First Reading: 1 Am 9:11-15
Psalm: 85:9ab, 10, 11-12, 13-14
Gospel: Mt 9:14-17
After eight chapters of prophesying the deterioration of God’s people, the book of Amos concludes with the prophecy: “I will bring about the restoration of My people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities” (Am 9:14).
Isaiah also prophesied: “The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; ‘Repairer of the breach,’ they shall call you, ‘Restorer of ruined homesteads'” (Is 58:12).
A catalyst for this restoration is fasting (see Is 58:6). Jesus promised we would fast after He ascended from this earth (Mt 9:15). In fact, we would fast in such a powerful way that only those with the new wineskin of life in the Spirit can hold the new wine of fasting, which is powerful enough to restore the fallen, ruined people of God (see Mt 9:17).
Post-Ascension fasting is in a class by itself. It is explosive and restorative. The world has never seen anything like it. The Lord even uses it to drive out demons (Mt 17:21). The new fasting both restores what seems to be a hopelessly ruined people, and it builds God’s people to new heights, into God’s “temple, to become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:22).
When we realize the special part fasting has in God’s plan of salvation, we rejoice to have a share in the privilege and power of fasting. Many of us at Presentation Ministries have been called to fast two days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you ask the Lord, you may find He is giving you a similar privilege.