January 30, 2014
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. —James 4:6
You’ve made it through your first fruits fast—taking time in the beginning of the year to seek His guidance and direction for your life. But are you ready to make fasting a part of your lifestyle?
It is so easy to come up with reasons not to fast, especially when it comes to jobs, sports, our overly worshiped entertainment and, last but not least, convenience. Fasting breaks the routine and that is inconvenient. But like that old John Wayne movie, it takes “True Grit” to submit yourself to God through fasting and prayer, and turn from the things of this world. Take a closer look at what James had to say about “humbling ourselves”:
Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
That sounds very much like an invitation to fast! James makes it pretty clear that we can either submit to God or submit to the world. Likewise, we are either resisting the devil or resisting God. If we are not drawing closer to God we are drifting further from Him.
Fasting is a choice to break the allure of the world and all its trappings as we put our flesh under submission. When you turn from the things of the world and submit yourself to God, He will give you the grace to stand strong and resist the temptations of the enemy. Especially on an extended fast, you will discover that time spent fasting, praying and meditating on God’s Word cleanses and purifies your heart and focuses your thoughts on things above rather than the stuff of this world.