For the past four years, my son has played football, so I know a little something about the importance of the fourth quarter. Whether the team is well ahead of their opponents, or struggling to come back, they have to bring it in the fourth quarter if they want to finish well.
I’ve discovered a similar truth during the past five weeks as I’ve been going through my P90X workout program. When I come to the end of a set of reps, and I feel like I can’t do anymore, that’s the time to push through and do more reps. This is where all of the big gains are made to build muscle and strength. My friend Dave (who lent me the program) tells me that all the first reps are warms up to get to the last one that I force myself to do, and that’s the one that makes all the difference.
This is much like our week of prayer and fasting. To those of you who have joined me thus far, maybe you’ve reached the quitting point where you feel like you can’t do another day. If you’ve been fasting food, you’re hungry and need to eat. Or you’ve been fasting an activity that used to take up a lot of your time so you can focus on the Lord in prayer and Bible reading, and you miss doing it. Don’t stop now!
I want to challenge you to bring it! We’re on Day #5, and there’s two more days to go after today. Continue to press in and seek the Lord in fasting and prayer, and believe God for a breakthrough in your life. P.U.S.H. in your prayers: Pray Until Something Happens.
Why did you start fasting in the first place?
Isaiah 58:6 says, “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?” When we fast, God sets us free from any bonds and burdens that hold us back in our relationship with Him. Then God’s power is made available in our lives to help set other captives free, too.
Isaiah 58:8 says, “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” When we fast, we will see more healings and miracles in our lives and the lives of others. And finally, verse 9 says: “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’.” Do you want to see more power in your prayers? Fast!
Finally, in Isaiah 58:11 we see another benefit to seeking the Lord in fasting: “The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Does that sound like a good reward?
There are times since I’ve started P90X that I’ve wanted to sleep in, and times that I’ve wanted to quit. But I keep pressing on, because I know that the rewards will be worth it in the end.
This past week as I’ve been seeking the Lord in prayer and fasting, I’ve been reading through the book of Isaiah. Here’s some encouragement for you today from Isaiah 40:28-31. Seek the Lord today, and be refreshed!
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”