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The Reward in denying self

*Day 12: First Things First

At the beginning of 2020 my wife had some difficult news at work as she was told un-ceremoniously that, her contract was going to be terminated within a few months because of a technicality that had arisen in her organisation which had no bearing on her performance. When we heard the news we were in the middle of our annual View Church 21 days of prayer & fasting which happens at the beginning of each year. That year as a family we had however decided to do a forty day fast. My wife was calm as she told me the news and she said to me, I am not going to let this news distract me from my prayer and fasting journey.

The day after we finished our 40 day fast someone from the HR department contacted my wife and told her that the technicality had been solved and she could rest assured that her contract would not be terminated.

Over the past 16 years that we have been married my wife and I have learnt that there is power when we pray. We have also learnt that there are great and powerful God-given victories, that we receive and enjoy when we fast and pray. We have learnt that when we are facing a seemingly hopeless situation and we sense God leading us to fasting, It is not because he wants us to earn the victory that we desire, rather he wants us to connect with *the God of the reward* that is found when we disconnect from the world and deny our flesh. So with each fast that we do, we choose to seek God passionately as we deny the desires and the needs of the flesh.

In Matthew 6 Jesus outlines that there is a reward that God gives to those that fast in a manner that has the right motives and the correct conduct. Whenever my wife and I have fasted we have always started off by noting the need to fast and as we have fasted we have learnt that our focus should be God and not circumstances we are in. We have learnt that *when we seek God's face and not his hand*, God will reward us for seeking him in our fasting. Our reward in this case was that God turned around the decision to terminate the contract, but the actual result of our fasting was that our Hope and faith was built up in trusting God as God re-enforced that we were in the right place and within his will.

Prayer: Dear God. help me to have the right perspective in my heart for the time of prayer and fasting that I am in. Help me to see that Fasting is a tool that I can utilise to seek your face more intensely and that with it comes a reward as my motives and conduct become aligned to your will. Help me to understand that the reward in fasting is determined by you and that it is not enforced by my own will and desires over a situation. Help me to trust you that whatever the reward the result of my prayer and fasting will always be a closer relationship with you and a growth of my inner spiritual person. in Jesus might name I pray, Amen

A few things to note from today's devotion:

  1. When we seek after God he rewards us (Matthew 6:33)

  2. When we deny self in favour of God Shows up (James 4:8)

  3. When we obey God's word and are not distracted as we seek God, God fights for us we just have to stand still and know that he is God (Exodus 14:14)

  4. When all is said and done remember to Praise God and share your testimony it will encourage others (revelations 12:11)

'Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” '

Prayer and Fasting Tip: Whenever you pray and fast try to keep a journal where you record the prayers you pray or the things The Holy Spirit will whisper to your heart. They will become a testimony of God's grace and a booster of your hope and faith as you journey on in life!

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