Last week I asked what you would be willing to sacrifice because you love Jesus.
All too often, we prefer to fulfill our fleshly desires more than we desire God himself.
I issued a challenge to consider if there was something God might want you to give up. These behaviors could be anything from addictions (sugar, alcohol, pornography, etc.) to something as simple as habitual complaining, procrastination, or impulse shopping.
Maybe it’s not even a habit. Maybe sometimes we skip a church service, let loose a cuss word or watch a provocative program on TV. We justify these momentary pleasures and tell ourselves it’s ‘not that bad’. The problem comes when all these little things we label ‘not that bad’ add up and pull us away from our first love.
God has shown me over the past few years that what feels good in the moment, such as lashing out when angry or overeating when stressed, actually hinders my future and my faith.
While we will always struggle with our sinful nature, we don’t have to allow it to control us. What we stop feeding will eventually starve and die.
One way to weaken the grip of our flesh is by fasting.
Not long ago I grew curious about fasting. I began to ask God a bunch of questions.
- What exactly does it mean to fast?
- Why did the people in the Bible fast?
- Is it still relevant for believers today?
- If so, why is this discipline rarely discussed in churches?
- What types of fasts are acceptable to the Lord?
- When should people fast, and how often?
- What is the right purpose and motive behind a fast?
- If I were to try it myself, what type of fast is right for me?
I dug out my 100 lb Strong’s Concordance and looked up every Bible verse I could find on fasting!
For a better understanding, I also spoke with the only 2 people I personally knew who had fasted before. I shared my curiosity, and they shared their experiences. I listened to a couple sermons by different pastors. And bought books on prayer that also addressed fasting.
I discovered that fasting, or choosing to abstain from food and drink, is a very personal and very valuable discipline in the life of a Christian.
Ladies, would you take a journey with me?
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to share each Tuesday what I’ve learned about fasting and why it’s still relevant for the Church today. I’m excited to tell you what God has done in my life as a result of studying and practicing this discipline!
‘Corporate Fasting’ was done often in scripture, where a group of people cried out to God together, asking Him to move in mighty ways. In January 2017, several women in Alaska have committed to fasting together, and I really hope you will consider joining us!
For now, let me leave you with a challenge to pray for God’s direction about this topic, and how it could make a difference in your own life.
I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He is going to do!
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- Are You Caught in the Comparison Trap? - July 11, 2017