2021 Fast Day Thirteen

Day #13

James 2:21-26 “Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works? The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn’t her action in hiding God’s spies and helping them escape—that seamless unity of believing and doing—what counted with God? The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.”

The very reason we have a body is to give expression to the life that is on the inside. The visual that James paints for us as he drills home his teaching on FAITH is potent. Separate faith and works and you get a corpse. That’s about as blatant a description as he could give. I can imagine that Abraham, the Father of Faith, as he carried Isaac up to be sacrificed, felt much like we have at times, maybe even bewildered by what God was asking of him. I’m sure he had thoughts like, “Lord, surely you know I believe in You”. “Surely you know I love you.” But still, He chose to give expression by his actions, to the faith on the inside of him. Then there’s Rahab, quite the opposite in character of Abraham, yet her faith expressed by her actions would land her in the same instructional verses of Faith Teaching as the great Father Abraham. I wonder what story our faith is telling. Who is reading the chapters of our lives and finding the strength to press on? Who is an eye witness to the expressions of your faith and because of you, find hope and encouragement? Your story is inspiring others and its more than just mere words on a page. Your faith story is colorful, with intricate detailing and descriptive pictures, because your faith is felt and seen!

Consecration: Overthinking

Today, we are allowing our listening to do the leading. On this 13th day of our fast, the voice of the Holy Spirit should be speaking loudly. That’s the beauty of fasting and prayer, accompanied with consecration. We begin to quiet the flesh and when we do, we turn up the volume of the Holy Spirit. How often do we think our way out of obedience? How often do we wrestle our way out of breakthrough? Overthinking, oversharing, talking ourselves out of expressing our faith with the “God, is that you?” Today we are going to consecrate overthinking. We are going to act on instinct. We are going to express our faith in bold and brave ways, and in small and simple ways. When we do, two things happen within us…we gain assurance in our yes and we amplify the voice of the Holy Spirit.