I Will Lift You Up
Aligning ourselves with God’s will is a paramount concern for the Church of God. It is the responsibility of both the shepherds and the sheep. God will judge both shepherds and sheep in this context, bringing His flock into His covenant, for the purpose of hallowing His name before the nations.
Alignment with God starts with repentance; i.e. “loathing” ourselves in an attitude of contrition and humility. This is complete conversion; to turn towards God, recognizing our sin, and keeping faith in God’s mercy to forgive it. Because we in our natural state are not equipped to think this way, true repentance takes time and effort. In particular, we use fasting as a tool to humble our minds, infuse God’s spirit, and thereby hear His revelation to us. Fasting for the wrong reason, with the wrong intent, is ineffective. The purpose for fasting is first to obtain a soft, sensitive mind by which to hear God, and then to know God in a deep, emotional, intimate way.
Fasting should produce humility and a desire for knowledge of God that has an emotional expression, not just an intellectual one. In fasting, we inspect ourselves, not others. We turn to God with weeping and mourning, not in protest. This is the beginning of establishing a connection with God, by which His will, via His law, can be revealed to us.
Fasting prepares us to hear God, who will communicate with us quietly. Satan came to Christ with bluster and force. Christ’s response was a quiet voice that referenced scripture. Answer to prayer comes quietly. We must be carefully attuned to hear it. If we draw near to God, He will lift us up.