To those of you who fasted with us for the past ten days, congratulations! You made it!
Now, break your fast with joy!
What do I mean by that? Well, it means more than just be happy that the fast is over and eat whatever you want, though that is an awesome part of fasting!
What I mean is to break it with joy because celebrating God’s goodness in your life through feasting is a Scriptural as fasting for God’s goodness to be released.
The truth is, most of us think that fasting is more spiritual than feasting. When we break a fast we can think we are about to be less spiritual than when we were fasting. But did you know that they are both in the Bible, and both are spiritual?
In fact, there are seven “Feasts” God commands His people to celebrate to commemorate His goodness in their lives – and they all point to Christ.
Now, there is a ditch in the road on either side of feasting and fasting.
On the one side, gluttony is clearly a sin. But on the other side, unduly denying yourself nutrition is sinful, too. (Some in the first century Church, and even now, get caught up in this thinking that treating your body as something unspiritual is spiritual. Paul vehemently refutes this in the NT.)
Here is a text that gives us the balance.
Israel had sinned and their nation was in ruins. Nehemiah calls them to repentance, and they obeyed. Just as we have been fasting and repenting for our nation. But the people back then got stuck in mourning and weeping for their sins. But once they had sincerely repented, God wanted them to rejoice!
“And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.’ For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’” Nehemiah 8:9, 10
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Not that we are done seeking God to restore our nation. I still plan to fast periodically between now and the end of the year. But for today, at the end of this fast, let us end it with the “joy of the Lord”!
Feasting or fasting? Do both.