OVERVIEW: Israel turned its back on God, and as a result, he scattered them amongst the nations. Now the Israelites are asking about the practice of fasting. God questions their motive for fasting and wants them to show kindness and mercy to one another and those living in their midst.
BIG IDEA: Seek God and listen for and obey his instruction so that your heart remains soft and pliable.
KEY VERSE: Zechariah 7:11 (God describes Israel’s stubbornness)
Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
I want a relationship with you. I love when you pray. I invite you to call on my name. Cry out to me and share all that is on your heart—I am listening. But are you listening? Are you paying attention to my nudges and prodding? I have so much to share and I want to expand your experience in life. I want you to live with eyes open to those around you. Don’t just focus on yourself. Pay attention to me and follow my leadership.
When you fast, let it be a tool to help you focus on me and my resources that can sustain you. Fasting can open your heart and eyes to the needs of those around you, as well. But if you are not interested in those things and you are simply fasting for selfish reasons, I will wait for when you are ready to listen. I am here for you when you are ready to follow me. I have so much to show you.
Evaluate your spiritual practices. Do you pray to talk to God and hear from him? Do you read the Bible to learn more about what God wants to say? If not, ask God to change your heart and give you a fresh start as you seek to follow him. If you do, continue to do so and get ready for God to lead you today.