It is important for us to develop good spiritual habits so that we can be confident in the Lord whenever we face battles in life. Such confidence does not happen by chance, but something that must be developed through time as a choice by the individual. King Jehoshaphat is one of the Bible characters we can model on our faith and relationship with God. However, we are in a much better position as we are blessed with the full counsel of the Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
One good spiritual habit to cultivate which is often neglected, is fasting which is helpful to practise periodically. Fast (nesteuo : ne =not + estío =to eat) means to abstain from food for a certain length of time to express dependence on God and submission to His will.
2 Chronicles 20: 3-4 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ASK HELP from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to SEEK the Lord.
King Jehoshaphat was a humble king who knew he was powerless when faced with a huge alliance against him. He was willing to reveal his inability and vulnerability to his people. He called his people to fast and pray.
Fasting should be accompanied by prayer. We can seek the face of God for clarification of His will. It is God-centred. We are serious before God to seek His attention. Although we might not be facing physical enemies, we might face different challenges or at a critical fork road of our life. We can fast as an act of humbling ourselves before God, to seek His face or His wisdom through prayer and/or to intervene on our behalf. It is not the wisdom of men, but the wisdom of God we want in our lives:
1) It is a spiritual discipline between the individual and God to ask Him for His will, His wisdom and solution regarding what they are facing in their life. Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is.
2) It can also be done among a group of believers seeking God corporately on important matters.
3) Business partners who are believers can seek the face of God in difficult times, the strategic direction or the appointment of CEO for the company for the next few years.
Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
Therefore, when we fast, it is important to pray the prayer of consecration and intentionally quieten ourselves to receive spiritual guidance. We have to tune in to the leading and witness of the Holy Spirit. It is spending time in fellowship with God and a good spiritual habit to cultivate.
Sermon Series: Spiritual Habits 2020
经常容易被忽视的一种良好的属灵习惯就是禁食，定期的操练是非常有益的。禁食(nesteuo: ne =不+ estio =吃)是指一段时间内不进食，以表示对神的信靠和顺服。
历代志下 20:3-4约沙法便惧怕，定意寻求耶和华，在犹大全地宣告禁食。 于是犹大人聚会，求耶和华帮助。犹大各城都有人出来寻求耶和华。
1） 这是个人与神之间的属灵操练，为他们生命中所面对的问题，来寻求神的旨意、智慧和解决方案。不要作糊涂人，要明白主的旨意如何。 (以弗所书 5:17 和合本)
以斯拉记 8:21那时，我在亚哈瓦河边宣告禁食，为要在我们 神面前克苦己心，求他使我们和妇人孩子，并一切所有的，都得平坦的道路。