Joy to the world

Hillsong Worship

We continue to reflect on the Lenten season, as Pastor Brian takes into a deeper understanding of fasting. Jesus taught us in Matthew 6 that fasting, prayer, and almsgiving were not “IFs,” but “WHENs.” These practices are not just Christian rituals, but they are pathways to deeper and more intimate relationships with God. Jesus tried to make it clear that these are not public displays, but private devotions.

Are you practicing Lent with your Refuge.Family? Pastor Brian shared that he’s limiting himself to ONE cup of coffee per day. Pastor Nicole deleted all the time wasting games off of her phone. Some of have given up sweets, Netflix, and social media. Whatever you’ve chosen, remember this is a means to draw near to God, not just a checklist of forsaken comforts. Jesus tells us there is a reward for the genuine, hidden devotion.

This week is all about the prophet Elijah. Who experienced the extremes of divine victory and personal despair (and the struggle of clinical depression.) His journey from the miraculous confrontation on Mount Carmel, to a fearful retreat, and a 40-day fast in the wilderness. Elijah’s story serves as a back drop of the transformative power of fasting.

When You Fast

Fasting combined with prayer leads to profound mountain top moments with the Lord. Brian tells us, you can pray without fasting, but you can’t fast without praying. It’s not about the physical act of abstaining but the spiritual discipline of Refocusing on God. While also learning learning to hear his “gentle whisper” in the thick of daily life.

We can glean a lot of insight from Elijah’s journey to our own. So, be challenged and encouraged to reconsider fasting not just as a Lent obligation but as an opportunity for spiritual renewal. Embrace fasting as a journey towards understanding, clarity, and a more intimate relationship with the Creator.

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