v. 3 “…on the feast day…”
v. 10 “…open your mouth wide and I will fill it…”
v. 16 “…I will feed you with the fat of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I will satisfy you.”
WHAT IS THE FEAST?
“The Feast” is an invitation to a 40-day extended fast of consecration with other friends from Vineyard Community Church. I have felt a calling to fasting in this season and now feel compelled to call our church to the same, as is Biblical. There are great “God things” happening in many of our lives; this is an opportunity to add faith and effect to the works of God among us. It is a time to deny that which distracts us and embrace that which enriches us in God. We create space for the purity and power of the Spirit by removing things that are not profitable to this end. In place of these things we fill our time and thoughts with that which God suggests. As we see in Psalm 81, the Lord longs to fill us with treasure in place of our rot. Verse 13 suggests His heartbreak at our idolatry, and his longing to give what will truly satisfy. I think all of us know deep inside when we are settling for less; “the Feast” is a time for denial of the alright and pursuit of the wonderful.
FASTING IN THE BIBLE
As I see it, there are four basic purposes for fasting found in the Scripture. While this fast focuses on consecration, it may serve the purpose of any of the four. They are:
1. Consecration, Exodus 24:18, Matthew 4:2
2. Intercession/repentance, Joel 2:12-18
3. Justice, Isaiah 58:6-12
4. Intimacy, Matthew 9:15
In conjunction with Lent we will beginning March 1 2017 (day 1) and concluding April 13 2017 (day 40). Sundays are not included, hence the extra days….but you might choose to fast on Sundays as well.
WHAT DO I DO?
1. Read Psalm 81 reflectively. Spend a few days in advance before 9/22 to mentally prepare for this.
2. Ask God what He would have you fast, for example:
– Something that takes time from you on a daily basis
– Internet (non-work)
– Certain type of food (i.e. dessert/coffee)
– Listening to music
– Eating out
– Video games
– A hobby
– Enjoyment of alcohol
3. Ask God how He would have you feast, for example:
– Daily Scripture reading (if not already a practice)
– Daily time in worship alone
– Renewed commitment to social justice and evangelism
– Regular daily prayer for certain people and situations
– Commitment to read through some heavy devotional classics
– Daily time of solitude and/or silence
4. Do it.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Withdrawals will be strong for the first 3 days or so. It will take about 2 ½ weeks to fully be “weaned” from a habit. It is then that the benefits of fasting will really begin to be realized. Your soul will feel light and free. If you are new to fasting you might try something very simple. Don’t fast a meal each day; it isn’t healthy. Pick something that is challenging yet possible. It’s all about what you sense that the Lord is telling you. You are encouraged not to talk about this too much, except to God. It will take discipline, and you must fill the empty space (fast) with something instead (feast) in order to experience something. The diligent commitment to this will ensure spiritual growth.