I know you have seen the signs of Spring beginning to pop, even through the rain.
The pink buds on the cherry trees, the white puffs of “popcorn” (we call it) on the apricot trees, and the endless fields of yellow flowers covering the new green grasses of the hillsides.
You have also seen, I’m sure, the array of Easter chocolates and Easter goodies, begging to be bought to fill your Easter baskets.
This week my eye has been drawn to the baby lambs following close beside their Mommies in the fields around us. There’s also baby goats and calves laying beside their Mamas, attempting to get up and walk on wobbly, young legs. Last week I even saw two twin colts following their mother in the corral beside the highway.
It is the season of New Life! Spring is in the air, and we are ready for lighter clothing, greater exposure to the sun, and longer walks outside in the warmer air.
Do you prepare for this? I do!
I start to panic that my over indulgence of baked items during the cold days of winter, may not make a good impression in my sleeveless spring wear. I look down at my pale arms and legs and push myself out the door to allow the sunshine to hit them. I even consider a new lotion with color in it!
But the truth is, Easter is not just the time for baskets, candy and new clothes. It also, is not just the time to go to church and sing His praises. It is the time to prepare our hearts for THE GREATEST EVENT IN HISTORY!!!
The hard thing is, the greatest event in history begins with the saddest day in history.
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where palm branches are being waved in His honor and “Hosanna’s” are being sung to His glory.
“Hosanna to the son of David!” Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord. Hosanna in the highest heaven.” Matthew 21:9
The people, like you and I, are not only cheering for Him, they are giving Him the recognition and honor He is due. They are calling Him Lord, but in a matter of days, they are shouting insults and demanding his death!
How do hearts that praise Him, turn so quickly to curse Him?
I have to believe that their hearts were not prepared. They were not fixed on His glory, His kingship, or His power. Their hearts were led by emotion and fooled by deception. They were hearts that were not grounded in commitment and prayer.
Granted, they did not yet have access to the Holy Spirit, but WE DO! How much more important is it that we prepare our hearts for this season? We need to connect ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit!
I know of no better way to do that than through FASTING. Fasting calls us to sacrifice and focus on something bigger than ourselves.
Jesus gets to the heart of the matter when He expresses His disappointment with His disciples. They had a lack of preparation as they fall asleep on Him while praying.
“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40
The answer is No. They in and of themselves were too weak. Jesus tells them this truth,
“For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41
God knows that if we do not prepare our hearts for Him, we will be too weak in our own strength to grasp the depths of what Easter is truly all about!
When we fast, we exchange our power for God‘s power.
Fasting puts us in a posture to break our pride, and anything that holds us captive. It helps us to break bad habits in our lives and build good habits. Combined with prayer, fasting connects us to the Holy Spirit and His power.
Mark Batterson, in his book ‘Draw the Circle,’ put it this way:
“If we will live in a place of brokenness, (by fasting,) God will build us back up in the power of the Holy Spirit.” pg.153
Are you willing to have your heart broken, so that it can be fully prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive all Immenseness of Palm Sunday and Easter?
You may already be preparing your hearts through this Lent season. But if you are not, would you consider a FAST in combination with prayer to prepare your heart this EASTER?
You will be amazed at what God will do in and through you if you do!
I am preparing my heart through a fast and I already can testify to the sensitivity I already feel coming up to Palm Sunday. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO ON EASTER!
He is faithful friends! Fasting is not easy. Pray first about what God wants you to fast from. It can be food, it can be social media, T.V., movies…anything at all.
Fasting is an exercise in will power! But it is so worth it as we yield our personal will power to His great POWER!
You can do it! We can do it! We can be more like Jesus on Easter as we enter that day in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us that Jesus after fasting for 40 days, “returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
My goal is to enter my church this Easter in the power of the Holy Spirit! I hope you will join me.
Blessings and prayers for strength and will power!
Speak Truth Love