Sometimes both is best.
You don’t have to choose between grace and truth. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between zeal and knowledge. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between deep and wide. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between passion and wisdom. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between personal righteousness and social justice. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between relevance to God and relevance to men. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between contending for the faith and striving for unity. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between explosive revival and inch-by-inch progress. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between Gospel-rest and hard-core holiness. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between being heavenly-minded and being earthly-good. Go for both.
You don’t have to choose between loving God and loving people. Go for both.
Go all the way with both.
Dead religion has mastered the dark art of proudly embracing one virtue, while conspicuously neglecting another. Flee the pride-stroking seduction of such foolishness. Go all the way in all the ways of Jesus. Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly.
Questions I ask during a fast, directed especially toward our leaders:
How can I bring the most GLORY to God through my life, family, job this year?
When I’m at my best, what do I BURN for? What desire is so strong I’d be willing to overcome the obstacles? What do I know I am called to do? What would I take a bullet for? What orders have I received from God? God’s will is often wrapped around our purest desires. Pray and meditate long enough to be crystal clear about this burning purpose.
Is the goal/purpose/desire specific enough to WRITE IT DOWN? Put a date on the desire. (“I intend to multiply our microchurch by summer … I intend to open a fair trade restaurant with the greatest atmosphere anyone has ever seen by 2020 … I purpose to establish a daily, organic, enjoyable prayer life in the next 40 days … I intend to write a book by Dec 31 … Our microchurch will raise the money to build 2 more children’s homes for rescued slaves by Christmas … I intend to plant a church, start a business, invent a widget by …) Write this out and pray about all through your fast.
Have I clarified what I will GIVE UP in return for this burning purpose? Something will have to be cheated. Choose to cheat wisely. I suggest starting by cheating your time with television, movies, internet surfing, wasteful social media. Fast and pray about money and time and possibly unfruitful relationships that will hold you in the land of futility. Cut off the cable to work on the burning desire at night? Skip Facebook to have time to tutor a kid at Lincoln Middle School? Wake up one hour earlier to develop a revolutionary prayer life? Clarify this in prayer this week.
Have I WRITTEN OUT a plan to pull this off? Write out a specific plan about this burning purpose, and start working on it today. The plan does not need to be the final draft. You can modify it 100 times, but get the ball rolling.
Let’s make our fasting more than starvation, and fully engage in God-centered purpose. Specific prayers get specific answers. General prayers get general answers. So go for it.
For more thoughts on fasting click here.