As we continue our journey into the third day of fasting, let’s take a moment to reflect on our unique participation in this spiritual discipline. John Piper reminds us, “Fasting is an expression of finding your greatest pleasure and enjoyment in life from God.” This reminder helps us understand that fasting is not about earning favor with God but about drawing closer to Him. With this in mind, let’s ensure our fasting method is both spiritually meaningful and physically mindful.
1) Types of Fasts: Embracing Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline Fasting is more than altering our eating habits; it’s a deliberate act of making more room for God in our lives. Each type of fast, whether complete, partial, or activity-based, is an invitation to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
a) Complete Fast: Involves abstaining from all food for a significant part of the day, usually from sunrise to sunset. This type of fast is a powerful symbol of our total dependence on God, and It’s a tangible expression that our sustenance comes not from bread alone but from every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:1-2).
b) Partial or Selective Fast: This could involve skipping specific meals like breakfast and lunch or removing certain foods from your diet. As we let go of meats, sweets, or processed foods, it’s a reminder to feast instead on God’s Word and presence, seeking Him with a purity of heart and mind.
c) Activity Fast: This is fasting from daily activities that might draw our attention away from God, such as social media, television, or other habitual distractions. In today’s digitally connected world, an activity fast can be profoundly countercultural. It allows us to redirect our focus from the noise of the world to the quietness where God often speaks. This type of fast creates that much-needed stillness in our lives.
2) Health and Wisdom in Fasting: If you have health concerns, it’s essential to adapt your fast accordingly. Our physical well-being is crucial on this journey. The purpose of fasting is to draw us closer to God, not to compromise our health.
3) Hydration and Breaking the Fast: Stay hydrated, and when breaking your fast, do so gently with something light and easy to digest. This is especially important if you’re doing a full fast or are new to fasting.
4) Flexibility and Focus: If your chosen method of fasting proves too challenging, it’s okay to adjust. The heart of fasting is about seeking God, not about the specifics of how we fast.
5) Deepening Our Communion with God: As we fast, let’s remember we’re not just abstaining from food or activities but feasting on God’s Word and presence. This time is an opportunity to deepen our relationship with Him.
As we press on in our week of fasting and prayer, I am fervently praying for you, asking God to guide us into the profound privilege of being in Christ’s presence during this time. I trust that these days of focused communion with the Lord will lead you to an even deeper understanding of the incredible joy and privilege of walking with Him.
Know that as you seek God’s face, you are not alone. We are united as a church family, journeying together in faith and expectation. Let’s approach each day of this week with a heart full of anticipation, eager to witness how God will move in and through our lives. Keep pressing into His presence, and may you find great encouragement and strength in the knowledge that we are cheering each other on in this pursuit.