In the last blog post, we talked about how a childlike attitude and humble heart respond to God, saying, “Here I am.” There are times when God Himself says, “Here I am.” The good news is that we live in a new covenant, or agreement with God – when we invite Him to be our Lord and our Savior, He is always present in us and around us.
There are those days, though, when life brings us challenges that cause us to seek God in a greater way – not only because we always need Him, but because we need guidance and help. Our prayers can be “supersized” as we add fasting to our prayer. Fasting is when we forego food or other pleasures to spend time in God’s presence.
Look what God says to Isaiah and the people of God about fasting in Isaiah 58:6-11 (NASB): “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”
If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”
Although Jesus is sovereign, His nature is humble – Jesus displayed His humility as He served, sacrificed, and paid the price for us. He broke every oppressive yoke and displayed the His yoke – the yoke of humility and service. He gives us the example, and tells us: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.” Matthew 11:29 (NASB)
I don’t know about you, but I like the rewards of pressing closer to God. Every sacrifice is worth hearing from Him. Every bit of selflessness is worth the growth in awareness and character. Every humbling act brings us closer to Christ-likeness.