You’re probably aware that God has a purpose for your life and a work for you to do. Have you ever wondered what that purpose was? Did you ever find yourself unsure about what work God wanted you to do? Most of us struggle at times to discern the plan of God in our life. That’s another way that fasting and prayer makes an important difference in your life – it opens your heart to hear God’s direction. Fasting puts you in alignment with your assignment.
The Bible tells us about a young man named Saul who watched as Stephen, a follower of Jesus, was dragged from the synagogue and brutally stoned to death outside the city. Saul was devoted to Hebrew Law and this incident fueled Saul’s determination to stamp out the “dangerous” followers of Jesus. Acts 8:3 (TLB) reads, “Paul was like a wild man, going everywhere to devastate the believers, even entering private homes and dragging out men and women alike and jailing them.”
One day, Saul was on his way to Damascus to arrest any Christ followers he encountered when his world was turned upside down. Saul was knocked to the ground and engulfed by a bright light. He heard the voice of a man speaking and asked who was speaking to him. The answer was, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” At that moment, Saul was blinded and had to be led by his men the rest of the way to Damascus. He fasted there for three days, no doubt wondering what would happen next. Saul didn’t know that God had a work for him to do and that fasting would bring him into alignment for his assignment.
Across town there was a man named Ananaias who was hungry for God and eager to serve Him. God told Ananaias to find Saul and lay hands on Saul’s eyes so that he would receive his sight. After his sight was restored, Saul went from persecuting Christians to becoming one. He changed his name to Paul and was filled with passion for Jesus. Through fasting, Paul realized what God really wanted him to do with his life.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” When you fast and pray, you connect with God’s assignment for your life, those good works that God has prepared for you to walk in. When you don’t fast and pray, you don’t connect with God’s assignment.
It’s awesome to think that the God who rules the universe cares so much about us that He has a plan for each of our lives. How amazing that His plan for us is for our good and for us to increase beyond our greatest imagination. When you’re not sure about what that plan is, remember that God wants to show you, and that when you fast and pray it puts you into alignment to receive your assignment.