Hearing the Spirit with Fasting ~ Pastor Noah
“Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:1-3
Following the introduction, we are first informed that these believers gathered together for worship and fasting. Without doubt, this was a regular part of how these men served the Lord and expressed their devotion to him. We learn from this example that serving the Lord and worshipping him through prayer, fasting, reading the Word, and assembling with the gathered church are the first step in experiencing a mighty move of the Lord.
During this period of worship and fasting the Bible says that the Holy Spirit spoke to the gathered disciples. This had to be an exciting and memorable experience for those in Antioch. Worship and fasting yielded a move of the Holy Spirit where He empowered and directed the church in their missionary endeavors. While this is not a recipe for forcing God’s hand, we can expect that worship and fasting create an environment where the Holy Spirit will work.
The third and final movement of the text describes the church’s response to the Holy Spirit’s work among them. The Lord called Saul and Barnabas and the church sent them to the mission field. We should expect that when the church seeks the Lord that He will minister to us and equip us for his mission in the world. One of the greatest evidences of the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is an eagerness to share the Gospel.
As we near the end of a week of prayer and fasting it is my expectation that the Lord will use you to share the gospel message with many this year. Worship the Lord sincerely, expect him to speak, and be ready to share the gospel with your “one”. If you are not sure who your one is, pray and ask the Lord to guide you in this. Once you know who this person is, begin praying regularly for them acknowledging that YOU have been set apart and sent to share the gospel.
I think it so incredibly awesome we see the diversity of the church’s people in every way and yet the GOSPEL unites us!!
I agree with Pastor Fletcher...we must see diversity in the body to reap the harvest that is ripe and ready.
Today is February 26, I woke up to hearing the scripture in my heart and mind: Deny yourself...
Januarys time of prayer and fasting was so refreshing, and now in February I find myself falling back into bad habits. I’m grateful for the reminder as I reread this Devo. what a privilege to hear from the Spirit to Deny myself , take up His cross daily and follow Him. Praying for ‘My One’ today. Believing for salvation.
I’m rereading this in late August, and it is a much needed reminder of the importance of prayer and fasting for me. In my life I have some heavy things on my heart that I’ve been praying about. I feel the Lord is calling me to add fasting to my prayer to hear from the Holy Spirit clearly. Thank you for the good Word!