One of the great results of an extended time of fasting and prayer is that it spiritually and physically reboots you. There is a cleansing that takes place which is vital because it’s amazing how things can build up, even when you’re just “doing the normal” life stuff. It reminds me of a passage in Leviticus 6.
8 The Lord said to Moses: 9 “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. 10 The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. 12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
This is the requirement for a burnt offering, which was a sacrifice of general atonement—acknowledging the sin nature and a request for renewed relationship with God which is one of the things that happens in times of prayer and fasting. We become so much more aware and our desire becomes to turn away from any sinful behavior and have renewed relationship. It’s amazing how in the “normal of life” things can build up that need to be removed. This passage deals with that for us in a practical way.
- The ashes built up even with the normal sacrifices, in the midst of doing what God called them to do. The ashes still built up and had to be cleaned off of the altar because without that, the fire doesn’t burn as hot.
- The fire on the altar must be kept burning.
When we take time in prayer and fasting it accomplishes both of these things, normal cleansing of our altar and helps us to burn hotter and keeps our spiritual fire burning. This is not only a spiritual reboot, it’s also a physical one as well because God works on the entire person. In this time your spirit is renewed but also the toxins that have built up in your body are released and you feel better. I feel better spiritually and physically now (albeit a bit tired) but I’ll take that trade off because I feel good.
So don’t miss the facts of what God does in all of this and remember; When God asks for something, He’s never asking for something from you, He’s asking for something for you. Because He knows you will benefit (spiritually and physically) when we follow His lead.
Praying for you! Pastor Patrick