fasting

29 01 2010

Fasting is one of those subjects that usually doesn’t get discussed much nor preached on often enough.   Yet Jesus made it clear that we are expected to fast.  So why is it a neglected topic? I think the answer is simple — it’s not a popular topic, because we don’t want to, and being asked to deny ourselves can reveal how non-submitted we actually are.

My pastor recently asked the whole church to participate in a 21-day fast.   We’re not all doing a complete fast from food — there are options like the Daniel fast (eating only fruits and vegetables, or foods you don’t like), or fasting one or two meals a day.  Basically, the terms are flexible (unless God tells you to do something specific).  And I do want to reiterate something my pastor said about it: fasting involves giving up food and using that time to pray more; fasting without praying is just a weight-loss program.

So why do we not like to fast?  That’s also an easy answer — we like to eat!  Fasting also reveals how much influence our body has on us.  Are we really fully submitted to God?  It’s easy to say, but tougher to live out when having to deny self.

But if you think about it, fasting is a win-win situation.  You’re bringing your body into submission, you’re denying yourself and realizing how much your body fights you, and you’re making more time for prayer and Bible study.  Those are all big points, but the last one is very much needed in our current society.  It seems like everyone talks about how busy they are, and sometimes we neglect our quiet time with God.  We might even be busy with good works, but that’s still not a valid excuse to neglect our personal time with God.

If you don’t fast on a regular basis, you can start with something small and build from there.  It takes away our “too busy” excuse, because most of us make time for eating on a regular basis.

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