Theme for the Fast

Psalms 23:3 “He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

In Romans 3:23 Paul wrote to the early Christians saying, for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.  This was a message especially intended for the Jewish believers, reminding them that the law of Moses could not save someone from their sinful nature, nor from the consequences of their sins, which was spiritual death.  The Bible says, ALL HAVE SINNED.  Of course in human history there was one, and only one, exception to this: Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 4:15).

The phrase fall short comes from a term used in archery.  It refers to an arrow that falls short of the intended target.  This gives us a very good picture of human nature: we try our best to be perfect, like God.  Yet we always fall short of the mark.

Even as a Christian, we set our sights at being more and more like Jesus; but we constantly fall short of our goal.  For example, we decide to read the Bible completely through during the course of the year; and we stop before we even hit the half-way marker.  We make a decision to forgive someone who has deeply offended us; and the moment we see them, all the negative and toxic memories come flooding back over our soul.

We determine in our hearts to make some new friends, to get involved, to serve the Lord, only to be met with failure, friction or frustration.  We commit ourselves to living the right lifestyle, praying and reading our Bible, loving our neighbor or being a good parent, only to be violently met by our weaknesses, our hypocrisy, and our insufficiencies.

Later in the book of Romans, Paul wrote about the weakness he saw in his own character. For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. (7:19, World English Bible)  Most of us can say, Amen, to that statement.

The Daniel Fast this year is a time when we cry out to God together, asking Him to continue the work of restoring us to that glory He intended for mankind from the beginning.  If sin has caused us to fall short of the glory then as we become the righteousness of God in Christ, we should be restored to that same glory that once was intended for humanity.

The theme of Restoring the Soul is in no way intended to only be an exercise in introspection or self-deliverance.  Rather, it is to remind us that our soul has been damaged by the effects of our own sin, and as we repent and are reconciled to God, He begins a work of restoring our soul to that level of glory originally intended for us.  And as our soul is restored to the glory of God, then we begin to walk as children of the light in the midst of a very dark and perverted world.

During the fast there will be moments when we ask the Holy Spirit to shine the light of His truth into the dark reaches of our soul.  And we will repent for wrong thoughts, actions and words.  But the goal of the fast is to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us in our thoughts, our will and our emotions.  We want to finish the fast different than we were when we began it.  The goal of this fast is personal transformation and a change in lifestyle.

So we invite you to commit yourself to the grace of God; throw yourself whole-heartedly into this time of fasting and prayer.  For God is Restoring the Soul.

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