Seeking God First

Seeking God First

Of all your priorities for the coming year, is seeking God your first? Is it your most important goal? Are you planning toward it, setting aside a specific time to seek God first above all else?

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33

This is an excellent time to consider committing to a season of prayer and fasting such as Pursuit 21.  Every January, we begin the year by giving God the first through 21 days of fasting and prayer!

Expecting Spiritual Renewal

Fasting is a secret that many Christians are missing. God first began convicting me about my lack of regular fasting through Jentezen Franklin. In his book Fasting, Jentezen writes:

When I feel myself growing dry spiritually, when I don’t sense that cutting-edge anointing, or when I need a fresh encounter with God, fasting is the secret key that unlocks heaven’s door and slams shut the gates of hell. The discipline of fasting releases the anointing, the favor, and the blessing of God in the life of a Christian.

I wholeheartedly agree! Fasting eliminates preoccupations in my daily life and helps me focus on God. Because of that – because of the increased intimacy with Christ – fasting has become something I long to do…something I thoroughly enjoy. I no longer view fasting as something I have to do, but something I get to do – something that is a privilege. And it is! In the seasons that my health won’t allow a full fast, I long and pray to be able to return to it. There is nothing like fasting and the intimacy with Christ it affords!

 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

Expected to Fast

After Jesus called his disciples, He gave them their first public teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. In it He explained to them the kingdom of God – its laws and life. He provided the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of God. This pattern mentions three specific responsibilities: giving, praying and fasting.

In this passage Jesus said, “When you give…”, “When you pray” and “When you fast.” He made it obvious that fasting is to be a regular part of the Christian life. He did not say “if you fast” but “when you fast.” We are to give as much focus and priority to fasting as we do to giving and praying.

Jesus doesn’t expect us, His modern day disciples, to do something He didn’t do. If the Word of God – the One who spoke this world into being–found fasting necessary in God’s economy, then who are we to try to live by any other standard? Who are we to think that we can attempt to live without it? In Fasting, Jentezen Franklin asks a poignant question:

“If Jesus could have accomplished all He came to do without fasting, why would He fast? The Son of God fasted because He knew there were supernatural things that could only be released that way. How much more should fasting be a common practice in our lives.”

Jesus said in John 13,”You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am…I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do…If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it – and live a blessed life.”

Expecting God’s Reward

Jesus promises to reward those who practice fasting in the right way with the right motives.

”When you fast…your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18).

Expecting God’s Ability

As we begin this New Year, I urge you to prayerfully consider giving God twenty-one days of fasting and prayer. Respond obediently to what the Holy Spirit tells you. If He leads you to fast, reply with a simple, “Yes sir.” Don’t worry first about how you are to fast…or whether you can make it 21 days. God wants your obedient reply. He will give you His ability to follow through.

“For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants” (Philippians 2:13, TLB).

The Holy Spirit will be faithful to call you to the fast He has ordained for you – a full fast, a Daniel fast, a partial fast…or a mixture of all three. He will give you specific direction. You can pray and seek God’s will as to how He wants you to fast.

All He wants now is your simple commitment to obey – made only in faith. God will honor your obedience and trust in Him. He will give you wisdom, direction, strength and grace for the fast.

An Invitation

I would like to personally invite you to join me in Pursuit 21 – a 21-day fast.  There is nothing like this powerful, unrivaled spiritual launching pad for the new year.

Don’t panic! You don’t have to go without food the entire 21 days…unless you choose. Regardless of whether you have fasted before, I believe the Holy Spirit will enable you to fast in some manner, either partially or in full, (or a combination of both) for these 21 days. Just begin seeking God’s will and respond in obedience…trusting that He will give you the ability. And He will!!

I believe you will find it helpful to be a part of a corporate fast as opposed to fasting by yourself. Beginning and maintaining a fast is much easier when we join with others and fast with friends. Over the years, I’ve heard from many people who had tried fasting before and failed. They couldn’t believe how much easier – and enjoyable – it was to fast with others during Pursuit 21.  This is the perfect opportunity for us to fast together – to reap spiritual benefit and have the support system of fasting with friends.

I believe God wants to do something special in your life that will not occur apart from fasting and prayer. “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Mt. 17:21).

I have already begun praying for you, that you will hear the Holy Spirit’s voice as to how He wants you to fast.

I’m excited for what God has in store for us individually and corporately as we begin the year with fasting and prayer! Join me in the pursuit and let’s experience God’s promised reward.

“…for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

If you are fasting with us, please take a moment to let me know. I want to pray for you specifically. As you email, please let me know your requests and reasons for fasting so that I might join you in prayer.

Helpful Links

I’ve included a list of helpful links below, including a link to a page outlining the types of fasts. However the Holy Spirit leads you fast, be sure to incorporate time in prayer. Simply going without food is a diet, not a fast. Forfeiting television or entertainment without committing that time to prayer is merely an exercise of the will. Fasting is consecration and separation unto the Lord. We must make extra time to turn to the Lord in prayer and the Word.

The Holy Spirit will guide you and enable you — don’t worry about how He you will make it through. Once you commit to fast, God sees the desire of your heart and provides you with the grace and strength to follow through.


Two posts to help you prepare:

Questions: What are your thoughts as you think about giving God the first through fasting and prayer? Are you excited? Apprehensive? Afraid you’ll miss food? Filled with holy anticipation?


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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