Daniel Fast Day 4
Ezra 8:23- So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.
The Israelites were coming out of captivity and were looking to start a new life again. As they were exiting, Ezra, the man God, called to teach the laws of God and now the leader of the exiles, called the people to fast. He instructed them to entreat the Lord for safe travel for everyone and pray that their possessions would be protected during the journey. Then they also pleaded before God and fasted that HIS hand be upon them to take care of them and protect them from their enemies. They were willing to sacrifice their plate to have favor from the Lord. The Lord heard their prayer.
The Lord heard their prayer! The Lord heard their prayer! The above scripture provides the people of God an example of how to humble ourselves before the Lord and offer our self as a living sacrifice to receive direction for the next God driven phase in our life. We often move day to day and season to season without going before the Lord and seeking HIS direction. Ezra demonstrates for us that we must forever be mindful that God has already been gracious to let us go free. The Lord has already been merciful to release us from our sinful past and love us enough to grant us a pardon from bondage and enable us to have hope for a future. God calls us to humble ourselves before HIM in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and pray to seek his direction in our new day, in our new journey, in our new year. Our humility lets the Lord know we trust him with our whole heart. It also demonstrates our FAITH IN GOD and releases a healing protecting agent over all that we possess. When God recognizes our faith in HIM, we have HIS ear and He Heals us!
Humble yourself before the Lord, ask for HIS direction and seek HIS guidance before you move forward. Jeremiah 29 shares for us that it is God who holds the compass for our lives, HE knows the plans HE had predestined for us. Even your best thoughts, ideas and laid out plans may come up short with God’s seal of approval. Our scripture reveals that favor rests pointing in the Lord’s direction for your life. Thus, by not consulting the map designer, you run the risk of heading in the wrong direction and being off course.
Ezra called a fast to usher the people into a place to hear from the Lord but to also plead their case before HIM. Ezra knew they were about to go back to Jerusalem, a wayward city with no government in place. Ezra knew they NEEDED the Lord to keep them safe from harm and protect their families and possessions while they traveled¸ as well as, once they arrived. You may think what you are going through now may need prayer, but you don’t know what hardship may be ahead of you. We need the Lord’s perspective of how to prepare us for where we are going.
In our restless, godless cities today, don’t we NEED God to protect us from the violence that plagues our towns? Violence is not isolated by country, city, town, race, age or gender. We must entreat the Lord to cover our homes, our family members, our friends and neighbors as we go out into a world that has no remorse or value for life. We must plead our case before God for protection!
As Ezra moved the people to fast, he also reminded them that the King believes that their God protects those who worship the Lord. We as believers must move through our lives as worshipers of our God. Others are watching our testimony unfold, to see how God delivers us to the other side of our journey. Unbelievers are watching to see if your God abandons you or gives you favor in your situation. It is great when our testimony ends, “If it had not been for the Lord on our side….!” Worship shows our reverent love for God and our sincere devotion to him. Singing to be singing is not worship, but singing to God in prayer, in spirit and in truth, believing Jesus hears the words in your heart through your lips, calls HIS attention to your faith in HIM. Worship is ultimately for us…..it changes our fear into confidence, our sorrow into joy, when we remind ourselves of God’s greatness. Ezra prepared the people for breakthrough by moving them to be humble, offering themselves to fast in sacrifice and worshiping God by identifying HIM for who HE is in their lives.
During this fast, let us begin by earnestly entreating the Lord to guide, protect and take care of us in 2019. Allow the Lord to see you humble your plans to consider HIS as the primary source for direction. Worship God in your fast to change your heart towards God, to enable you to see HIM as your Great I AM in your life daily.
Day 4 of Daniel Fast: Walk daily entreating the Lord for ALL …and HE will answer.