Why Not Try This? …Fast From Something So You Can Do God’s Work More Effectively?

A few weeks ago all of us at the Oasis Christian Center Seventh-day Adventist Church (Vancouver, WA in the OR Conf.) were challenged to go without something for a week in spiritual preparation for evangelistic meetings in May. One of the church leaders invited us to ask God what we should give up so we could intensify our prayer and outreach.

I thought and prayed a lot about it. I love reading and keeping up on the news. So I was impressed to make a vow to the Lord for the week that went like this- “Before reading or watching any recreational media (books, magazines, TV, video, etc.) any day  

  1. Read 10 Bible chapters &   
  2. Exercise 2+ miles &  
  3. Spend one hour w/family (if in town)”

I must admit it wasn’t an easy thing to carry out but the rewards were tremendous. I had time to read magazines or watch the news only two nights out of the seven but every day I got a good dose of Bible, exercise and family.

Another part of the vow went like this- “Pray daily for the May reaping meetings, with another person if possible.” Early in the week our oldest son, Jacob, a freshman at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, TX, told me he was so busy at college he would often forget to read the Bible. He asked me if I would call him every day for the next few weeks to pray together and remind him to study the Bible. I jumped at the opportunity and saw this as God affirming my decision to find a prayer partner during the week.    

The following Sabbath there was a testimony time at church where people shared what God had done in their lives during the week of fasting and prayer. I was inspired by stories of prayer partnering, breaking free from caffeine and other addictions, a renewed focus on Bible study, and a new purpose in life, etc. Many said that they had started some habit patterns they wanted to continue.    

The true fast is no mere formal service. The Scripture describes the fast that God has chosen,–“to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke;” to “draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul.” Isaiah 58:6, 10. Here is set forth the very spirit and character of the work of Christ. His whole life was a sacrifice of Himself for the saving of the world. Whether fasting in the wilderness of temptation or eating with the publicans at Matthew’s feast, He was giving His life for the redemption of the lost. Not in idle mourning, in mere bodily humiliation and multitudinous sacrifices, is the true spirit of devotion manifested, but it is shown in the surrender of self in willing service to God and man.” {Desire of Ages p. 278.2}

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