Fasting Puts Our Priorities Into Perspective
God’s priorities are seldom our priorities. That is the difference in the nature of man and the nature of God. He even said so: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9, NIV). So, how do we position our- selves to hear from God? How do we free ourselves from our own desires in order to know His will? Well, I can tell you from firsthand experience that fasting causes you to take that sword of God’s Word and separate what you “want” from what you “need.”
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. —Hebrews 4:11–13
Fasting, praying, and feeding on the Word of God puts that sword in your hand and positions you to discern the difference between your thoughts and God’s thoughts. There is no higher authority than to know the heart of God for a situation you are facing. His Word is final!
God established priorities as early as the Book of Genesis. His principle of first things is stated clearly:
And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s. —Exodus 13:11–12
Fasting turns your priorities more vertical and more in line with God’s desires. It’s what Jesus did when He cleared the temple. The priorities had become excessively horizontal.
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” —Matthew 21:12–13
That doesn’t mean that when you fast, you don’t have specific needs and desires of your own for which you are seeking God. Indeed, you should fast for a specific purpose. However, I believe that as you continue on a prolonged fast, the true cry of your heart becomes:
“More of You, God, and less of me.” When you put Him first, all else is added.
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