Fasting for America – Day 1 of 3

As announced a couple of days ago, I began a 3-day fast Wednesday at 6:00 PM (last night) for the election in America. So, this is the first full day.

I woke up happy, joyful. That sounds odd, I know. It is not that I love avoiding food, but I dearly adore the closeness I feel to the Lord when I am fasting. Giving up the pleasure of eating is truly a small thing, isn’t it, to seek Him and show Him we are serious about something?

Looking back at what Jesus did for us, it seems giving up pleasure for a day or two is a very, very minute sacrifice. I remind myself of that when hunger pain becomes distracting. And I tell Him, ‘You suffered for me, in this small way today I am privileged to share the fellowship of your suffering.’

As you may have gathered in other posts, the most common method of fasting I use is abstaining from food. However, I still drink coffee (without sweetener) to avoid a caffeine headache, have maybe one cup of plain green tea during the day, and occasionally a little coconut water or a few sips of milk or almond milk if I am feeling weak. I still have work to get done, so preventing myself from weakening to a place of non-functioning is important.

A passage in Matthew I read recently just came to mind. It was in chapter 15, where Jesus had been preaching to a large gathering of people. The people were so wrapped in His message, they would not leave, and they were hungry. He stopped and told His disciples (verse 32) something to the effect, “I have compassion on these people, they’ve not eaten in 3 days. I cannot send them on the road home fasting lest they faint along the way.”

Of course, then we all know the story about the few loaves of bread and fishes that ended up feeding 20,000 people. But my focus this moment is on the heart of Christ, feeling compassion for the hungry and indicating His awareness of such a practical need. These people needed to walk home, perhaps long distances. He didn’t want them to faint.

The point is, be aware of the needs of your life. You may need to work, run errands, care for the needs of your family, even cook for them. Do it. You may have health issues. Don’t let yourself become so weak as to render yourself useless! Jesus was practical. So should we be.

Before we go any further, isn’t He wonderful? He was kind, loving, and full of wisdom. On top of being God, doing miracles, sacrificing Himself for us, setting people free from the grip of evil, etc… He cared about our human needs. What an adorable Savior.

So, back to being practical… As I type, there is a mug of hot water sitting beside me, with a little lime juice squeezed into it. We have a lime tree in our backyard heavy with beautiful limes, so fresh juice is in ample supply. As a side note, did you know that water with either lemon or lime juice first thing in the morning is a wonderful toxin cleanser for your liver? So, I decided to begin the 3-day fast with this soothing and healing cup.

Thinking about it, it might be accurate to call this, ‘fasting in grace’. And this fast, with a little bit of liquid nourishment included, I’ve seen powerfully effect the spiritual realm in my life and others many times over.

After starting a load of laundry, I turned on my favorite inspirational playlist. Music so often helps me set the tone and connect with the Lord.

Soon, I found myself pacing and weeping, crying out to God on behalf of our country. Words poured out asking Him for truth to be renewed from the highest to the lowest places, for destructiveness to be weeded out, for His Spirit to be poured upon every inch of our land… that we may remain a blessing to those in need and to the rest of the world. For His enemies to be prevented from tightening their grip on this nation. For His people to awaken and take serious the condition of our home on every level, and to take up the cross to fight in prayer and through fasting, if physically able.

If only this would become a movement and spread to every pulpit, church and precious individual who knows Him, whose health allows fasting. We haven’t done all we can yet. Until in some way we have sacrificed our own pleasure to see Him pour revival and renewal upon America, we aren’t desperate enough yet. Wake up, American church!

After praying, my ears tuned in again to the music gently playing in the background. An old hymn, one of my favorites, was being sung beautifully by Fernando Ortega, Jesus Paid It All. Words of His mercy and sufficiency flowed out, and relief settled into my soul. I will close this post by reprinting the words of that hymn.

Be blessed, friends. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the election, but more, for the great spiritual need of this land and its people.

Jesus Paid It All 

I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim. I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. 

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat:

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

(by Elvina M. Hall, 1865)

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