Proclamation for a New England Fast Day
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
~ Ps 10:4
We have often heard that the main reason for fasting is to humble one’s self before God in order to draw closer to Him. Scripture does not explicitly state it that way, but many passages tie together humility with fasting. I’ll just pull out one for space and time’s sake:
27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.
Even wicked kings can fast and seek a reprieve from God. While we’re at it, let’s not forget Nineveh and how their king proclaimed a fast.
I stumbled upon an interesting article by Ingrid Michelle for Elev8.com, titled “Fasting Is The Ultimate Sign Of Humility“. I guess I would say obedience is the ultimate sign of humility, but otherwise I’d tend to agree. However, Michelle opens up with an important point (emphasis hers):
No where in the Bible does God ever say that He will “humble” you…at least I don’t think. There is reference to Moses reminding the children of Israel of their stint in the desert – that He (the Lord) would humble them but most every other references is that of the individual humbling themselves in the sight of God or man for that matter. Humility is an act of the will. It is literally something that you do, its a decision. It’s active. So I contend that fasting is the ultimate act of humility.
An “act of the will”, and isn’t it willing obedience that God is seeking?
I got to listen to a webcast message today about humility. It was refreshing. It was followed by another message by Scott Lord on making good decisions. The first point in making good decisions is to seek out God. Isn’t that what humility is all about?
I felt compelled yesterday to post on Facebook: “Sometimes, it helps to stop and remember that God is God, and you are not. Have a great Friday, everyone!”
Some people call it “truth”, but I prefer to call it “reality”. God is God. I am simply His creation. That should put it into perspective, eh?
Where does sin come from? How did it start? Did it not start with Lucifer’s pride? The messages I heard today made the excellent point that all sin contains an element of pride. Even more to the point, we all have carnal (fleshly) desires and thought patterns. When we act on those impulses, aren’t we in effect saying that we know better than God?
Where does rebellion come from? Where does strife come from?
10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
~ Pr 13:10
Let me ask the question: Does this only apply between human beings? Isn’t sin a type of contention between man and God? Does it not separate a man or woman from their Creator (Isa 59:2)?
So, what is the end goal? What is the purpose of your life? Isn’t it for God’s glory?
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
So, yes, God loves us and desires us, but let’s not kid ourselves and take that for granted!