Just last Sunday I sat in the morning worship service at Keystone Fellowship in Montgomeryville, PA and asked the Lord how I could become more involved in the church and be a benefit to His ministry. Without ever leaving the … Continue reading
Since the evening of April 8, 2013, I have been _engrossed_ in a mission to Save Wissahickon Park, a National Natural Landmark in Philadelphia, from inappropriate use — the installation of a “Go Ape” zipline tree top adventure concession. That evening in April, a coalition was born, Alliance for Preservation of the Wissahickon (APOW)¹, and forged through the “done deal” plans to hault the installation. The plan was proposed by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Yesterday press released the direction has been abandoned, Praise God! From the evening of April 8th until today has been 40 Days. It is no coincidence that today, I first counted the days and that 40 concluded this mission.
There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where 40 occurs, either in years or days, e.g. it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.
A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing, trial, probation, or chastisement (but not judgment) and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.² To name just a few:
- It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when God wanted to cleanse the world and start over.
- Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days (TWICE)
- The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, one year for each day they explored the Promised Land.
- Goliath came for forty days before being killed by David
- Elijah strengthened by one angelic meal went forty days to Mount Horeb where the Lord passed by and he heard the voice of God
- Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness
- Jesus was seen in the earth 40 days after His crucifixion³
Empowerment and blessing which covered this period of 40 days was ever present. God orchestrated the unity of many caring and compassionate, intelligent people to accomplish a mission that certainly must have been close to His heart. The course was steep, intense and a relentless thief of time. The Wissahickon Valley Park has been called a “sanctuary” by some— a refuge from the encroachment of city life. In this transcendent park, God speaks through His Creation and His Creation abides in the park.
40 days of rain passed before Noah opened the window in the ark. Today the window opened and I know He guided the course!
I am expecting to share great things with Rejoycin’ readers over the next months. The outward evidence of breakthrough is only a mere reflection of unperceived gain.
Praise God for His strength
Praise God for His reign
His mercies at length
Renewal past pain
Embraced in His Goodness
Transported in rain
The morning is nearing
A promise fulfilled
The tide is now stilled
If ever a time would I question Your Hand
Return me ponder Your quake of the Land
¹APOW is a grassroots advocacy group consisting of a growing coalition of members,
including: Friends of Wissahickon (FOW) Trail Ambassadors, PA Equine Council, Central Roxborough Civic Association, Upper Roxborough Civic Association, Members of Girls Scouts of America, Sierra and Audubon Club Members, Friends of Wissahickon Members, regional park users and Philadelphia taxpayers, stakeholders and almost 2,000 petition signers
Bland oatmeal with slices of banana in almond milk; I lift the spoon to my lips and think on the connection between the Daniel Fast† and my spiritual growth. I am not a veteran of fasting, frankly, I have fasted infrequently. My carnal mind questions the significance of fasting past the physical benefits, “Daniel had conviction to remove himself from the kings food and God called Daniel to speak to the king through his fasting”. Moments later Christ directs my thoughts to Him.
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.
The “Daily Light on the Daily Path” devotional and the text opens with, “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.—The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.” The devotional ‘coincidentally’ uses terms that parallel consuming food and drink. As the Word is written, His Bread, scripture, guidance and council, will satisfy.¹ This scripture does not suggest we should not eat or drink but, the pleasure that can be momentarily received in sweet and rich foods is obtainable in Christ. When Daniel fasted with three other young men, God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
Each of us needs to hear from God and none are without needs. The bible provides many examples of how through fasting results were obtained and difficulties broken. Discipline is another objective of fasting. Some unable to fast for extended periods will often fast one meal coinciding with prayer to seek God’s intervention.
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence in the yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind [that is this kind of faith] only goes out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21).
Jesus shared this previous passage with the disciples because they were wondering how they were powerless in a situation. Prayer and fasting was direction to build faith in the disciples. How often do we feel powerless? There are many areas in my life which I feel powerless. Could fasting be the key to victory? Today, arms wide open, we come; You are our portion, You hold our right hand, Father, You guide us.