It's day five of our 10-day fast! Here is today's "Heroes of Fasting" video (2:56), from Dr. Chuck Hetzler, Senior Associate with Christian Union Day and Night.
Hi, I'm Chuck Hetzler with Christian Union Day and Night. I’m so excited to be seeking God together with you during this fast for 2018, a 10-day fast, and we're being inspired every day by these heroes from Scripture who fasted, and we're learning why they fasted, what God did as a result, and how we could follow their faith and their example. So today, we learn from another passage in the book of Acts, Acts chapter 14. I'm going to start in verse 21.
It says, “When they had preached the gospel,”—this is Paul and Barnabas—”When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
So here we see in this passage how fasting plays a role in us committing to God something that's very important. In this case, it was churches, and it was elders that they were leaving and they were trusting the Holy Spirit to continue to work in them, to protect them, to guide them, and strengthen them, and we need to learn the same lesson for us. Are there things in our lives—and surely there are from time to time—when there's something significant that's happening in our lives, when there's something that we need to especially seek God for or we need to say “God, we're embarking on something new, something that could be dangerous, something that could be a scary thing, a scary proposition.” Maybe it's sending a child off to school. Maybe it's starting a new job. Maybe it's embarking on a new ministry in your church or in your local community.
Set time aside to fast as you enter into that new phase. We see that they saw this. As early Christians, they saw fasting as an important component to consecrating our lives, or to consecrating a work to God. As we begin 2018, we're saying Father, we consecrate ourselves to You. We consecrate this year to You. We consecrate this nation and this new year to You, asking Father, as a new work is beginning, let it be Yours. Let it be guided by You. Let it be protected by You. That's what we're praying for this year as we begin and may God bless you. May your life be fully committed to Him, and may you experience His grace poured upon you in 2018.