Summary: If we want to see an awakening take place in the church today, one of the best things we can do is to stir up our hunger for God by fasting.
AWAKENING: STIRRING UP OUR HUNGER FOR GOD WITH FASTING
OPENING TEXT: “Therefore He says, Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Eph. 5:14, NKJV).
• We need an awakening! I want a church that’s hungry for God.
• I want a revival in my life and in our church. Let’s not be content with the usual!
• We need to see the supernatural power of God returned to the church!
BIBLE STORY: TOO DISTRACTED:
“38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42, NKJV).
• In our world today, too many Christians are distracted and troubled by many things!
• We’re so busy – sometimes even doing good things – that we neglect Jesus.
• We need to wake up and refocus our lives on Jesus FIRST.
BIBLE STORY: WHEN GOD CAME DOWN:
“1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever…"
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:1-3,14).
• If we start praying like they prayed, we’ll see God’s glory like they did!
• But we must also humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways.
• This happened also in the Book of Acts – as they prayed, the Holy Spirit moved!
WE NEED REVIVAL:
“Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6).
“O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!” (Habakkuk 3:2).
• REVIVAL DEFINED: Chayah: sustain life, be restored to life or health; to cause to grow; restore. Something that’s alive will be growing and bear fruit!
• A revival is also called an awakening – when we are awakened, revived, renewed.
THE BIG IDEA: If we want to see an awakening take place in the church today, one of the best things we can do is to stir up our hunger for God by fasting.
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting = expressing a hunger and thirst for more of God in our lives.
• Fasting is seeking God’s blessing. Write down what you’re expecting Him to do!
• Seven day fast – some of you might want to fast for 21 days – for freedom and victory!
• Not only food, but also activities to focus more on God. i.e. TV, computer, phone, etc.
GOD’S FAST: Isaiah 58
“6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?
• Bonds & burdens – anything holding you back in your relationship with God.
• When we fast, God’s power will be made available in our lives to set the captives free
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
• When we fast, God’s power will be made available in our lives to heal the sick
9a Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'
• When we fast, we will see more power in our prayers as well.