Sunday, November 12, 2017

MEN - Fast

As we continue to look at Ezra’s life, many aspects continue to unfold and give us a clear understanding of the kind of man that he was.

Ezra 8:21-23 (NIV)

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.
I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him." So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
Emphasis Mine

Ezra was a leader with authority, positive influence and direction. They were about to go on a journey and Ezra’s approach was this – let’s fast and humble ourselves before God. An attitude of full dependence on God. In this text, we see that the purpose of the fast was to seek help from God and ask for a safe journey. Our human intellect is very limiting and we saw earlier that the physical strength of a male can only go so far. So, in every way, we need God’s help and direction.

Our point of emphasis here is that of a man who knew the value of fasting. Now, I must say here that fasting is a decision to go without food for the purpose of seeking the Lord on a particular issue and fasting is only complete when accompanied by prayer and study of God’s Word. Meaning that if you go for a day without food, you merely starved not fast. Amen!

If you are not the man who has made studying the word and praying a lifestyle, it becomes challenging to incorporate fasting. It is only through studying God’s word that you get to know that fasting and praying is the way of life for a believer. And if you are not able to study the Word and pray consistently on an individual base, how do you even consider gathering people together to fast.

As a male, it is important that you lead by example. Do not demand from the people around you what you are not already doing/practicing.

Examine your life and see how you can incorporate studying, praying and fasting so that you can be the example of the change you want to see around you.

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