Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Significance of 40

Recently a few of us began the "Bible in 90 Days" reading program as part of the Hello Mornings Challenge.  And throughout the readings I have discovered several references to the number 40.  Since I am nudging closer & closer to that number on my birthday card, I decided to do some research {wink, wink}
  • The flood in Noah's time took 40 days to cleanse the earth of wickedness
  • Moses' life could be divided into three different seasons of forty: forty years in Egypt, forty years in the desert, and forty years delivering the Israelites to the Promised Land.  
  • Moses spent 40 days & nights on the mountain with God when He gave The Ten Commandments & covenant; he also fasted for 40 days & nights pleading with God not to destroy Israel after the Golden Calf event.
  • Jonah was sent to Nineveh where he gave them 40 days to repent or be judged.
  • Elijah fasted for 40 days after he ran from Jezebel's deadly threats; during that time he received new direction,his insecurities and doubts were removed, and the oppression of the enemy was broken.
  • Jesus was fasting in the wilderness forty days before his official ministry began

It seems that while much of our lives are accounted for by months of ~30 days, God prefers the number 40 when He wants to do things in the lives of people! Throughout the Bible, the number 40 represents cleansing and purifying.

That provoked a question in my heart.  
"What would God do in our lives if we dedicated 40 days to Him?"

God's answer surprised me as it came through a book on fasting.
"In order to exterminate an infestation of flies from a crop, for example, you have to spray pesticides for forty consecutive days in order to utterly destroy them.  If you stop short of the full forty days, you will destroy only the existing generation, but the next generation will live on. . . when we enter into a season of forty days of fasting and prayer, we can break free of the bondages in our own lives and in the lives of the next generation."   Fasting by Jentezen Franklin
We hear stories all the time of people battling the same things over and over, only to have them come back time after time!  They are simply swatting the flies in their lives!!   

      • pesky sins
      • doubt and confusion and other strongholds of the mind
      • lust and perversion
      • addictions of every kind
      • generational curses and bondages 

Would you give God 40 days if it meant you found true significance and freedom?  
Are you ready to clean house and watch the devils drop like flies in your life?  

Please share your stories with us in the comment section below.


Jacque said...

I have done several 40 day fasts in my lifetime. It is amazing what God can do in and through you if you bring your body, mind and spirit in line with His plan and purpose for the season you are in!

Jen Baierl said...

The thought of a 40 day fast utterly terrified me. I would have to have a coach or somebody telling me... "no, that brownie does not want you to break your fast and those chips are not watching you with their beadie eyes." I don't submit well but no excuses here... I wanna be at a new place.

Right before I read this, I just explained to the women in my car (I'm leaving a business trip) what a fast is and the many reasons someone may fast. How divinely appointed this message is Angela.

DrARCB said...

Excellent word Angela! I've have never done a forty day fast and wouldn't even know where to start. Like Jen, the thought terrifies me. I can be such a wimp at times. It is something that I know I need though. Thank you for pricking my heart.

WCW said...

Yes, 40 days seems daunting. But remember that fasting means "crucifying your flesh" but there is more than one way to do that! Some choose to fast certain things that they really like or indulge in frequently--coffee or sodas, sweets or NOT eating out for the fast. Others follow the Daniel Fast that involves eating only fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains--NO meats or processed foods. Still others eat no food at all and only consume water, juices, broths, etc. The point is that you set aside the time to choose God over these other things that we tend to fill up on!! I hope this gives all of us the courage to obey God in what He is calling each of us to do!!

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