Skip to content

Tag: pride

Saul’s Foolish Oath

We have been working our way through the book of 1 Samuel for the last few months and at this point, we’ve made it through the early years of Israel’s first King – King Saul. Last week we read the story about the incredible faith of Saul’s son Jonathan and his Armour-bearer. You’ll recall that as 1 Samuel chapter 14 begins, King Saul and the army of Israel are hopelessly outnumbered and hopelessly outgunned by the Philistines. 

    • The Philistines had thousands of chariots and thousands of charioteers – and the Israelites had two swords and bunch of pitchforks and pointy sticks. 
    • The Philistines had more warriors than sand on the seashore – the Israelites had 600 terrified farmers. 
    • The Philistines had three divisions of troops that were sent into Israelite territory as raiding parties – the Israelites had two guys who snuck out of camp to check out the Philistine outpost.

In this battle, the Philistines clearly had every possible advantage. Except for one thing. The Israelites had man named Jonathan who completely trusted God and his faith in the Lord made all the difference.

To make a long story short, as Jonathan and his armour bearer believed that God could win the battle whether He had many warriors or just a few, God enabled them to take out the entire Philistine garrison at Micmash – some 20 men in all. But that was only the beginning. Verse 15 tells us…

Leave a Comment

The Humbling Element of Fasting

Well, this week our church did something a little bit unusual – something that has never done in this church before. In fact, as far as I can remember, I’ve never been part of a church that did anything like this. But on Wednesday over the lunch hour, together as a church family, we fasted. Instead of eating our normal Wednesday lunch, we instead, spent that time fasting and  praying for our community. Which was really pretty cool, and if you didn’t get a chance to join us this time, I’m sure we’re going to be doing this again… But for those of you are just joining us today, let me give you some quick background to all this.

Over the past couple of months we have been looking at the spiritual disciplines – or the healthy habits of Christians that help us draw near to God and that help us grow deeper in our relationship with Him. They change our understanding of who God is and how He’s working in our world.

We looked first of all, at how we can see glimpses of God in Creation. God’s fingerprints are everywhere around us – in the vastness of the galaxies or the complexity of our DNA or in the wonder of a baby being born or simply in the beauty of a sunset. We see the evidence of God everywhere.

But of course, while the heaven’s do declare the glory of God, His creation doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about what He has done. That’s why God has given us His Word – the Bible. And so we spent several weeks looking at how we know that the Bible really is God’s Word and how reading and understanding it changes us as we learn more about who God really is and what He’s really like.

And while God communicates to us primarily through His Word, He has given us the ability to communicate with Him primarily through prayer. And so we spend a few weeks looking at why would should pray. Why pray to a God who already knows everything we need and who has already promised to provide it? We saw how prayer is an invitation for God to be active and involved and sovereign in our lives. It’s actually an act of worship when we pray.

And then most recently, for the last two Sundays, we’ve been talking about fasting. And fasting isn’t nearly as common-place these days as prayer or Bible reading – although I think it should be because it is an excellent way for us to draw close to God.  Fasting is a way for us to focus on the most important things in life – not just the urgent things in life. When we give up food for a certain amount of time, to instead focus on God and our relationship with Him, our hunger reminds us how desperate we are for Him – and how much we depend on Him every moment of every day. It also reminds us that this life here and now is not all there is! We are looking forward to the day when this life is over and we can see Jesus face-to-face and can spend the rest of eternity with Him – feasting and celebrating and being fully satisfied for the rest of all time! Fasting is such a good reminder of that.

And so that’s why on Wednesday, we decided to fast together as a church. I know that many Christians have never fasted before. It’s a relatively new practice for me as well. And so this was really an experiment in fasting and I hope you’ll continue to experiment with it!

Now today I want us to look at one more aspect of prayer and fasting. And by no means, have we covered it all! The more I learn about fasting, the more I realize how little I know. So far, we’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at how fasting impacts us – how it changes our perspectives and reminds of things that we are usually quick to forget. But today I want to focus on how fasting impacts our prayers.

Leave a Comment