Fasting and prayer penetrates our heart and produces praise and humility.
Today's Daily Reading: Daniel chapter 4
King Nebuchadnezzar was a great king. The only problem was that he knew he was a great king and he celebrated his own greatness. He thought he gained his wonderful kingdom on his own. He worked hard for what he had. No one gave it to him. He was a self made king.
We all have a little bit of Nebuchadnezzar influencing our perspectives and attitude. There are areas in all of our lives where we don't "need God" because we got it under control. There are areas of our lives where we don't lean on God...at all. Isn't that the same kind of pride that enslaved Nebuchadnezzar? The issue wasn't that he was prosperous or powerful. The issue was that he was self reliant...prideful. He didn't need God at all in any area of his life.
Pride is a sneaky little devil that will start with one area of your life, and then before you know it, you're out of your mind eating grass like a cow in the middle of no where. To avoid the pitfall of pride, we must learn to lean on God for everything. God's goal in maturing us spiritually is NOT for us to NOT need Him. The greater the spiritual maturity the greater the reliance on God...for EVERYTHING!
Proverbs 3:5-6 says it best. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and don't lean on your own understanding. In ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him."
God's plan is to lead us in life to a place of complete and total reliance on Him. This is exactly what prayer and fasting help produce. Physical hunger helps us to rely on God Himself, not food to satisfy. We are to pray when we feel hungry. We're telling God that He is all we need. We're nothing without Him. We praise Him. We lean on Him. We acknowledge Him in all our ways.
Nebuchadnezzar finally arrived at this place of spiritual maturity. He was on a kind of forced fast. All he ate was grass. There were no distractions out in that field. He was all alone with God and God got ahold of his heart. His final take away from his season of exile...
Daniel 4:37 "Praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud."
My prayer is that this 21 Day season of prayer and fasting would bring you to a place of leaning on God and acknowledging Him in every area of life. It's not a sign of weakness, but strength and deep spiritual maturity.