We all desperately want to hear God speak to us, don’t we? Those moments, rare as (we might think) they are, when Holy Spirit speaks to us clearly and we know beyond any doubt at all that it was the Spirit of the risen Christ, dwelling in our inner man by faith, speaking.
In Matthew 9, Jesus has a bunch of finger-pointing guys come up to Him and demand an explanation for His disciples not fasting while the disciples of John were. (Matthew 9:15)
Jesus’ response was surprising because He pointed immediately to the issue of His forthcoming absence as being the fitting time for His disciples to fast and the appropriate time for their ‘mourning’.
This word ‘mourning’ isn’t sadness as we understand it in human terms. It’s a word linked to the word in Psalm 84:2 that describes what was happening to the psalmist’s soul…i.e. it was faint, pining, longing and homesick for that place of full presence of his God.
The significance of Jesus pointing to His identity as a Bridegroom God in response to the question about fasting has a massive implication about how the end-time church ‘gets itself ready’ (Rev. 19:7). The end-time church will be a praying church full of the grace of fasting, prayer and worship and who are homesick for their God. The end-time church will have an authority in response the spiritual darkness plaguing the Nations…the authority will come from a radical change in lifestyle of the church and transfer of appetites of believers.
Every year, multiplied hundreds of thousands of Muslim believers fast and pray and enter into intercessory places in the spiritual realms. Do their fastings and prayers effect the spiritual climate of the Nations? Absolutely. It is estimated that, by 2040, 50% of Europe will be Islamic. Europe, not the middle East. Things happen when believers join hands in holy prayer and give themselves to fasting in ways that, currently, we perceive to be radical.
Is it really radical that the praying Christian church arise and enter into new lifestyles of personal and corporate prayer? Is it really radical for the young people of this Nation to prefer the place of prayer to Night clubs and bars? There is no high like the Most High. The lifestyle of prayer, worship and fasting that Jesus desires from is bride is not doable in isolation….it requires the strength and safety of a company of believers.
So, like Lucy in Lewis’ Narnia, there is an invitation to have an extra sensory (Eph.1:17) awareness of the movement of Jesus. Of the four children, Lucy has a special relationship with Aslan who, for her, was everything. When it came time for Aslan to leave, Lucy mourned and fasted by leaving the party.
May we miss Jesus. May we become more abandoned in our love for Him. May we encounter His nearness as we give ourselves to prayer and fasting and discover the authority that will break every spiritual bond of darkness in this Nation and see the veil of unbelief blown off the eyes of unbelievers, just as Lucy’s Aslan breathed on stone statues and saw life return.
And may we pray and fast for His return.
“Come, Lord Jesus, come…the Spirit and the Bride say come!”
When the Bible shows us Jesus praying, it’s a big deal. When the Bible gives us a whole chapter of Jesus praying, this is an even bigger deal.
I think we all struggle with prayer to some extent and at different points in our lives. Feelings can rise up in us like: “But I’d really rather watch the football…or I’d rather chill out at the movies or watch x-factor…or have an hour more in bed.” (more…)