Thought for the Week - 17th JulyPastor Gareth Watkins
If we look around us, we see a world in chaos. There’s financial instability, wars, refugees displaced from their countries, chaos in politics, insecurity with food supply, and even the church itself is split.
This past week has been one of chaos – there’s been a tragedy in Nice, and an attempted military coup in turkey. Do we believe God is in control? Do we think He can change the things around us; our towns and cities?
God is in charge of all things!
In terms of our responsibility, we can pray and fast, as has been done all through time. Do we see God making changes because of people’s prayers? Yes! We see miracles in answer to prayer every week in our church. You just need to look at Jonah and Nineveh to see how God is in control and makes mighty miracles in response to fasting and prayer!
But what about our nation? What are we doing when it’s in chaos? Back in World War 2, God responded to the prayers and fasting of people like Rhys Howells in Swansea. Indeed, even Churchill wrote to Howells, such was the effect of his prayers in spiritual places.
Fasting is a discipline that helps us change according to His likeness. Fasting brings us in line with those things He has for us.
It’s important to remember that the “I” will raise up! The mind will question and emotions will raise. We try to rationalise, make excuses, avoid… but we need to stay fast!
Paul talks about these things:
1 Corinthians 9:25 – 27
Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air.
Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.
Paul talks about bringing our body under subjection to God. If any of us want to move in God, the “I wants”, “I needs” etc. that we have need to be brought under God. Even Paul had bring it all under subjection to God. Things in life will try to pull us away, but we need to recognise this and pull that thing under subjection to Him.
Most of the great people in the bible fasted and prayed. In Esther we read:
“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast in my behalf. Don’t eat and don’t drink for three days, night or day. My female attendants and I will also fast in the same way. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law. If I perish, I perish!”
Sometimes that’s the level we need to get to with God – past the “where will I be if I do this”, “what if such and such happens” etc. We need to bring that intensity to our Christian walk!
Esther’s thought life, will, emotions and mind would have been whirling around trying to pull her away. But she – like we need to – got to that point where she put all aside so that God would move.
We need to line ourselves us with what God wants from us! Would we bring our whole being into subjection before God?