The Vine - Fasting

Devotional
Devotion:
One of the great impacts of fasting is its ability to help us focus on listening to the voice of God in our lives, and reflecting on our relationship with him. As you take this time over the coming 21 days to fast and pray, be expectant that God will honour your fasting and meet you in the midst of it. Fasting has significant spiritual impact, sharpening our dependency on God and opening our hearts that much more to his love and leading.

As Jesus’ ministry begins to near towards Jerusalem and towards the events that would lead to his eventual arrest, trial, and death, he begins to speak very specifically to people about their commitment to him and their discipleship. In this passage from Luke, Jesus challenges the large crowds to consider the cost of their commitment before embarking on it. Jesus does not want luke-warm Christians, and he knows that following him is hard. It will take sacrifice, dedication, encouragement, and for some considerable persecution. Your own walk with Jesus will require the same – its not just professing belief, it is living those beliefs out in an often hostile culture and world. Jesus’ words challenge us to consider the cost of our discipleship, and ultimately our commitment to him. Our corporate fast together is a great opportunity for you to take stock of your walk with Jesus. How healthy is it? In this part of the year how connected do you feel to him? Are you ready to invest in your walk with Jesus this year? What might need to shift in your life in order to help you prioritize your faith this year? As Jesus says, we don’t want to be a church - a people - who start something we are not able to finish. Use your fast as an opportunity to give yourself a spiritual health check at the start of this year.

Reflection:
How healthy is your relationship with Jesus this time of the year? Where do you recognize the need for a deeper walk with him, and what can you do over the coming year to invest in this?

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for challenging me to consider my commitment and walk with you. Thank you that you love me so much you are willing to sacrifice everything for my freedom. Help me to live a life that reflects that sacrifice and obedience. And give me the grace to live it out each day. Amen.