Why I’m Giving Fasting Another Chance

Recently, I shared a message on fasting at Connection Church (you can watch it here).

I have a love/hate relationship with fasting. Not only because I hate being far from food, and love being close to Jesus, but It’s also because I have found myself fasting for all the wrong reasons. I actually started my message by giving reasons why we shouldn’t fast. The truth is, I used to fast to fit in. I would see other leaders and churches doing times of fasting and would think that because they’re doing it, I probably should too. 

When we approach growth in the spiritual life with motives born out of guilt, or a desire to fit in, or because we feel the need to prove the authentic nature of our Christian commitment, fasting is no longer serving to fuel our desire for God. In fact, the moment we turn any spiritual discipline into a way for us to get glory, even if it’s just in our own hearts without anyone else knowing, we are no longer seeking God, we are seeking to save ourselves. 

The Lord says through his prophet, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.” (Isaiah 42:8)

God is not in the glory-sharing business. He is kind, gracious, just, true and loving, but when it comes to glory, He is jealous for all of it. And for the record, He is the only being in all the Universe that is able to desire that with total purity of heart and motive. 

So when it comes to fasting, we must decide that abstaining from food for a set period of time is connected to knowing God, seeking God and getting more of God. I actually think for many of us, we need to ramp up the fasting in our lives. Who doesn’t need more intentional times of prayer? Who doesn’t need to feel their weakness and have nowhere else to turn at 3:00 pm than God Almighty? Who doesn’t need to say with their appetites that nothing satisfies like Jesus does? 

Fasting isn’t about proving yourself, fitting in, or guilt. Fasting is about pushing away from food for a time so we can posture our hearts to see and savor Jesus Christ. 

I know some of us have medical issues that make it impossible to go without food due to the medications we’re on, God knows that. But no matter where you’re at, let me encourage you to build the practice of fasting and prayer into the rhythm of your life. It will be hard, you might feel lousy as your body goes through withdrawal for a time, but stay focused on the reason you’re fasting, to feast on Christ.
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