Seeking to be Filled

June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yesterday marked Ascension Day, the day we celebrate Christ returning to heaven after his death, burial, and resurrection from the grave.  Jesus walked on earth for 40 days following his resurrection during which he appeared to over 500 people.  The Jewish people believed that when the Messiah came he would set up a kingdom on earth and reign as King.  Moments before returning to the Father, this transpired:

“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  ~Acts: 1:7-8

The disciples then witnessed the ascension and with Christ having returned to the Father they knew the Kingdom Days were yet to come.  Now they were to wait on the Holy Spirit.

Once the Spirit came as recorded in Acts 2, he enabled all believers to receive power from on high.  Moreover, as we read in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16:

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  The spiritual  person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ.” 

If Christ had merely risen and reigned we would never have possessed the mind of Christ.  We have the mind of Christ with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Following the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, we read of many instances in the church of prayer and fasting.  Earlier, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, some disciples of John and the Pharisees questioned Jesus as to why His disciples did not fast, Jesus replied to them as recorded in Matthew 9:14-17 and Luke 5:33-39,

 “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

The Hebrew word for fast means “to cover your mouth.” The Greek word for fast means to “abstain from food.”  In Acts and other New Testament books, we read of different occasions for fasting including but not limited to the following:

  • In conjunction with worship. Acts 13:2
  • In commissioning Christian workers. Acts 13:3, 14:23
  • To cast out demons. Matthew 17:18-21

Fasting demonstrates a passion to bring God glory, come to him humbly, and present our body as a living sacrifice which is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1-2).

You see, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within Christ followers.  We are to glorify God with our bodies in many ways, one of which is fasting.  Jesus fasted and prayed.  He completed a 40 day fast before being tempted by Satan and the starting of his earthly ministry.

As you join me on this journey to learn the ins and outs of fasting, consider that we are to imitate Christ Jesus, and like Paul to want to know him and the power of his resurrection .  Let’s imitate Christ, the early church, and champions of our faith in prayer and fasting.  My studies thus far have led me to believe that fasting combined with prayer, meditation upon the Scriptures, and worship are meant to bring God glory by unleashing the power of God in our lives via the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Raise the Risk Challenge:

  • Read what Campus Crusade for Christ has to educate you on the topic of fasting here.
  • Choose one day in the next week to fast and pray.

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