Day Fifteen: Lips that Praise and Ears that Listen
Fasting Date: Monday, February 19, 2018
“While they were worshipping 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 13:3-4 ESV)
Lips that praise and ears that listen – these are two things that should always accompany a time of fasting. In the verses above, we find a group of men from the church at Antioch worshipping God as they physically fast. These men aren’t sitting around complaining about how hungry they are or counting down the days until they can once again engage in a decadent dessert; nor are they subtly boasting of the sacrifice they are making by denying themselves food. Instead, their time of fasting is spent pouring forth praises to the Lord, with their ears receptive to what he might have to say. And as they worship and pray and listen, God speaks to them and directs them in the way he would have them go.
Many Christians who have engaged in a time of personal fasting can testify to this same kind of experience occurring in their own lives. It’s not that fasting obligates God to show up, or that our praises are like some magic potion that compels him to speak to us; rather, worshipping and fasting places us in a posture where we are better positioned to hear from God. As we shift our focus away from the food that our body desires and instead declare to God that what we most desire is to walk with him, we will find that we are much more in tune with what he might have to say to us. Fasting is an ideal time to worship God with the words of our mouth and then quiet our souls saying, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Reflection: Take some time to offer genuine praise to God, and then pray that he would give you a listening ear to hear him speak.