Written by Danielle Hage
Hebrews 10:39 (NKJV)
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. One thing that I tell people who are in the midst of severe trials is—never allow yourself to make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. Have you felt like giving up and just throwing in the towel? Maybe you have grown tired of all battles and struggles. You thought living for Jesus would mean life would be rosy and rainbows, but the continued disappointments have caused your hope to fade. I understand that. What is more important is the fact that Jesus understands it too. Don’t forget that He was tempted to take shortcuts and quit when He was fasting in the desert for forty days. In the garden praying, Jesus could have just said, “It’s too much, Father. I know it’s Your will, but it’s just too much.” At His arrest, Jesus said He could have called upon twelve legions of angels to defend Him. Yet He pressed on. He did not quit. The number one thing the enemy would like to get us to do it quit. It may be quitting your marriage, quitting your dream, or even quitting your walk with the Lord. You could decide to quit fighting your flesh, your battle with an addiction or some other sin, and just give in to temptation instead.
When you think about quitting, then you begin to talk about quitting. When you talk about quitting, be assured that, eventually, you will quit. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to quit! You can find a place of strengthening in the Lord, just like Elijah and all of the other men and women whom God has used for His glory. As Hebrews 10:39 says, “We are not of those you draw back to perdition, but of those who believe of the saving of the soul.”
That is why I believe so strongly in the power of fasting as a regular discipline in every believer’s life. Fasting gives you the opportunity to come away from the bombardment of life’s difficulties and disappointments in order to hear more clearly from the Lord. Fasting and prayer allows you to gain God’s perspective on your circumstances and find His path through the storm. He wants to strengthen your mind, your heart, and your spirit. The Bible instructs us to set our minds on things above for a reason. What you think about is what you will talk about. When you talk faith, you empower faith. When you talk doubt, you empower doubt. When you set your mind on things above, you set your mind on Christ and His example. And Jesus never quit. (Excerpt from The Fasting Edge by Jentezen Franklin)
Reread the devotional scripture. We do not draw back! So many really do start out strong and on fire for God, but somewhere along the way they face trouble and begin to look for the option to quit. It doesn’t matter how strong you start if quitting is always an option. Make up your mind that you are not turning back; there is no quit option. You have had prayers answered, and prayers go unanswered. You have had miracles happen and endured huge disappointments. You have had high mountains where God gave you things and amazed you in awesome ways, and you’ve had low valleys where you felt God-forsaken and cried all night long. But you are not in this for what you can get out of Jesus. You are in this because He loved you first and gave Himself for you. When you will recognize your weakness and trust in His strength, He will give you the mercy and grace to endure. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Congratulations, you have completed a 21 day fast with Summit Church! Reflect on these last few weeks, re-read your prayers and your goals you had sought after 21 days ago. Were your prayers answered; did God give you directions for this forthcoming year? Were some directions that you thought you were headed changed through your time spent with God? Did you experience any breakthroughs? What habits have you started and formed to better your relationship with Christ? Respond in the comments below.
Fasting and prayer are powerful and necessary to change and transform in God’s image and design for your life. Whether this was your first fast or your 99th fast, we encourage you to fast throughout the year as you feel led to do so; you do not have to wait another year for the church to fast corporately to take time with God and seek His will in such a powerful way.
Throughout this year, reflect on your fasting notes and responses to the daily devotions. Share your tests, testimony and breakthroughs with others! Be encouraged to continue in the daily habits you have formed to spend time with God, as this should not end just because the fast has come to an end. Continue to do your devotions every day and to read, reflect and respond on what you read in the Bible.
We are excited about what God id doing in each and every one of us and will do through us this year at Summit to reach further and connect people far from God to the promises and the truth that Jesus Christ is our Savior.