Some excerpts taken from: "Fasting" by Jentezen Franklin
My Mom, Lilly Fulton, is an excellent cook. I must say for the record: "Apples don't fall far from the tree LOl. But as a kid growing up in the home, my mom took on several jobs from time to time. If she had gotten so caught up in other things that all she ever put on the table for us to eat when we got home from school was spaghetti, we would have been very upset and disappointed! The sound of comments like, "Aw man, "spaghetti again!" would have been common in our house. It wouldn't have taken Dad and the four of us long to launch a campaign and beg for something else to eat.
But what if God were hungry and all we had to feed Him was our same old dull religious routines day after day and week after week? Just like ending up with spaghetti on the table every night, I can just hear our heavenly Father sighing and saying, "Religion again," "Tradition again!"
If we are not careful, we can allow life to get us into the same old ruts and routines without even noticing it. Our relationship with the Lord can add up to the same thing, We must do whatever it takes to keep our relationship with God moving, fresh, intentional, and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Our praise, worship, offerings, even preaching can become heartless routines to God. As a believer, you can pray, read your Bible, and go to church week after week and still be losing sight of what God called you to do. You could be in jeopardy of losing your first love. It is not that you don't love the Lord, but the issues of life can bring you to a point of losing your focus, freshness, and your sensitivity to His Spirit and what actually pleases Him.
For this reason God says to the nation of Israel: "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness" (psalm 50:12). God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He does not need our routines and traditions. He does not desire heartless worship. He does not want our "leftovers" when he can get fed elsewhere. True worship that comes from our heart is what feeds and satisfies Him. It is something He desires and deserves. Our religiosity of going through the motions once a week is a turnoff to God. It is similar to the fact that our disobedience to His Word displeases Him as well.
During the month of January pastors and churches all over the country enter into the New Year with fasting and prayer.Fasting is a constant means of renewing yourself spirituality. The discipline of fasting breaks you out of the regular routine of things.Iit is a form of worship. Offering your body to God as a living sacrifice is holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). The discipline of fasting will humble you and remind you of your dependency on God, and bring you back to your first love. It causes the roots of your relationship with Jesus to go even deeper.
God desires us to move ahead in this new year with new fervor and strength. He has plans for us that are awesome and surprising. He is always concerned with perfecting us and helping us to develop into our best self. Fasting opens up the door for God to speak to us as one would speak to a friend. That is how He spoke to Abraham. When God came to judge the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, He stopped by Abraham's tent on the way. God sent three angels to commune with Abraham. Abraham rushed to meet them and bowed low to worship them. He asked the three visitors to tarry so he could bring them water to wash their feet and prepare a meal. The three welcomed his invitation and stayed.
Abraham was a man who worshiped God, who spoke with God, and who had followed God's call to leave everything and follow Him to a land that he would show him. His worship and faithfulness had fed God for many years, and suddenly he had the opportunity to feed Him in the natural sense. When you feed God, He will tell you things that He may hide from other people. The Bible says that after they ate, God told Abraham he and Sarah would have a son in a year. He even shared with Abraham His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah. Notice, too that Abraham was then in a very intimate place with God in which he could intercede on behalf of the righteous who might be found in those wicked cities.
There are dimensions of our glorious Lord that will never be revealed to the causal observer, those that are disinterested worshipers. There are walls of intercession that will never be discovered by less than passionate worship services. But when you take the steps to break out of the mold and worship Him as He deserves, you will begin to see facets of His being you never knew existed. He will begin to share secrets with you about Himself. He will reveal His plans, His purpose for your life and His desires for you and your family. When you worship God as He deserves He is glorified and magnified.
David was a man after God's own heart. He was a man who fasted often, and not just from food. As a youth, he was often in the fields alone with just the sheep and his God. After he was anointed king, he spent many days running for his life. David wrote Psalm 34 while alone and on the run from Saul in the land of the Philistines. But David encouraged himself to worship God even in those conditions, proclaiming, "His praise shall continually be in my mouth: (v,.1), and "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (v.8). A routine worshiper in those circumstances would have been totally overwhelmed. But David knew that to worship God was to magnify God. His invitation to all of us to "Magnify the Lord with me" (v.3) still stands open today.
When you worship, you magnify God. Your enemies or circumstances may seem to be so large and so powerful that they are all you can see. But when you worship, you not only magnify God, but you also reduce the size and power of everything else around you. Each of us should have on our menu a daily assortment of worship melodies in our heart that we sing to the Lord. We should grow fat on the songs, hymns and on the Word of God. Our conversations should contain a buffet of savory words of praise, encouragement, and honor for the one that sits high on the throne, and controls the universe. Our tables should contain a plateful of spiritual and natural food that will make our Lord lean back after He has dined with us, belch, wipe His mouth, slouch down in His chair and murmur the words, "Boy, that was some meal!" before he slips into a short after dinner nap. Lol
Have a Blessed Night And: "Don't forget To Say Your Prayers"