In the Bible, numbers are important. There's actually a whole book of the Old Testament named Numbers. But some numbers carry spiritual significance...
- 1 is the number of unity: It is divisible only by itself and speaks to the oneness of God, and the fact that Jesus and the Father are one as He said in the Gospels.
- 3 is the number of life: God exists in three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Man exists on three levels (Body, Mind, Soul). It was also the number of days Jesus was in the tomb before His resurrection.
- 7 is the number of completion: God spent 6 days in creation and rested on the seventh day, marking His completion. Our week lasts for 7 24-hour periods of time before cycling back around to start again.
The number 40 is considered to be the number of proving or testing:
- God sent rain for 40 days and nights during Noah's flood.
- Moses lived 40 years in Egypt and then 40 years in the desert as a shepherd before God called him to go back to Egypt to free Israel from bondage.
- Moses was also on Mt. Sinai for 40 days twice while receiving the 10 Commandments from God.
- He sent the spies into Canaan for 40 days and nights. And when the people doubted going into the land, God cursed the people to wander in the desert for 40 years before He would allow them to possess the land.
- Jonah was told to warn Nineveh that if they did not repent, they would be overthrown in a matter of 40 days.
- Ezekiel the prophet laid on his right side for 40 days to teach Israel about their sin.
- And Elijah went 40 days without food and water in Mt. Horeb.
- Jesus also fasted in the mountain for 40 days when he was tempted of Satan before beginning His earthly ministry.
Today, as a church, we begin a 40 day season of prayer and fasting, in hopes that God will use this time to prepare us so He can do a great work - a work of revival, church health, and kingdom work. It is no secret that the church in America is in a period of decline, and has been for some time. If something doesn't change, Christianity in America will become a distant memory only spoken of in historical terms or as a fringe-culture ideology.
As a Pastor, I believe with the core of my being that the local New Testament Church is still God's appointed and chosen institution to accomplish the work of His Kingdom until His return. It has been stated time and time again that the church in America needs revival and revitalization. That will not happen in a church until it is ready. And the only way a church prepares for spiritual renewal is through humble, submissive, convicted prayer. Prayer that invites God to do a work IN His people so He can do a work THROUGH His people.
So we commit to walk for 40 days in the footsteps of Noah & Moses, Elijah and Christ, prayerfully asking God to prepare our hearts and our church for revitalization and renewal of His powerful spirit for the sake of His glorious kingdom. It's going to be an incredible journey. Please join in.
I also invite you to share your thoughts or insights along this journey on social media by using #40DOP