OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: SATURDAY MAY 20TH 2017
THEME: HOW OFTEN DO YOU FAST?
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 2 Corinthians 11:27
Read: Matthew 6:16-18
16:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
16:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
16:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
One of my sons was travelling with me for the very first time sometime ago, and after we had been together for two days he asked me, “Daddy, why do you pray so much?” he said he observed that before we left the room, we prayed; when we got into the car, we prayed; on arrival at our destination, we prayed; when we entered the venue of the programme, we prayed; on arrival at the lodging place, we prayed; also when he peeped to check on me, he still saw me on my knees. Well, I pray a lot because prayer is an activity we are commanded to always engage in (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How often do you pray? Do you use every available opportunity to pray?
Apart from prayer, another spiritual activity you should regularly engage in to keep you spiritually fit and growing is fasting. Some people believe that doing a long fast for 30days or 100days is sufficient for a year. While this is a good spiritual exercise, there is still the need to continue fasting in the course of the year. When the Lord addressed the question of why His disciples were not fasting often like those of John the Baptist, here is what He said in Luke 5:34:
“And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?”
Since the Master has been received into glory, it is clear from His words that we now are expected to fast often. Some people fast for a short period at a stretch and thereafter they want to feast for the rest of the year. This is not good enough. A better practice is to find or create some time monthly or better still weekly to engage in fasting. Fasting was not strange to the patriarchs of old. Fasting does you so much good spiritually, so it should be a part of your lifestyle. You can live a fasted life. While detailing his experience in life, Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:27 said that fasting was a reoccurring activity in his Christian life:
“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”
Most people who find it difficult to fast simply have a problem with discipline. They are so used to eating that they cannot sacrifice a few meals to seek God’s face. Anyone who cannot control his or her appetite may remain enslaved to the body. Fasting helps to subdue or break the controlling power that the weaknesses and desires of your body have over you.
Stop talking about your plan to fast, just go ahead and fast. You can start with one day per week.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 6: DEEPER, DEEPER
1. Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
2. Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
3. Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
4. Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
5. Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.
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