Just to expand on the post regarding Deuteronomy 8 and our American prosperity, I just wanted to share the words of Abraham Lincoln our 16th president on March 30, 1863.
The Civil war was raging on and our president called for a national fast to bring the people’s focus back on the God who brought the prosperity that we were fighting over. Have we ever called for a time of fasting as a church? seems almost unheard of, but why? I don’t know how many people actually fasted on the day declared by our president, but listen to some of His words in the declaration and just think about how we are being deceived by a cultural onslaught of excessive pride and the supremacy of warped self-esteem and safe places. Have we become so soft that any hardship or sacrifice seems counter-intuitive and inappropriate, can you imagine a national fast being declared by a U.S. president today? Neither can I.
“…… We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended POWER, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” Abraham Lincoln
That could have been written for us today.
Joel 2: 1 BLOW A TRUMPET IN ZION, AND SOUND AN ALARM ON MY HOLY MOUNTAIN! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near……….(12) Yet even now, declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now Return to the Lord your God, For He is Gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness.
Allow me to leave you all with a thought as the harvest comes in and we enjoy the fat of the land, Let’s give up or give of ourselves in a way that makes a difference. A time of Prayer and fasting for our church and for our nation. Pray about this and then read Matthew 6:16-24, form a triad and may God embolden our faith to walk according to His word, ALL OF IT, submitting our will to the small sacrifice of fasting can strengthen our faith, encourage our hearts and prepare us for the battles ahead.
The battle of Gettysburg raged less than three months after this declaration of fasting prayer, but the war ends teaching us that fasting and prayer may not remove us from great danger as the battles rage in our lives but the submission to God will always bring us through the battle to the Glory of the God who created us in His image, and Loves us and want us to prosper in HIS name and not our own.