The Bridegroom Fast
Matt 6:17-18 “When you fast don’t let it be obvious…but instead wash your face (or put oil on your head) and groom yourself and realize that your Father in the secret place is the one who is watching all that you do in secret and will continue to reward you openly.”
Welcome to the new year of 2019! FASTING seems to be a popular buzzword right about now among a large number of the Christian population and churches. Many believers have already, or are currently, participating in some type of fast as they begin their new year. That person may be YOU!
In fasting, we make a sacrifice as we pray and seek the Lord for something. Some of us may be fasting for our ministry, a crisis that’s raging all around us, for God’s direction in our life, for a prophetic peek into the future, answers to questions, or maybe for a deeper relationship with Jesus.
As I have been studying God’s Word and taking a closer look into Biblical fasting, I have come to realize that the act of fasting itself has gotten lost in the Christian world. Maybe because fasting isn’t really being taught a lot from the pulpit, or maybe it’s because we, in the Western world, have actually gotten a bit lazy in the way we make our sacrifices for the Lord.
As I have looked into God’s Word regarding this most sacred and ancient act of sacrifice, I could not help but notice that food and water were really the only two elements that are listed as part of a fast. Today, we in the Western church have come up with a variety of other ways to participate in fasting. We fast things like: TV, social media, music, computers or cell phones. I don’t want to get religious about this, and I’m sure the Lord accepts our different forms of fasting, but Jesus Himself, as He fasted for 40 days and nights in the Wilderness, fasted only food and water. As I searched and searched the scriptures, I was unsuccessful in finding any other form of fasting.
As I stated earlier, there are many different reasons why we fast. We can fast for our ministries, prophetic revelation of the end times, cities or nations, to stop a crisis in our lives, protection or direction. However, the fast that has captivated my heart is, THE BRIDEGROOM FAST! The Bridegroom fast is focused on desire: both understanding God’s desire for us and awakening our own desire for Him. We were created to love and be loved by God and He has made us to crave Him until our heart’s cry is answered.
The Bridegroom fast is done simply to encounter that love and have greater intimacy with God Himself! It is His very own invitation for you and I to desire more of Him.
Matt 9:14-15 “One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked Him, why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do? Jesus replied, ”Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the Groom will be taken away from them and then they will fast.
Jesus’ disciples were the first men to engage in a Bridegroom fast. They were instructed by Jesus as they walked this earth with Him to NOT fast but to rejoice as they would during a wedding celebration!
Once Jesus has ascended to Heaven, things changed for His Apostles. They now began to mourn and long for His presence once again. He had awakened a depth of desire in their hearts that they were not fully aware of until their hearts were wounded by His physical absence. They longed for Him and His nearness once again. When His immediate presence was taken from them, they became heartsick for their first love…JESUS… THEN THEY FASTED!
Song of Songs 5:8 “If you find my Beloved…tell Him I am lovesick!”
This scripture describes the relationship between Jesus the Bridegroom and His beloved church. His bride. It describes our lovesickness for God. Even the remembrance of our close encounters with Jesus in the years past creates a hunger and a craving that will not be satisfied until we experience Him again and again…and in even greater measure! Lovesickness is our mourning for the loving and tangible presence of Jesus as our Bridegroom God. No one on earth can console our lovesick hearts except Him. A lovesick heart is fiercely discontent, and has a desperate hunger for God Himself.
This is the Bridegroom Fast!
Spiritual hunger is a divine gift that leads us to seek hard after new and greater experiences and encounters with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Spiritual hunger is what will lead us into the very arms of our Bridegroom, and into the most romantic love affair we will ever experience here on this earth!
I dare you to start off this new God-Given year 2019 with a glorious Bridegroom fast. How amazing it will be to sit in the very presence of your Abba Father…in the most sacred holy SECRET PLACE on earth! Allow Him to pour His endless, lavish love all over you and your heart. YOU…His favorite son…His favorite daughter…YOU…will never be the same! In Jesus name!
For out of the secret place comes all the fruitfulness of your life!
Salt Churches Colorado Springs Leader