Joel 1:13-14 (NIV)
13 Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn; wail, you who minister before the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
Do you see it? Can you grasp this? Our great God is summoning us to His throne room to spend a night with Him. How does He direct us to spend this evening? In fasting and crying out to Him. Why such a call to His people? Why such urgency?
This may blow every circuit in your brain, but the truth is that God desires to bless His people. He longs to be gracious to them and show them compassion and prosper them. There is only one reason He cannot bless His people, they are in open rebellion, and His character cannot allow Him to bless His people when they are in such a state.
Does He leave them in this predicament to fend for themselves? Does He take great delight in sending judgment on His people? This is what many have portrayed Him to be like, but this is far from His real character.
Instead of judgment, He delights in showing mercy and pouring out His grace on his creation. He can only do that if His people are desirous of such a blessing. If they genuinely will put away their sins and cry out to Him, He will once again pour out a blessing there will not be room enough to receive.
His invitation has gone out to His people now we must wait and see if His people will truly desire Him over all other loves.
Will they set aside time to seek after Him and turn from their evil ways and humble themselves with prayer and fasting?
At Lakeland Church, we desire to seek after God and set our affection on things above. For the next twenty-one days, we will put aside other things that may be important and consecrate ourselves to what is most important.
We want God to pour out His Spirit on His people that the world will see that God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
How can I join in this season of humbling myself through prayer and fasting? The following is a short list of things you might observe to set your heart to seek the Lord.
- Get yourself a lined journal so you can record what God reveals to you through His Word.
- Set aside at least one hour a day tor pray and read God’s Word. Ask Him to show you more of Himself and reveal to you where you might need to repent of some sin.
- Confess your sin to God. agree with Him as he reveals it to you.
- Record the verses that God uses to speak to you through the twenty-one days.
- Gather with a few other believers at least once a week to pray for God to fall on His people once again and move across our nation
- If you are going to fast from food during this time, you might want to put aside the money you would have spent on food and give it to a mission of your church that cares for the hungry of the world. (Isaiah 58:7)
- Claim the promise that you will find God as you set your heart to seek Him. Jeremiah 29:11-13, Matthew 7:7-9, Micah 7:18-19.
May the Lord our God bless all those who set apart this season to seek Him. May He show up in your life in a more significant way, and may He answer the prayers you pray.
For the Glory of God and the Good of His Church