Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fast as you can

We were challenged this week in our men's class to choose one meal on Monday to fast. Sitting in a room with a handful of other guys in the 20's-30's at a Baptist church, fasting is pretty much as vulgar an idea as you could find. (Thanks to Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation, and Compelled by Love)

I entered Monday, planning to fast for breakfast. I would be asleep through lunch and didn't think fasting before work would be a good idea. Then I ate pancakes... fail
This defaulted me to trying to decide when I would try to fast at some other point this week. I can't say that I consciously chose to fast for dinner that night, it ended up happening by default. I also failed in spending time in the Word. I was driving to work before I fully realized that I hadn't eaten in about 9 hours. I wasn't hungry, and realized I had been spending most of my afternoon in an open-ended prayer. I prayed more that afternoon than I had in awhile. I thought, wow... I inadvertently fasted!

So, I wanted to just say a few things about this spiritual discipline:
First- The Bible, when mentioning fasting, speaks of "when" we fast, not "if"
We are supposed to do this, we are supposed to place our faith in God, not
our stomach.
Second- One thought that stuck out in my mind was that I kept trying to make it
about me. When would it fit into my schedule? Does one meal really count?
What am I going to gain by just 1 meal, is it really enough for God to speak
to me? The questions continue... and the conviction that kept hitting me in
the gut? I am not to fast for me, I am not supposed to GAIN anything! It is
purposeful and outward expression of worship to a God that is fully able to
sustain my EVERY need.
Third- I keep trying to define God, to find a way to sell God. I apparently think
He needs my help... instead of taking time to just worship Him. He is
powerful enough to make me fast, even when I wasn't going to. He showed me
He is bigger than me, and when I focus more on Him than I do on me... obedience comes with much less thought and effort.

Thanks to people who challenge us to do things differently.

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