Solemn Assembly Joel 1:14 -20 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord. ~Joel 1:14
WHAT IS FASTING? Fasting is an alert refusal of comforts, overindulgences, and distractions which adversely affect our ability to bring ourselves into a Christ-like frame of mind. It is a form of divesting the self from the seductions of dominant culture, preparing the self for righteous struggles, and committing yourself or someone else to doing God’s work in the world. Biblical fasting is an escalated way of petitioning God for help, a statement of solidarity among people, and is often done corporately in response to injustice as an act of resistance. (Daniel 1:1-15; Esther 4)
The focus of fasting should not be on the food, although abstinence from food is inclusive of the goal, but rather on the way hunger induces the feeling of emptiness and lack that is reflective of the communal condition. Fasting places checks and balances on personal desire and want by suppressing these natural longings in order to lift up the needs and demands of the community. A consistent practice of fasting lends a greater sense of self-control, provides clarity and confidence in times of trouble, and rightly re-centers God in our lives.
FASTING & FAITH FIT: 21 Days of Power
A MEDITATIVE JOURNEY
As we enter into a New Season, critical to our journey is the strengthening of our
faith. It is important to note that numbers are not limited to simply enumerating time,
things, or circumstances. Numbers have spiritual value and provide faith perspective.
The number 21 that represents the stated 21st year of the 21st Century holds incredible
spiritual value and offers us powerful faith perspective.
Though the number 21 is a lesser-known spiritual figure and hardly ascribed to
most known patterns of meaning in the Biblical text, such as the numbers 3, 7 or 12, its
significance is very important. To be precise, number 21 appears only 7 times in the
Bible. In our research we learned that in the Bible the number 21 is a symbol of
perfection and maturity. It symbolizes the divine wisdom.
The most important thing that will help us understand a deeper spiritual
meaning of number 21 is to refer to the meanings of numbers 2 and 1. Number 2 is
known as the number of relationships, co-operation, diplomacy and trust, while number
1 usually represents new beginnings and positive attitude. If we hold that in mind, then
it may not be difficult to shape an understanding of what the number 21 could mean.
The number 21 further reminds us that we should take care of our own beliefs and
thoughts because they will be responsible for creating our own reality. It is a call to stay
in our own lane, to focus, and get busy with heeding the plan and living out the call God
has on our lives. If we think optimistically, our lives will be much better and we will
attract positive things into our lives.
However, there is a flip side to the number 21 in the Bible. First, of all we have
to say that number 21 is also considered to be the symbol of sin and rebellion. It is
known that the children of Israel had 21 rebellious events after leaving the Egyptian
bondage. Our study of the biblical text revealed to us that whenever the word faith was
used it was always within a context of non-faith, or anti-faith behavior, actions and
With this nuanced understanding, we have prayerfully prepared a 21-Days of
Faith Journey with the understanding that faith is shaped within contexts of non-faith
and/or anti-faith behavior, actions and attitudes. Just as muscles are built in response
to fat, faith is shaped in the midst of faith challenges. We invite you to join us in this 21-
Days of Faith Journey knowing that our faith is always being challenged by non-faith
and/or anti-faith behavior, actions and attitudes. You will witness these truths to be
evident within the scriptures being offered, as well as God’s response to intentional and
THE 21 DAYS OF POWER PLAN
Take 21 minutes of your day and divide them into three 7-minute intervals.
7 Minutes to read and muse over the suggested biblical texts. (This might
require you read it over and over again.) For a broader understanding, we
recommend reading the text using at least two different translations, i.e.
NRSV and Message, or NLT and English Standard Version.
7 minutes to prayerfully respond to the biblical texts.
7 minutes to sit in silence and be fully present with God. Initially you may
find this to be uncomfortable or awkward. Quieting the noise both externally
and internally allows you to move into your day more receptive to God’s
presence and guidance.
FAITH OFFERING: Set aside $1 for 21 days and prepare a Faith Offering for
2021. The Faith Offering will be used to make the love of God real for The
Least of These as we expand our outreach efforts. This will be given on the
1st Sunday, April 4th, 2021 Resurrection Day. This faith offering is “over and beyond” the tithe
and offering. (For example, give your tithe and offering. Your 3rd gift should
be this sacrificial $21 seed under the “other” category.)
FAITH FAST: Journey with us on a 21 day fast. Here’s the plan:
6:00AM- 10:00AM: Only Fruits, Cereal, Oatmeal/Grits. No Meats or Bread
10:00AM – 5:00 PM: No meats, Bread or Sugar
5:00 PM - Midnight No beef, pork or fried foods
All Day: No sweets unless they are natural fruits. Drink only Water!
It is believed that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, to change behavior,
and/or thinking. Our prayer is that you join us in this journey into 2021 open to the
power of faith. Remember: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
“Quiet Time Faith”
“Faith In Words”
“Faith You Can Feel”
SPECIAL NOTE: We find it quite interesting that the word faith is not found in the
book of John. Instead John uses the word belief as an expression of faith.
“The Light of Faith”
“Life Giving Faith”
John 3: 1-21
“Faith That Strengthens”
“The Door of Faith”
Acts 14: 16-28
“Faith That Listens”
“Faith Resting in the Power of God”
1 Corinthians 2
“Faith, Hope and Love”
1 Corinthians 13
“Faith That Says Yes”
2 Corinthians 1:12-24
“Faith That Transforms”
“The Gift of Faith”
Ephesians 2: 1-15
“Faith and Works”
“Faith In Jesus”
Revelations 14: 6-13
Just as 2020 presented us with unprecedented loss, unforeseen challenges,
and immoral leadership, 2021 will have its unique challenges. It is our prayer that
the exercises in this Faith Fit journey will have impacted you to live more
powerfully and grow more deeply in your love of God and others.