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2nd December 2022

In the Fast Lane 2023 - Day 1

2nd December 2022
Written by Malcolm Baxter

Day 1 - Seeking God


‭‭Psalm‬ ‭63‬‬ NIV

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

1 You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
    they will go down to the depths of the earth.

10 They will be given over to the sword
    and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
    all who swear by God will glory in him,
    while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

As we begin these three days of prayer and fasting, let us remind ourselves why we are here. 


We are here to draw near to Jesus Christ. 


Over the next three days we shall look at a different part of this Psalm of David to help focus our time. Today it is verse 1:

1 You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

As we come to fast over these three days, we come with a desire to seek God. We see at the beginning of this Psalm David’s desire for God. He says ‘earnestly I seek you’. David is serious about seeking God and he’s willing to put effort and time into seeking God above all things. 

One of the challenging and revealing things about fasting is that it can show us just how seriously or not we take seeking God. 

When we fast we are showing God that we desire him above all other things. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus’ response was: 

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:36-37. Jesus calls us to love him with our all, not some or most, but all. Jesus calls us to love him with the kind of earnestness we see in this Psalm of David.

David wrote this Psalm in a desert, yet he is not thirsty for water, but God. His body is not longing for shade, or food or water. His thirst and longing is for God. 

Jesus also spoke about how fasting is part of the way we show our love for God. 

Matthew 6:16-18 

16 “When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

There is a promise here that God sees us when we fast and that he rewards it. 

We are not here to twist God’s arm or earn approval from him, yet as we earnestly seek him, as we love God with all our heart, we will find that there is the reward of the Kingdom of God coming in and through our lives. Our reward is that we draw near to Christ. 

Fasting can also show us just how earnestly or seriously we are actually pursuing our relationship with God. Many of us want God, but in reality we often don’t want him more than the comforts of the world around us. We know deep down we want God more than anything else, yet when it comes to giving up things that make us feel good to follow Jesus, our hearts can struggle to turn that desire into action.  

But as we saw, Jesus told us that we were to love him with all our heart, soul and mind’.

Fasting is a great (and often challenging) way to fix our eyes on the one thing that we really want: Jesus. He is the true source of peace, life, hope, love and salvation in our lives. 

As we come today and over these next three days, whether we are just missing a meal a day, going without certain foods, or if we’re not going to eat for the whole three days, let us come humbly before God ready to earnestly seek him. 

As David declared that in a land with no water his thirst was for God, let our prayer be that in a time of no (or less) food, our hunger will be for God. Let us allow the rumbles or pains of hunger to remind us of our deeper hunger for God.

We need God’s help to fast. It’s often not easy, but we can do it with his strength. 


Questions and prayers:

Are there areas of my life that I have never given up for Christ?

Jesus I invite you to come and be the desire of all my heart today in ways that you have never been before. Help me to give all my life to you. Amen.

Where have I allowed other comforts to take parts of my heart’s desires?

Jesus I confess that I am giving my heart to other things other than you. Please remind me of my deep desire for you that has been pushed aside by other desires and comforts. I welcome you back into my heart. Amen.

What do I long for when food (or other comfort) is taken away? 

Holy Spirit, please help me to want you even more as I feel the effects of fasting. Amen.