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Week of Prayer and Fasting

January 21-28 was our Week of Prayer and Fasting. What a blessing it was to set aside time to focus on the Lord and seek His face.

During this week, I meditated on these Scriptures:

Psalm 63:1-8 “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Interestingly, I saw a strong parallel between the above psalm and Isaiah chapter 55. Take a look:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”

In both texts, it speaks of being “fully satisfied as with the richest of foods” and “delighting in the richest of fare”… but it is not talking about physical substance to fill our stomachs. No, it is talking about something FAR more satisfying, that is, KNOWING God, experiencing His love that is “better than life” itself, seeing him in His power and glory, listening to Him, hearing Him speak, experiencing true LIFE! This is what makes us sing! This is what fulfills the longings of our beings… not just food that will fill our bellies for a short time. 

As I experienced physical hunger this week, and often longed for something to fill my belly with, I remembered these truths and instead cried out to the Lord, “Lord, I want YOU! I want to know that soul satisfaction that comes from experiencing your love! THIS is what is even better than life itself!”  Other Scriptures came to my mind as well. Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 God says that He is the spring of living water, that His own people so often forsake: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” And when Jesus came, He said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38 I had never noticed how many times the Scriptures compare experiencing God with food metaphors!

The truth is that we are so controlled by the desires of our physical bodies. If we feel hungry, we eat. But what if we were that in tune with our true, deep NEED to experience God? What if we ran to Him as diligently as we run after food for our bodies, day after day after day? Then, we would know true satisfaction and lasting transformation in our lives! The passage above from Isaiah 55 continues with these amazing promises:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.’”

Would you like to know the thoughts of the Lord? Would you like to understand His ways? Would you like for His Word to bear fruit in your life? Would you like to have the joy and peace that is spoken of? Would you like to see the “brier” areas of your life turn into beautiful gardens? These are the things that we are promised as we seek Him!

Let’s press in to Him, understanding our acute need of Him, even more than we need food and water for our physical bodies.