Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotion #40
The Fruit of the Fast
Matt Destry – Communications Pastor
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas an Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
We are now coming to the close of our season of prayer and fasting. Across forty devotionals, mid-week prayer meetings, overflow nights, and personal fasting and prayer, we have given ourselves as a church to the purpose of God to see His Kingdom come. So, what fruit should be expect as a church? What should be the outcome of our fast corporately? No doubt, we all have things on our hearts and minds that we are fasting and praying about personally, but what about for all of us, together?
Saul and Barnabas are still in Antioch – and there is now an established, healthy church in that Greek city. So much so, Luke records that Antioch was graced with prophets and teachers – there was lots of gifted people in that church. As always, God desires not that gifts are possessed, but that they are given away. The church at Antioch were in a season of prayer and fasting, as we have been. During the fast, while they were worshiping the Lord Jesus, he gives some direction through the Holy Spirit as to the next steps for two of their number. Immediately the church is mobilised in the act of sending – blessing and prayers are given to Barnabas and Saul as it was revealed what their next step was.
It was fasting and prayer that brought this about. Through fasting and prayer the church was able to hear and understand the will of God for Barnabas and Saul, and the end result was mission. The end result was Kingdom advancement. We can expect salvation, sending, and Kingdom ministry to be the fruit of our fast this year. Why? Because, as we fast and pray, it aligns us with the purpose and mission of God. It enables us to fully engage with the calling God has on our lives individually and corporately. We access all that God has for us through worship and prayer. Fasting brings the power to our invitation, and we hear God speak to our hearts about what is ahead.
As this season of forty days of prayer and fasting ends, look for the fruit of your fast. Expect God to speak to you about your next steps. Expect Him to use you to encourage others. Expect that many lives will be transformed as we draw together under His purpose, to see His Kingdom come.