From January 4 - February 12 my wife and I engaged in a 40-day liquid only fast. Also, from January 22 - February 12, I led our church to engage in a 21-Day corporate fast. In an effort to celebrate what God did in my life and in the lives of the people in our church during this time, here are just 10 of the blessings I experienced:
- Attending prayer meetings filled with people who were hungry for God.
- Seeing dozens of people who fasted for the first time finish their fast with joy.
- Receiving $45,000 in additional financial support from our church partners.
- Connecting with the principal of our next potential meeting space.
- Increasing my hunger for God and decreasing my hunger for the delights of this world.
- Watching God reveal and uproot hidden and avoided sins in many lives within our church.
- Participating in a filming of My Giant Life and meeting Alicia Jay.
- Being filled with fresh and exciting dreams and visions for theMOVEMENT Church.
- Persevering and sharing in the fasting experience with my wife.
- Enjoying being honored and appreciated for my leadership by theMOVEMENT Church family at the conclusion of the fast.
In an effort to capture the lessons that God taught me during this fast, here are 10 random thoughts I have upon the completion of the fast:
- My primary pastoral priority must be my personal spiritual vitality.
- My personal hunger for God is the thermostat by which the spiritual temperature of theMOVEMENT will either rise or fall.
- Fasting, as a spiritual discipline, must be an integral part of theMOVEMENT's discipleship process because it teaches the principle of denying yourself to follow Christ like very few things can.
- Every time I engage in an extended fast, I wait on the Lord and expect the supernatural to occur to a greater degree than I do when practicing other spiritual disciplines.
- If we don't take fasting and prayer this seriously, who else will?
- Understanding why we fast is 10 times more important than understanding how to fast.
- Providing the leadership, support, encouragement, teaching, and resources to finish a fast is 10 times more important than only providing those things to start a fast.
- Pastoral leadership is, first and foremost, spiritual leadership.
- Fasting deadens my delight in the trappings of this world and heightens my hunger for the only One who can truly satisfy - Jesus Christ.
- In my experience, corporate fasting and prayer creates spiritual momentum in an individual and in a church, in a way that no other church program or initiative can.
There is so much more that God did in our lives through this fast and so much that God did that we are, very likely, unaware of. There is also so much more that He taught that I am hoping will be revealed in due time!
If you are interested in abstaining from food for the spiritual purpose of increasing your hunger for God, visit the following page on our church's website.
I encourage you to strongly consider engaging in a fast. God will be honored, His name will be glorified, and you will be blessed!