Prepped and Ready - In His Word 1-7-19

Prepped and Ready- In His Word 1-7-19

Before Jesus went to the cross He went to prayer. He was prepared and ready for the sacrifice He made for us. He knew what he was getting into, and Jesus did not want to do it the way it was laid out, but He did the will of the Father. He chose to follow God the Father’s plan to get it done, even knowing He could have bailed at any moment being the fact He is God Himself. This continues to amaze me.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.  Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father,  if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See My betrayer is at hand." Matthew 26:36-46

When we start out the new year a lot of people fast. They fast from eating bad things for their health, or the do a ‘spiritual fast’ of some sort. Many churches call a fast from their people as the Prophets have done in times past with God’s direction.  The thing that we today often get wrong in our fasting is that we do not prepare our hearts and minds for it. When we fast we are to spend the time we would have one this thing, whether it is a meal time, or a fast from doing media hours, games, tv. 

What ever it is we are to replace the object with the time with God praying for the thing we are fasting for.

Too many people fast because they are told to without knowing why they do it. This is often a fruitless fast because they do not do it for the reason God has called the fast.
That is why the Lord says,   “Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
 Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.”
Return to the Lord your God,
 for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
 He is eager to relent and not punish.Joel 2:12-13

Back a chapter we read that God called a fast for the people to be prepared for the punishments that would come up on them. They did, and some dressed in the sack cloth and ashes but God called out to them to come with their hearts, to rent or tear their hearts before Him not their clothes. God wants a fast to be something that deals with the turning of our hearts not just our physical bodies. That is why preachers today say that we can fast Television, or phones, or other social media devices because our hearts and minds are so connected to these things that they come between us and hearing from our God.
For some people today it is more difficult to turn off a screen than it is to stop eating completely. God knows our hearts and minds, He knows if it is a true fast or if we are just going through the motions.

Back in the day when the fasting people would sit before the gates proving that they were fasting, it was an example of what are truly to do on the inside.  Ashes and sack cloth were an example of the dirt and poorness the people could sit in. God does not want us to fast today with these external views at the focus, but to fast and consecrate our hearts and minds to Him as we do so. Set apart the time you would have done the thing you fast, food, or whatever thing that you feel God wants you to remove yourself from for the time He has called you to do so. Set it apart for time with Him.
Bask in His presence and listen for advice, direction, answer to prayers.

Dear Heavenly Father, We lift up our hearts to you, do with them what you will as we draw near to you today. Consecrate us and draw us nearer to you, heart to heart. Show us Your Glory.  In Jesus name, amen.

Suggested reading: Joel 1:1-20, Joel 2:1-32, Nehemiah 1:1-11, and Acts 10:1-48