It's day three of our 10-day fast! Here is today's "Heroes of Fasting" video (3:52), from Dr. Chuck Hetzler, Senior Associate with Christian Union Day and Night.
Hi, I'm Chuck Hetzler with Christian Union Day and Night. Welcome to this ten days of fasting for 2018. I praise God for you being able to join together with Christians all around this country to seek God, to believe His promises, to follow His Word and put it into practice. Even these hard things of God's Word, even these things that are not common among most Christians in America. We thank God for you and for the opportunity to seek God through fasting. It's something that is difficult but it's also so wonderful at the same time. As we look at the Bible, we see how fasting is so essential to us finding God and experiencing Him in our lives in really profound ways.
Today we look at Daniel. Daniel was a guy who was involved in politics, you might say. He was a leader at national levels and he was not somebody who was a full-time missionary or pastor. He was somebody who had a "normal job," yet he was somebody who set a standard of prayer and of fasting. Man, did God respond.
Let's look at it today from Daniel chapter nine, a few verses here that we'll look at. It says in Daniel 9:1, "In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years."
"Then," verse three, "I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes." The first part—a little historical setup—the reason Daniel is giving for why he started seeking God through prayer, pleas of mercy and fasting was that he realized that 70 years was coming to pass, that Jeremiah had prophesied. He started realizing, "Oh, my goodness. Lord, it's time for your promise to be fulfilled." He started seeking God in this way.
Daniel knew that this is a opportune time. This is a window where God is said to have fulfilled His promises. What's interesting is that a lot of times we think when God is going to fulfill a promise—when God is going to do something that he said he would do for us—we think that, well, we just sit back and we don't do anything. We passively receive the fulfillment that God has promised. But that's not what a person of faith actually does. A person of faith looks at the promises of God and presses into them and sees our co-working, our partnership with God, to say, "You know what? God said He's going to do this. I need to prepare myself. I need to seek Him as He fulfills His promise. That He would do that very thing. I'll be ready for it."
Sure enough, verse 20 in chapter nine as we skip ahead after Daniel's prayer, it says, "While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of the people of Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at first, came to me in swift flight." The angel Gabriel comes and he says, "From the time that you started seeking God, I was sent."
Brothers and sisters, from the time that you've begun this fast, God has sent His work into your life in a greater way. I don't know what that's going to be but I know that He will. It will be shown. It will be manifested. Praise God for that. Thank Him for what He's going to do as you continue to seek Him in this time of fasting. God bless you.