New Year – New You! I bet you’ve heard that before. I also know that 2008 was not a good year for most people, they are glad it is over with and a New Year is now under way.
But as I thought about 2008 I couldn’t help but think it was a good year for me for several reasons. One, I’m still here to talk about it. Two, I am further along spiritually than I was in the beginning of 2008. Three, in spite of the economic crisis and the election, I know that my God is still in control. He is on His throne and nothing catches Him by surprise. The assurance of knowing that my God is still on His throne helps me to celebrate each day regardless of the circumstances around me. Even still, 2008 was a year that was a battle in many ways. Trust me when I say, I had to “FIGHT TO KEEP MY FOCUS!” I too had my share of battles but God in His mercy brought me through each one. No, 2008 was not a good year for many, with people losing their jobs, their businesses, their homes. And, 2009 doesn’t promise or even give us hope that it’s going to be any better. However, read on and see if God has a message here for you.
As many of you know our Sunday school and Monday night classes have started the New Year with fasting and praying. Partly, because I asked them to so I didn’t have to do it alone. J And, because I feel very strongly that, the Spirit of God wants to move and bring His people back to Him. One way He does that is with prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting will also cause us to see the depth of our sin and bring us to a place of brokenness before God. It is in our brokenness, we cry out to God for forgiveness as we acknowledge and confess our sins to Him. Without confession and repentance there can be no forgiveness or revival. God wants to bring His people back to loving Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. But, He wants us to be clean….He wants us to render our hearts not our garments. He wants us to get rid of our gods that we have set up. He wants to be Number 1 in our lives once again. He wants to bless you but you need to do your part and God will do His. Read 1 Samuel 7, Isaiah 58, and Joel 2:12-27. These are just some biblical references for your study. There are many more verses on fasting and the Word is the final authority on the subject of prayer and fasting. I’m just sharing some things that I’ve learned recently.
As people worldwide sense the urgency of the times, churches all over the globe have started the New Year with prayer and fasting. It is my prayer that each one of us will know Him more intimately than we did before, that we will truly experience God in a new and fresh way, and that we come out of our time of prayer and fasting hating sin. Our eyes have been blinded and our hearts deceived. It is time for the Church to wake up from our slumber, denouncing sin and start calling it what it is. Our brokenness is what we desperately need if we truly desire to have a fresh start, and experience our own personal revival with our God. We must allow the Lord to drive out our pride, drive out the sin in our lives. For brokenness to occur there must be a realization of sin, of those things that perhaps we have justified in our own minds that God despises. Do you have any sin that has been lingering too long around your heart? Maybe some sin is just hanging around and you keep holding onto it. There may be many “ouches” along the way as God brings to mind those sins that need to go. However, praise God because once He breaks you down and cleans you up, you will be free to experience the joy of your personal revival.
The Bible tells us that one of the things God will do through prayer and fasting is bring revival. It seems that wherever I turn “revival, prayer and fasting” are all around me. I think God’s people are hearing the alarms going off and are starting to wake up from their slumbers and getting ready for revival.
2 Chronicles 12:32 – “the sons of Issachar who had an understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”
Our country is at a crossroad…things are starting to shake and reel as never before. The American lifestyle not only for Christians but also for all Americans is about to change. Therefore, I want to encourage you to be as the sons of Issachar….understanding the times…study the Scriptures, pray, fast, weep, mourn, confess, and repent. Draw close to God. Rest in your Father’s care. The Bible tells us not to worry about what you are going to eat or what you will be wearing. Again, rest in your Father’s care…He knows your need. He alone is in control of these things. Isaiah 26:3 – ‘thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts you.” Abandon yourself to simple trust in the Lord your Rock.
So then, what about you? Are you ready to pray and fast? Are you ready to SEEK HIM? Are you ready to be completely honest with Him as you confess your sins? Are you ready to surrender all to Him? Are you ready to wake up and allow Him to prepare you for your own personal revival? Are you ready to experience the joy of personal revival? When all of God’s people come together rejoicing in the Spirit of revival will you be there? What about you? Are you ready to turn back to the One who calls you His beloved? Are you ready to love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind once again? Will you join with other believer’s worldwide as we pray and fast? Will you make 2009 the year that your will SEEK HIM above all else?
Lots of questions I know. However, these are questions that must be asked and answered honestly, before you can truly experience the joy of personal revival.
Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments or your own personal God experience as a result of fasting and praying.
Our theme for 2009 is “SEEK HIM!” Keep looking up my sisters….keep looking up and SEEK HIM.
In Christ’s love,