Did you learn to love?
This is a reflection-question that I often ask myself after a hard season, or a season of blessing, or a season of struggle and pain, or even a season of fasting: Did I learn to love?
No matter what life throws at us, there is always an opportunity for us to grow in our love for God. So as we enter into this 2021 First-love Fast, let this question lead us and guide us into the love of God.
After all, fasting is really all about love; it is about the romance of the Gospel. In fact, Jesus sets fasting square in the middle of the bridal paradigm of the Kingdom.
And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." Matthew 9:15
In other words, fasting is an expression of the lovesick heart crying out for intimate communion with Jesus. Fasting involves fixing our eyes on the Bridegroom King and saying, “Nothing else can satisfy me the way You do.”
The Simplicity of Love
As Pastor Jeff wrote on the Calvary Blog, we are fasting "because we want to focus on the simplicity of loving Jesus first.” This fast is about fighting to restore and keep the first Great Commandment in first place.
Our lives, especially this past year, so easily fill up with stuff to do, places to go, people to see, tasks to complete, and pandemics to avoid. These realities of life often crowd out the things that help us become aware of Jesus’ nearness to us and His desire to interact with us.
Fasting is one of the best ways to cultivate awareness of God’s loving activity in our lives.
During this fast:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new expressions of God’s love and affection for you
- Ask the Lord how He feels about you
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you new and creative ways to say, “I love you, Jesus.”
Verses to ponder, related to God’s love for you:
- Psalm 139
- Song of Songs 4:9-10
- John 15:1-17
- John 17:20-26
- Ephesians 3:16-20
- I John 4:17-19