As you read this, many of us will be in the middle of, or nearing the end of, a period of fasting and prayer. We are doing this as we have felt the call of God to come up higher, to shift our perspective, to enlarge our vision. The fasting is simply an outward expression of our inward desire not to be held down by that which is merely earthly and natural, comfortable and convenient, easy and predictable. It expresses our understanding that we are heaven-born, spiritual beings, new creations; and that our rightful environment is in the heavenly heights.
These might seem like poetic, high-minded notions and phrases, but they express essential truth. Those who are born of the Spirit set their hearts and minds on ‘things above’ and on ‘the things of the Spirit.’ (Col.3:1-2; Rom.8:5). And far from being otherworldly and airy-fairy, they have a very practical and profound impact on our way of life, not least on how we relate to one another. For the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) and the wisdom of heaven (James 3:17) are all related to relationship. They release us from pecking at each other like chickens, to soaring together like eagles.
Setting this time aside to wait on God, to turn our attention to him even more than usual, to express our dependence on him, recognising that our strength comes from him alone, is a key to releasing us into this life:
those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; (Is.40:31)
And, while serious, it is not a heavy or solemn time. In fact, it is a time of praise and thanks, for the goodness of God renews our youth.
[God] satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Ps.103:5)
We will find ourselves strengthened and renewed for the exciting new things that God is going to do among us and through us. Let’s go soar together!