Matthew 6 (NIV)
Matthew 6:33 is a verse I often quote, especially when people ask, “How do I know God’s will for my life?” What I need to start recommending is for them to read the entire chapter of Matthew 6. There are three things in this chapter that Christ presumes we are doing already as believers in Him. He says, “when you give… when you pray… when you fast…”
These are not commandments. These are natural actions that kingdom-minded people do. We usually skip to verse 33 and remind people to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and forget the previous 32 verses that expand the truth of this verse. These three practices are so necessary to our spiritual life, and for a life that is spiritually alive. If we want to know how much of God’s Kingdom we are seeking, we can start by looking at these three areas in our lives. Notice that the amount of giving, praying, and fasting isn’t specified. All we know is that we should do these in secret.
Let’s take a simple look at each of these practices: When you GIVE. True Christian giving doesn’t only involve our finances. It means to give of ourselves. We are to give of our possessions, our forgiveness, our love, our very lives. When you PRAY. Prayer is learning how to talk with the Father, not just come to Him with requests. Don’t get me wrong, He can handle our requests, but He also desires just to have a conversation with us as our friend. When you FAST. Fasting isn’t dieting. “Dieting changes the way you look; fasting changes the way you see.” Fasting is emptying ourselves and saying “no” to food so that our Spirit connects with the Father.
Let’s remember that people will figure out what we really believe, not by what we say, but by what we actually do. If this is new for you, start small, but just start. If your spiritual life lacks life, look at these three “faith-o-meters.” Let’s be Kingdom-minded first! Let’s be people that are known for our radical generosity, for our bold prayers, and for our faith-filled fasting.
Father, help me to take a small step in loving people today the way You love them. Help me to love with my actions. I’m willing to be generous with my life. Help me to grow in loving You and grow in my friendship with You. Teach me to talk with You and to see You as my friend. And Father, Your Word is full of stories of people who saw Your supernatural power when they fasted. But most importantly, they were supernaturally changed. Give me a desire to strengthen my spirit and have the courage to say “no” to my flesh. May I see Your Kingdom at work in my life like never before. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.