We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Ryan Grinnell.
“One time when 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
I recently got back from a trip to Jackson, MI. I was there on a type of retreat to recharge, refocus, and get creative in the men’s ministry I’m a part of. This past 6 months have been nothing but high speed low drag and I finally had to hit the pause button. It was time. It is so easy to get caught up in the grind of daily life that we forget to focus on the one thing we are called to focus on, Jesus. Bills, job, kids, work, gym, and the list goes on and on.
Barnabas and Saul had been with the church at Antioch for over a year faithfully serving the Lord, teaching, and converting Gentiles. I’m sure they were constantly busy and at times felt worn out and tired. But they model for us a practice that we tend to overlook.
Verse 2 says, “… while they were worshipping and fasting.” The writer of Acts made sure to tell his readers that they were doing both. When we fast, we bring our body and mind into unity by depriving ourselves of things that can distract us. We can fast from food, social media, or any number of things that can be a distraction. Fasting is difficult. But these two modeled the right way to do it. Then we see the result.
The Holy Spirit showed up and spoke to them, called them out, and set them apart for other things.
Denying the flesh certain things that distract us or we feel like we need is a difficult task. We want Holy Spirit to talk to us so bad or desire a fresh word from God. But with the distractions around us, it’s hard to hear His voice. I went to Jackson with a desire to hear fresh words from the Lord and refocus my calling. I stayed away from social media most of the time I was there. The distractions were minimal. I fasted. I worshipped. I served. And God showed up. I got what I was looking for. My Father revealed things to me I had long desired to hear.
It may not happen exactly how or when we want it, but God is faithful and true. He will show up. Trust Him, draw near to Him, and focus on Him. Watch Him move.
Holy Spirit, I know you want to speak to us in intimate, personal ways. Give us the desire to fast and set things aside from our lives that distract us from your voice. Reveal an area we need to put away for a bit and focus our eyes and heart on You. Speak fresh words of peace, guidance, and love. In Jesus’ name, amen!
What area of your life do you feel is distracting you from hearing God’s word in your life? Social media? Netflix? Could you be so focused on your diet and nutrition and “getting it right all the time” that you’ve lost focus on the reason you began in the first place? Whatever it is for you, I challenge you to lay it aside for a time and fast. While you’re fasting, when you have a desire to check IG or TikTok, pray instead. Jesus promised us if we draw near to Him, He would draw near to us.
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