Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Posted by Joline
We all carry heavy weight: stress, hardship, frustration, worry, disappointment, jealousy, fear. Go ahead. Name one. Or two. I'll wait.
When we (me) are so focused on our (my), dare I say it . . . crap (said it), we are NOT focused on God. That's where fasting can serve up a feast - by refocusing our attention on Him. Certainly that's a very simple explanation of this spiritual discipline, and I encourage you to delve deeper if you so desire. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster is a great place to start. It's meaty. (Haha - notice how I used "meaty" in a post about fasting? Oh me . . .)
It is no surprise that God brought this to my heart after addressing: silence, solitude, and prayer. See how He serves up what we need when we need it? For me, fasting is the "gun-show", and He knew enough to address the other three areas in order to build my interest/endurance for this next exercise. Some fast for an entire day, some for a single meal, others go for a period of time, or refrain from a particular item. There is no hard or fast (again with humor - that was unintentional) rule about fasting. And truly it is best to ask God what fasting should look like for your personal spiritual life.
A word of warning: those hunger pangs that come with fasting will reveal much more than an empty stomach. They will reveal an empty soul - a soul controlled by other "pangs" (some of which you are already aware, and others that may surprise you.) Therein lies the beauty of the fast - the realization of what competes with our hunger for the One who can ultimately erase all that hunger.
Ready to flex those muscles? Empty your plate.
Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food. ~Dallas Willard
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