God is calling many of you to rethink your life goals, and your life work. These are exciting days. Unsettling days. But you are yearning deep inside to live and work closer to the brink of eternity. You are dissatisfied with working just to make money. You are questioning the point of a job that has little significance for eternity. The thought of doing something risky and radical and out of step with the American dream keeps coming back to you.
What should you do?
Don't suffocate the dream. Don't drown it in busyness. Do what God's servants have done for centuries. Spend an extended time alone in prayer and fasting.
Jesus began his ministry by fasting forty days alone. Just before choosing the twelve apostles he spent a whole night in prayer (Luke 6:12ff).
Whenever Charles Finney sensed a lessening of God's power, he spent one to three days alone in prayer and fasting, and always found renewed zeal.
Wesley Duewel discovered that the world and busyness can so fill the mind with godless thoughts that he would need a prayer retreat in which he read at least fifty chapters of the Bible before he was again really in tune with God.
Elijah was sent by the Spirit forty days into the wilderness to Mount Horeb to hear the "still small voice" of God and get guidance about the kings of Syria and Israel and about his successor Elisha (1 Kings).
The Bible says not to get drunk with wine but to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). But how do you get drunk with wine? By drinking a lot of it. So how do you get filled with the Spirit? One way is by drinking A lot of him. How do you do that? "We received the Spirit by hearing with faith" (Galatians 3:2). Hearing what? The word of God. I am convinced we will not be filled with the Spirit of truth until we drink ourselves drunk with the word of God. That's what a day of prayer and fasting is for.
David Brainerd frequently set aside days of prayer and fasting. On Thursday, November 3, 1743, he fasted and read 1 Kings 17-19; 2 Kings 2-4; Exodus 3-20; "the story of Abraham;" and "the story of Joseph's sufferings." He prayed as he read and then God met his need. "I had for many months entirely lost all hopes of...doing any special service for God in the world. It has appeared entirely impossible that one so black and vile should be thus improved for God! But at this time God was pleased to revive this hope."
So it may be for many of you. If the Spirit is causing you to think about a turn in the road, don't keep your foot on the accelerator of your life. Slow down. Take a detour to the place of quietness called prayer and fasting. Get alone for a day with God and his word. Believe it or not, he would love to meet you (2 Corinthians 6:16-17).
Perhaps I will see you there,