When You Fast (Pt 1)

“When the teacher asked for someone in her class to name the four major food groups, little Suzie answered from the back of the room, “Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pizza Hut.”

We can’t help but get a little laugh over such a candid response. Yet it reveals how America’s eating habits have changed over the years and the effect marketing has had on the shift. In fact one would have to say we are a country obsessed with food, especially eating out. Given this fixation with eating, particularly what’s not good for us, a challenge to fast is the last thing most people want to hear. Nevertheless, as I’ll attempt to reveal in the next four blogs, fasting may unveil the secret passageway leading to entry into the unsearchable things God has in store.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do,” proclaimed Jesus (Matthew 6:16, emphasis added). Note that Jesus said when and not if, which indicated that it was a discipline He expected them to practice.

Despite the obvious need, the church remains fairly quiet on the subject of fasting. Some associate it with false religions and remain skeptical. Others view it as a mystic or ascetic practice reserved for the spiritually elite.

Typically, fasting is defined as abstaining from food over a period of time for spiritual purposes. “Fasting . . . is choosing not to partake of food because your spiritual hunger is so deep, your determination in intercession so intense, or your spiritual warfare so demanding that you have temporarily set aside even fleshly needs to give yourself to prayer and meditation, ” wrote Wesley Duewell in Touch the World through Prayer. Tom Elliff penned in A Passion for Prayer,  “Conducted properly, a fast brings increased sensitivity to God, added time for fellowship with Him, and a heightened eagerness to cooperate with Him . . . It is a spiritual discipline that enables you to see His greatness and power more clearly as you humble yourself before Him.”

If the Lord leads, consider fasting—anticipating the unsearchable things He desires to unveil.

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