The beginning of the New Year is a time of celebration. The entire world looks ahead at the promise of new beginnings, a chance to start fresh! What about you? What are you facing in the future? Do you have challenges in your marriage, major challenges with a new career, significant problems in your business or on the job? Maybe your church is trying to buy land, and you’re facing zoning issues or relocating. If you’re facing any crisis, any challenge at all, the problem-solving Ezra fast is for you!
No attempt to escape your problems, run from your fears or bail on your challenge will work. This is your time to face them head-on, and succeed—but you do it through fasting, and you enlist the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Fasting isn’t going to make your problems go away, it won’t magically solve your issues, but Ezra’s experience tells us that God will give you a step-by-step solution when you seek him through fasting and prayer.
It says in the Book of Ezra 8:21, “Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.”
Ezra was facing a great challenge and he needed God to protect his people and their resources as they travelled. They were delivering the materials to rebuild the temple and traveling with 7,500 pounds of gold and 25 tons of silver. You can imagine there was a mark on this band of travelers. Thieves and robbers were all along the path, waiting to steal their possessions, knock them off course, and threaten their children. He needed God’s protection to do what God had called him to do.
Ezra 8:23 says, “So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.” And do you know what? The Bible said God gave them the solution. He told them exactly what to do. He told them exactly where to go. He told them exactly how to do it. He went into detail into how to carry it, how to disguise it, how to hide it from those who would try to steal it.
When you fast and pray, God will give solutions to problems that you can’t fix - step-by-step! God is going to deal with significant problems this year. You’re not fasting and praying to escape the problem, you’re fasting for the solution! That’s the Ezra fast. God heard their prayers and sent them an answer.
There are two specific things they fasted for: direction and protection. And they were asking for this, not just for themselves, but also for their children and their resources! According to a recent public survey, 49% of Americans make a resolution in the year to save money. Save. God did that for Ezra. He literally saved all of their resources. He protected them from thieves, He gave them instructions on where to put it and how to separate it, and He delivered not just the silver and gold, but the people from the hand of the enemy.
When you fast and you pray, the problem probably won’t go away, but you will see the problem through God’s eyes. That’s what we’re asking God in this fast to, “Open my eyes, Lord.” Ezra had a real threat and problem, but when he fasted and he prayed, he saw the problem through God’s eyes, and the step-by-step solution came! The Lord is going to cause you to see your challenges through His eyes, and He’s going to give you those step-by-step instructions and directions. That’s the Ezra fast.
When you fast and pray, God will order your steps, He will direct your path.