Wasn’t it cruel of me to choose a photo of a feast during our fast? Ha. I really don’t intend to aggravate your hunger. This table, laid out with a holiday feast, relates to scriptures I want to share. Fasting from food does lead my mind to passages about food. Which of these do you relate to the most at this point in your spiritual walk?
Haggai 1:6 (NIV)
6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
This verse was written by the prophet Haggai in a passage calling on the people to be productive. They worked and worked and had nothing to show for it. They felt like they were throwing money away. They were not satisfied; they felt empty inside… and perhaps a bit ungrateful. Have you ever felt like that?
We, in the U.S., live in such a prosperous country. Yet, we still complain. We have reliable cars and complain about traffic. Our phone is 6 months old and out of date. We are employed and work hard, but feel slighted if passed over for a promotion. I complained over the holidays that I felt stuffed from too much food and chocolate. This type of complaint focuses on serving our selves. What are WE getting out of our labor? Sure. We deserve a fair wage and God likes to delight us. Yet, it is off-balance to think that everything is about us.
The feelings of frustration and emptiness can be amplified for many in mismatched marriages, where the stakes are higher than cars, phones or promotions at our job. A different type of emptiness can creep in, although you strive to walk with the Lord. You try to raise your kids to love God, but they hear contrary messages from your spouse. Perhaps your loved one is held captive by addiction. You pray and you pray, but don’t see a change in the situation. It can grow wearisome to live by faith alone. We hunger for relief from our situation… or at least a sign.
A benefit of our fast, is that we can refocus away from ourselves and toward God. Let’s be thankful for whatever blessings that he gives us. Let’s spend time in the Word, soaking in His promises. Whatever your situation, there is a verse that can speak to you. Trust God with our burdens. Trust Him. When we can’t see a happy outcome with our human eyes, trust that God does. The Psalms can be comforting when we feel empty. So many of them start with an ache, so like our own, and lead us to praise and thanksgiving by the end of the passage. This is one way that God walks along side of us, leading us to a better place.
If we are full of spiritual food, then we will truly be full and satisfied.
Psalm 23:5 (NIV)
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows
Ah! This verse sounds so much more victorious than the first one doesn’t it? This is where I want to be. There is a tone of celebration in it. The “table before me” is a feast of good things. It is something to celebrate. But notice that He doesn’t take us to some private Christian-only retreat to enjoy it. Our table is in “the presence of my enemies.” We are here in the real world. Do non-Christians look at us and see us enjoying God’s blessings? Do our pre-believers see joy in our lives?
The banquet table also alludes to the communion table. If the world beats you down or you feel that you need to be closer to God, then come to the Lord ’s Table. He will remind you that you are loved and fully reconciled with Him. You do not even have to wait until Sunday services to have communion. Consider having your own private communion service. Non-leavened bread and fruit of the vine are fairly easy to find at your grocery. Or your minister may be willing to help supply you. This is just a suggestion, but I know people who find great meaning in a private communion service.
Please add a comment below and let us know how the fast is going for you. Can you relate to one of the scriptures above? Are you feeling empty or blessed? Please share your thoughts. ~Teresa
Dear Father, thank you for Your Word to guide us, comfort us and encourage us. No matter where we are in our spiritual life, You provided words that speak into our hearts. Thank You for establishing the Communion Table to remind us of Your great love and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. For us, Lord. You did it all for us. Let us hunger and thirst after righteousness rather than food or earthly rewards. Let us be thankful for our many blessings. May the joy in our lives be a testimony to others. Amen.