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Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning…

Joel 2:12

I had a moment today when I was thinking about fasting, and it struck me that one of the benefits of this discipline is that it reminds the faster of what is most important to him. Now normally I’ve thought of fasting as a statement to someone outside of myself, namely God. But today what struck me is that it’s also a statement to myself.

And this is an incredible gift.

There’s something about our sinful human condition that seems to make it disturbingly easy to forget about God. One moment we’re caught up in awe of His beauty and goodness, thinking, “Yes, this is what’s really worth living and dying for,” and the next, we’re off wandering in a self-centered fog.

Do you know what I’m talking about? In your life as a disciple, are there times when you feel far from Jesus or even disconnected? You can sense it in how hard it is to pray, or how reluctant you feel to engage with God’s word. It’s like a kind of estrangement, and if it goes on for too long, it begins to feel normal, and affects every area of your life.

But then you begin to fast, and as hunger screams at you from your belly, you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? What is this for?” And you remember, “Oh, right, God. The indescribably holy God. He’s the reason I’m doing this; I want him in my life.” And this reminder is a gift.

 

Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning…

 

Today as you fast and pray, begin with confession and mourning. Talk frankly to God about the ways you’ve neglected Him in your life and disobeyed Him. Ask Him to forgive you for these things, then make a commitment to seek His face daily.

 

No matter where you are in your life with the Lord, you can always take one step closer toward Him. As you participate in this fast, I pray you’ll be reminded of who the most important person in your life really is, and what makes him worth giving your all of your life for.

 

May God bless you and draw near to you as you seek Him in this fast.

 

With love,

Pastor Daren Redekopp