on His Word and to deny our physical body substance so self is weakened and His Spirit becomes stronger in us. I don't see how self can be weakened by giving up say your computer for a time. Your physical body is still very strong therefore holding onto self and not being filled with the Holy Spirit.
I do believe giving up material goods is beneficial to removing idols in your life and replacing God back into His proper place of being number one. I think this is healthy and valuable to our walk with Father.
Yesterday on Twitter I took part of a chat that was focused on Lent and fasting. It was then that Father really spoke to my heart and made me to say that a material fast is not an acceptable fast in Father's eyes. My sharing of this brought in some opposition but it seems that more people agreed with me than those who did not.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them and if you have some Biblical reference to a material fast please share!!
Blessings and Happy Valentine's Day!
I'm linking this post up with Barbie for the The Weekend Brew.