Missions Begin – Part 3
Scripture Reading: Acts 13:1-5
Key Verse: Acts 13:2
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
As we continue from yesterday we see that the early church not only was at worship when God spoke, but they were fasting! The practice of fasting is found throughout the scripture—both in the Old and New Testaments. Fasting is the act of doing without food for a period of time in order to totally focus on finding God’s will and purpose in a given situation. Since God always has the perfect answer, we must never see fasting as a way to change God’s mind. Fasting is about finding God’s mind when we are faced with challenging situations.
The scripture passage in Acts 13:2 doesn’t tell why they were fasting. Possibly their passion for lost souls caused them to seek God via fasting on how to be more effective in expanding God’s kingdom. God’s answer makes me think that was the case since He revealed to that church that they should send Barnabas and Paul out on a missionary tour.
Fasting can be in many forms, from a total fast—drinking only water, to a partial fast which includes some foods but denying other foods for a time. The method of fasting is not as important as the heart behind it. We should be looking for more time for prayer and quiet meditation, listening for God’s whispers. I believe the kingdom of God will be expanded in our hearts as well as in our world when we seek it in fasting.
Father, I will go without a meal today, seeking your will for my day. Use me to expand your kingdom that others can know your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.