In the last post we started looking at the encounter between God and Elijah. We looked at how even when running from God, Elijah still had an encounter with God. We also looked at how God will ask us questions in an encounter with Him so that we can learn in the encounter and not because God does not know the answer. If you need to review Elijah’s encounter with God you can click here.
Today we will think about something else in this encounter between Elijah and God and that is; sometimes we must take care of physical needs before a spiritual encounter with God. Elijah had wandered into the desert; he needed rest, food, and water. God sent a messenger, or an angel, to bake a cake and to provide water and then instructed Elijah to, "Rise and eat." Then the angel told him to eat again because the journey was going to be difficult.
It’s very hard to tell a man to repent and accept Christ as Savior when a man is so hungry he can’t pay attention to your words. That is why there are humanitarian agencies that use food programs, housing, and other social ministries to help people as a basis for preaching the gospel. We need to be feeding the hungry but to feed them so they can hear the gospel. We need to be found feeding and helping people but that is so that they can clearly hear the gospel of Jesus of Christ. So let us feed others and give them water but also let us share the good news of Jesus with them!
Fasting is something else that can be a part of an encounter with God. Sometimes a physical fast from food is associated with an encounter with God. Actually a fast can come before meeting God, or after meeting God. Some people meet God and then begin fasting as Saul fasted for three days after seeing Jesus the Damascus road. In this case, Elijah fasted for 40 days before he encountered God on Mount Sinai.
Fasting is a time when you refrain from food so that you give all your attention to seeking God. You fast from food, but hunger and thirst after righteousness, seeking a spiritual answer from God. Sometimes prayer is not enough. You take your intercession to a higher level through fasting.
Do you want to see something powerful happen – fasting can be a key to having it happen. Isaiah 58:6 says this; “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?” Let me ask you – do you have bonds of wickedness in your life that needs to be broken? Do you have things in life that are weighing you down? Do you feel oppressed and need to break free? Fasting is one of the ways that the Lord tells us that these things are broken. I encourage you to fast for a spiritual breakthrough because fasting can a part of encountering God.
Let me ask you – Have you ever fasted – why or why not? If you have fasted, have you ever had a spiritual breakthrough as a result of fasting? What comes to your mind when you think of fasting?