Sometimes during a hard shift like the one we’re experiencing because of COVID-19, God will also use the time of pause to change something in us, or give us a new assignment.
Think about the past couple of months. Has He done something new in you? In your loved ones? In your work?
Often we race through life, and don’t take the time to consider something new. The status quo is an easy place to reside. I love my comfortable old shoes—what about you?
It’s interesting that Passover fell in the midst of the Stay-at-Home Order. About six years ago, God brought me back to my Hebraic roots while visiting Israel, and it has been a metamorphosis over the years. New church. New understanding of the Bible. New friends. At one time, because of God’s revelation to me that I was Jewish, even though it was my father, not my mother, who was Jewish, I wondered if I should go kosher. I decided I liked bacon too much, so came to the conclusion that I would eat only Kosher foods during the Jewish holidays and observances.
However, during Passover, I did an additional fast. I gave up anything with leaven in it. In Exodus 12, God commands his people to do this in their commemoration of the Passover. “For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day to the seventh must be cut off from Israel” (Exodus 12:15). This fast was a little more difficult, because bread is a weakness of mine. I judge a restaurant by its bread! But I did it, traded in my loaf of bread for thin salted matzos (they are delicious with peanut butter and honey) and what occurred afterwards was a shift in direction.
Almost simultaneously, the Lord called me to write a book about my story, The Root that Never Died: How a Christian Woman Was Called Back to Her Hebraic Roots. “But God, I am in the middle of working on another book.” “Put it aside for now.” So I did, and I asked, If this is of you, I pray that you will give me a quick download. And He has. I’ve written sixty pages in less than a week. I see this as a 120 page apologetics book.
He also called me to apply for a doctoral program in Messianic Studies. When this came up, I put up the usual roadblocks. Are you sure? I don’t know that I have time? I’m too old to go back to school. It’s eerily like my call to seminary back in 2003. I was more resistant back then, but this time, I obediently applied, and I feel that if this is of Him, I’ll be accepted to the program and He will see me through it. I’m not sweating it, either way. I am resting in the journey.
When I told my spiritual daughter, Lara, about these changes that have occurred, she asked, “Did all this happen after you fasted from leaven?” I’d never put the two together and I realized that it did. There is powerful work that God can do in a life through a fast.
So today, if there is something in your world that needs changing, consider fasting.
When, in Matthew 17, the disciples were unable to heal a boy who suffered from seizures, they asked Jesus, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He responded that their faith wasn’t strong enough, but then he added, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21 KJV)
What change do you need? In your marriage, in your children, in yourself? Tired of praying the same prayer over and over again? A fast may just release God to do some supernatural work and provide the shift that is needed.