Loving God. Loving People.

Pre-Fast Lesson: Day 2

Title: Return to Me
Text: Joel 2:12
By Brian Lambert

Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with
mourning.” (Joel 2:12, NKJV)

If we look at the kind of fasting that took place in the Old Testament, it would be easy to assume that the
reason we fast is to prove our repentance to God in order to obtain His mercy. Under the Old Covenant, a fast
of repentance is seen time and time again. But now, because of the complete work of Jesus on the cross,
things have changed.

Fasting is not something we do to obtain favor or forgiveness. Under the New Covenant, every
wrong thing we have done and will do was forgiven at the Cross, and when we accept Christ as our Savior, we
get to celebrate the mercy freely given to us through our relationship with Him. Fasting is about drawing
closer to God and surrendering at a deeper level.

As we walk with God, there are times that we feel far from Him or disconnected. Joel’s words
resonate with us even if we live in the context of grace: ͞Return to me with all your heart.͟ There are times
we realize that though we have chosen to follow Jesus, the flame of our love for Him has grown cold.

Your time spent in prayer each day of the fast can result in a rich and rewarding connection with the Father.
No matter where you are on your journey with Jesus, you can always take a step closer to Him.

Quotable: I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has
given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the
world. – Bill Bright

Prayer Focus: As we begin this time of prayer and fasting, let’s turn our hearts toward God.
Make a commitment to seek Him daily. Pray that your love for Christ will be increased and your
passion for Him will be re-ignited over the next twenty- one days.

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