Economists like to foretell the future. I too. But I know the human mind. We are vulnerable to innumerable variables that distract. In my two previous blogs I recorded my thoughts on Esther’s fast. I did not go through a full fast due to my long absence from practice. Indeed, taking less meals daily is an ordinary practice for Christians and non-Christians who watch their weights and it has nothing to do with the spirit. So it does not count as preparedness for Esther’s fast which asks for three days’ complete abstinence from food and drink. What happened was I managed to abstain from solid food and snacks etc. But I had to take a few cups of hot drinks and fruits just to occupy myself. So it was not a complete fast.
Coming back to what happened in the spirit. I had set my goal mainly for a financial breakthrough in discernment and investment. I have decided to be a good steward and participate by active investment in the kingdom of God advancement, through supporting a front line evangelical and discipleship focused ministry.
On the second day I could focus more and listened to two good teachings: one on praying in tongue; another on sowing in the kingdom of God using His words as seed. On the third day I started reading economics and receiving financial news that are relevant to the short term future and the next three years. Within days I received good news about the ministry receiving the grace (favor) of God in significant financial saving in terms of expenses. The favor is significant because it means a hundred-fold reduction in cost (originally budgeted rent, transport, and fees). For me this is really good news! By faith I drew out the dividends I earned in the last two years to put into my own support fund for the ministry even though it does not need the fund right now. Incidentally the dividend I received last week from an investment I made a week ago amounted to one-tenth of what I drew out to start a new ministry support fund.
What have I learned? Align with the will of God and the heart of the Father in heaven. Learn from the Holy Spirit. Believe in the words of God. Take a step of faith. Action.
When I failed to adhere to a complete fast was I condemned? No. I stayed my position as a beloved child of the Father. I continued to believe in His underserved favor for me and the ministry I am supporting. Fasting is not to make me right with God. Belief in Jesus by faith has made me right with God.
Let us read Paul’s teaching to the Christians on the role of the Holy Spirit and believing in Jesus. These two are what a believer should always focus on. Our holy and godly living come naturally after these two flow in us. What do we do to receive these? By faith we believe the words of God. Let the words of God grow deep root into our heart based on the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
(Bible verse are taken from New Living Translation (NLT))
2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.
9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[h] Holy Spirit through faith.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
(a) 3:14 Some manuscripts read the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(b) 3:15 Or from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
In short, fasting makes me more focused on God and His way according to His words. I see my shortcomings in reading and understanding His words. I see the need to read the Bible like the time I first believed in Jesus. I see the urgent need to know God more. Above all, I see my position in Christ as a child of God which cannot be shaken. Once again, the verse that came to me in my spirit when I was first converted to Christ becomes a significant force in my life:
Galatians 2:20 King James Version (KJV)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Note: It is the faith of Jesus in me. Not my faith.