fasting as returning

from the fasting as returning reading plan

Joel 2:12-14

BY Diana Stone

Text: Joel 2:12-14

“O God of Second Chances and new Beginnings, here I am again.”
– Nancy Spiegelberg

Our hearts and minds continually wander from God. That’s the humanity – the depravity of sin – in us all. We are unable to let His grace and mercy rule our lives. We pull away, turn our backs, and seek our own way time and again.

Often, we get so wrapped up in the “giving up” process that we forget what is supposed to take its place during these 40 days. As we discuss on Day 6, observing Lent is not just about abstaining from coffee or sweets, it’s the symbol of turning away from those distractions to focus on our Lord.

We ought take this time to look and see what God has done, to rend our hearts before Him. There are many times God has forsaken the comfort of His children that they might return to Him in repentance and love, like a good parent with a wayward child (Zechariah 1:3).

The Lord longs for our hearts to return to Him, for only in Him does our hope for eternal salvation lie.

“Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.” (Hosea 6:1, NASB)

Sisters, during this Lenten season – as we approach the cross – may our focus be drawing near to Christ. May we do so in a way that halts us in our tracks – a short, yet vivid reminder that we desperately need to return to The Lord. For all of us, in some way, need to return.

“For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.” (Psalm 51:3, NASB)

Lent is a time when we come back to Christ with repentant hearts. We know we will sin again, but as in any other relationship, time and love are never wasted. These 40 days should be a time that strengthens our love for what Christ has done for us, and increases our desire to know Him in a deeper way (Lamentations 3:40).

Rejoice that our Lord loves us so much that He waits, ever patiently, for us to turn and run back to Him.

I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord;
and they will be My people, and I will be their God,
for they will return to Me with their
whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7, NASB)

Post Comments (67)

67 thoughts on "fasting as returning"

  1. claire says:

    I continue to be amazed at how succinctly these women can say what I need to hear day after day AND reaffirm my beliefs. Surely the presence of our Lord

  2. shelly says:

    In the days of Joel, Israel is experiencing a plague and a drought. Locust have come and eaten their crops, drought has left the land parched. Judgement is coming. The Day of the Lord.

    Yet even now, declares the LORD (Covenant God)
    return to me with all your heart.

    It's fair to say that I feel parched. That I need a fresh drink of Living Water. As the Texas lakes dry up for lack of rain, I feel that right along with the land. Hoping for a cloud in the sky, in my heart.

    Yet even now…..
    Even though He sees my condition, my "O Ye" condition, my heart in need of moisture and He sounds the alarm!

    Vs 1) Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain!

    I love Joel…. this story…. it's our story isn't it?
    God is coming for you!! God is coming! He's coming with all His power and might! He's coming with an army! With war horses and warriors they are marching towards you. Yet Even Now…..

    Everyone fast, gather the people. I like how they are to fast in the plague that has left them with no grain, or grapes for wine or olives for oil. Which says to me ever more clearly…. it's a heart issue.

    Pray: Spare your people, Why should they say "where is your God"

    Vs. 18 Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people.

    I think of myself and wonder how many times God has to put on a production to get my attention, the alarm is sounding, the army is coming, the plague and drought is upon me! When all He wants to do is Be God. Well, I can't make Him Be God, He Is God. He wants me to love him, return to Him with my heart.

    My pastor often says, If love is knowing others needs and meeting it, then how do you love God? Trust.

    Chapter 2 ends like this:

    Vs 32(a) And is shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    I think it's time to visit the well, meet Jesus, drink of the Living Water, call on the name of the Lord and be saved! The alarm is sounding! Rend Your Heart!

  3. I feel broken by the Lord today, sisters. Praying for His gracious mercy and steadfast love to cover me and my broken places.

    1. Peggy says:

      me too, Rachel, prayed for your brokenness (and mine, ours) that indeed our repentance will be met by His tender mercy, His gracious heart, His steadfast love. May you sense Him covering you with arms of love and His amazing grace in those broken places; finding healing and restoration as only He can give, because He knows you so intimately. May He pour into you as you bring your brokenness to Him and He mends your heart, your mind and all that needs the Master's loving touch!

      1. Thank you, Peggy! I need some amazing grace of Jesus today.

    2. tina says:

      Rachael, the Bible says 'where two or more are in agreement, I will be there, I will hear their cry…praying that the Lord covers you with His steadfast Love and mercy in your broken places….holding you up Rachael, you hold on to Him….. I love you sister….x x

      1. Tina, you're going to make me start crying again.

  4. wiscogurl says:

    That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. (Joel 2:12 NLT)

    Time! Don't we all feel like we could use more every day? The reality sisters is we all have the same 24 hours a day. The key for me this season is: how do you plan to use your time, Ashley? Lent is teaching me that with the elimination of major distractions, I'm able to give The Lord the best of me… The beginning of my days. This feels awesome! Thank you for walking with me, sisters!

  5. Valanne says:

    Diana you nicely wove a love story of our messy lives continually being beckoned by the bridegroom to be restored by His gracious loving spirit. I need Him more today then when I first believed, because now I know what is is to be loved so much that He is willing to rebuke me then heal me, until the final healing comes.

  6. Katie says:

    Thank you for this reminder! It is so, so easy to get caught up in the giving up part of fasting that we forget the reason we are really doing it. We should be fasting to draw nearer to God. To fill those times when we desire the earthly thing(s) we are fasting with Him and with His word. This is exactly where I am at and I so needed this today, to remind me why I’m fasting. So Good!

  7. Beckey says:

    Praise God, that no matter how many times I break His heart, He is always there with open arms to welcome me back and forgive me!!


  8. Nichole says:

    Thank you for this. I pray that I keep my eyes fixed on Him in all that I do today.

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