On the threshold of a brand new year, many of us are excited and expectant about what it will hold. We have fresh energy to go after our goals and form new habits. But many of us are also walking into 2024 with fear, anxiety, and stress. There are worries about health issues, relationship struggles, parenting concerns, and financial constraints.
It's a good time for this reminder: Knowing God is in control, is not the same as allowing God to take control! We may have the awareness that God can provide or heal but we still fear that He won't.
This is an age-old struggle because Jesus had to remind his followers of the same thing. Matthew 6:31-34 says, "So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
For us to release our fears and anxieties we must reorder our priorities and fix our eyes on what's most important. Seek first God and his kingdom, and everything else will sort itself out. Pastor Zach gives us some practical ways we can implement this in 2024.
Fasting is an ancient practice where we refrain from the physical for a spiritual purpose. It's a way for us to put aside something we love, such as certain types of food or technology, to make room for more of God's presence in our lives. As a church we will be locking arms and fasting together for 21 days. But there are several ways to approach a fast, so you should decide which is best for you.
1. Daniel Fast- Eliminate bread, sweets, meats, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Instead, "eat clean" limiting your diet to mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains & nuts, and drinking only water. There are tons of resources online to help you know what to eat/drink during this fast.
2. Modified Fast- This could be the Daniel Fast with additional protein, skipping one meal a week, or removing something specific from your diet such as sweets or caffeine.
3. Technology Fast- Turn your smartphone into a dumb phone and remove all forms of social media and YouTube. Stay off Netflix for these 3 weeks. A technology fast allows you to take the time usually spent scrolling or streaming
As you fast and seek God first, you’re also going to engage in prayer with Him. All the things causing fear and anxiety in 2024 commit to leaving at the feet of Jesus daily! Pick 1 to 3 things that especially burden you and commit to praying for those things for 21 days. Our staff would also like to pray alongside you. On the Liquid Church App under the "Next Steps" tab select the "21 days of prayer" button and let us know what we can petition God for on your behalf.
Give the very first part of your morning to God by joining us for Deep Breath Devotionals, and each morning enjoy a short video, scripture reading, prayer, and meditative breathing. It’s 5 minutes each morning on the Liquid App, or sent directly to your phone. All you have to do is text "BREATH" TO 85737.
We can trust God because he's not asking us to do anything he hasn't already done. God’s son is worth more than anything we could ever offer, yet God said that was the price he was willing to pay for you. So when God is saying trust me with your future, fears, and worries, you know you can take him at His word.
For more encouragement, support, and tools to equip you, we encourage you to check out these additional resources:
🔶 MESSAGE: To learn more about the purposes of fasting, check out this message "Hungry from God" from our series "Breakthrough". Click Here
🔶 ARTICLE: There's nothing wrong with setting goals at the beginning of the year. But as Christ-followers, there is a right approach! Click Here for a blog article that outlines how you can make plans with a biblical worldview.
🔶 MESSAGE: Discover how prevailing prayer releases Heaven’s power and brings God’s breakthrough in this message called "Prevailing Prayer". Click Here