The Desert Within
I recently attended a service where the message centered on the current season of Lent which is a forty day season of fasting and consecration which models the desert temptation period of Jesus. Although I have never observed Lent myself, I was struck by the message as He highlighted certain aspects of Jesus’ wilderness journey (Matt.4:1-11). The speaker paralleled the season Jesus spent in the desert for forty days of testing with the importance of taking a time for us to look at the desert of our own lives and allow God to reveal to us what we may need to change.
Although the decision of what to fast, how much and when is individual the call to consecrate ourselves and give ear to God’s Spirit within us is for all believers. Fasting is a very biblical concept making its appearance from Old Testament to New. I have never done a fast as intense as Jesus’, 40 days, but I have benefited greatly every time I have done a fast of some kind. Why is that? What is the benefit to fasting?
Something about the deliberate decision to abstain from something we’d rather enjoy whether it be food, entertainment or anything else, in order to spend time in God’s presence seeking His desires always yields fruit.
God our Father is such a giver we can never out give Him. He will always respond and fill our time when we give it to Him.
There is a grace that comes upon us when we fast with the right heart seeking relationship with Him. He has set aside the deeper things and mysteries of His kingdom for sons and daughters who seek them out;
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”Jer.29:13
“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” Prov.25:2
I heard a message preached by Kris Vallotten at Bethel Church clarifying,
“God doesn’t hide things from us – He hides them for us!”
What an opportunity we have to search out all that our Father is and has!
Jesus’ desert journey was also Holy Spirit led. There are times it may feel like Holy Spirit is taking us into the desert of our hearts in order to heal something that has been broken, remove a wrong belief or realign a thinking pattern to God’s truth. Going into the desert within can feel scary but we can trust the goodness of our Father to be kind and guide us with love and perfect wisdom.
God only reveals that which He intends to heal.
It is very important for us to let Him reveal to us what is really going on in our hearts because what is going on in our hearts affects every other area of our lives.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Prov.4:23
I don’t know yet what exactly I’m going to fast but I feel Father prompting me to join Him in a consecrated season of discovery. I want to go deeper with Him and let Him draw out what He has created me to be. I want to be more deeply rooted in His love and obedient to His heart.
A journey into the desert within us can yield powerful fruit in our lives and further strengthen us in relationship with our Father. Let His words be our retort against the lies of the enemy just as they were for Jesus in the desert and let us draw near to Him to know Him more and more.
How about you guys? Are any of you observing Lent or a fast of any kind? Comment below :)
If recently published a book, Servant Sons and Daughters, which focuses on the many sides of identity, knowing the Father and more which you can learn more about if you like at: servantsonsanddaughters.com