I am so excited for this 21 day journey together. As we begin our fast today I wanted to send you a little encouragement and guidance for each day. Today I want you to focus on God's Presence.
David in Psalm 51:10-11 said:
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
David yearned for the Presence of the Lord and he knew the importance of being in God's Presence. Though he was a King and could have anything he wanted, the thing that was most precious, the thing that David knew he could literally not live without, was the Presence of Almighty God in his life. Other passages in the Psalm make this longing of David's heart clear:
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him...
As you are fasting today I want you to concentrate on Jesus. Find time to be still before the Lord and wait on Him. The enemy would have you concentrate on other things and issues may arise as you fast but keep your eyes on Jesus and seek His presence. Find time today to get alone with God, pray, read your word and wait on Him.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Draw near to Him today. Cleanse your heart each day of this fast. God will give you mercy(its renewed every morning) and the grace to make it through the fast. As the days progress you will find it easier to fast, easier to get into the presence of God and much easier to hear God speak.
Finally, we all have needs and desires. We all have things we have been hoping for and praying for. During this time of fasting, as you draw closer to God, begin bringing those needs, desires, hopes and dreams to Him in prayer.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.Make your request known to God everyday in the time you spend alone with Him and, as Paul says in Philippians 4:8, meditate on the good and pure things. Seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and everything else will come into clear focus in your life.
Blessings and Grace to Each of You,
HOPE CHURCH NEWPORT NEWS
4 Elmhurst Street
Newport News, Virginia 23603