Come to Me With All Your Heart
Turn and come to Me with all your heart, in genuine repentance, with fasting and weeping and mourning, until every barrier is removed and the broken fellowship is restored.
Joel 2:12 AMP
In Joel chapter 2, we get a glimpse into a natural disaster and a national emergency for many families in the nation of Israel. Locusts invade their land like an army and devastate all of their crops—which was literally everything for an agricultural community in that day and age.
A full year of work, all of the money invested, all of the time spent, wiped out in a few days. And it would take more than a full year for them to replant and reap a harvest. They experienced disappointment and discouragement as well as an economic recession and depression. This army of locusts triggered a famine in the land. Every aspect of this season was devastating for every family. No one escaped untouched or unaffected.
It is into this devastating landscape that God offers a divine invitation: “Turn and come to Me with all your heart.” Put down the broken pieces and engage in a relationship with the only One who can put the pieces back together again.
Repentance in today’s church culture often has a negative tone to it, but from God’s perspective, and in Biblical times, repentance is seen as a healthy, positive, redemptive invitation to start over and move forward into peace and joy.
When we add fasting into our lives, it is like drawing the proverbial line in the sand. We make a statement to ourselves: I was eating, and now I’m not. It’s clear to me what day was the finish line of that past season and the starting line of this new season. I’m adjusting my eating rhythms and adding fresh spiritual momentum into my life to return to God with all my heart.
The invitation from God is one of a clear U-turn, a 180-degree about-face. Turn and come to Me with all your heart. God is asking us to leave everything behind and take multiple steps towards Him and to do so with complete commitment and all our hearts. Fasting helps us with the “all your heart” piece of this invitation. When we fast, we cannot help but be “all in” with God. It’s a complete and total surrender to relationship with Him.
The weeping and the mourning are for our past mistakes and our current reality of not being as close to God as we want to be.
Repentance is expressing sorrow for our disobedience and regret for not listening to His voice. It’s like the athlete who watches film of their last game in an effort to see errors in order to improve and get better for the next game. And this process helps us remove every barrier and restore our broken fellowship with God.
Fasting helps us eliminate condemnation and promotes godly conviction from the Holy Spirit. Condemnation says: “You lied. You are a liar. You are damaged goods.” Conviction says: “You are too awesome to live like this. You are a child of God. I like you so much that I want ALL of your heart.” The reason fasting helps us with this is that it turns down the volume on the voice of the enemy and turns up the volume on the voice of the Holy Spirit.
This excerpt is reproduced from Griffin, Chris. Fasting For Breakthrough: A 21-Day Biblical Roadmap for Fasting and Prayer (pp. 26-27). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.