Friday, January 11, 2013

What's Up With This Fasting Stuff?

As a great portion of the Church spends these days in fasting, we should ask ourselves why? Why fast? Why spend time not eating, not watching television or movies? Why turn off FaceBook? Why set aside video games? Why put away those magazines? The reason is very simple. When you are in a forest all you can see is trees. You have to come out of those trees in order to see the forest.

Like it or not we surround ourselves with the things of this world. We may preach the Word of God but we still take pleasure from this world like anyone else. But those pleasures can blind us to the bigger picture. They can distract us from our calling and purpose. They can ruin out palate for the taste of God's Word. They cause our life to be complicate, cluttered and down right messy and usually it is our devotion to Jesus that gets squeezed out.

Fasting gets us out of the "trees" and allows us to take in the beauty of the "forest". It allows us to breathe, re-evaluate where we are, what we are doing and what is important. It frees up our mind and our heart so we can give them the rich "food" of heaven. It gives the Spirit room to restore our soul. It closes the door on all that "noise" so we can be still and know that God is God.

Many Christians struggle spiritually. Many say "I can't hear the Spirit". Many question their beliefs. It isn't because the message of the gospel has changed. It isn't because Jesus has changed. It is because their life is so full of "noise" they can't hear God. The solution is to do what we have always supposed to have done:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)

Didn't Jesus say not to pursue the things that the pagan's pursue? But what do we spend 99% of our life doing? Is there really any difference between us and those without Jesus, besides us going to church, maybe? During this time of fasting we should be asking God to examine us, to correct our ways:

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (v. 2)

The Word says to set our hearts on things above and then it says to make sure our minds are there as well. There is a reason for this: We aren't like everyone else. We aren't like our friends who get caught up in the dramas of Tumblr and FaceBook. We aren't into the High School scene. We don't make work our life. We don't live for retirement. Our goal is not to own a home, two cars and to have 1.2 children. We are not concerned about the stock market or worried over the rumours of wars. We don't diminish our calling by throwing away our calling on xbox games and movies. We are different from the world:

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)

And that is the truth of the matter. We do not live for ourselves but for Jesus. We don't live in ourselves but in Jesus. We do not seek self-pleasure but what pleases God. Our joy is not what we do but what we are because of Jesus. Our peace does not come from external matters but is a gift from Jesus, deserved or not.

I hope your goal in your fasting is to rediscover these facts. I pray you are seeking his face.






4 comments:

Alexi mezz said...

Thank you so, so much for this. I'd always wondered what was the true meaning of fasting. I'd always thought is was that we'd get closer to God and that he'd cleanse us of our sins and forgive us. The part where Christians struggle spiritually is completely me. I've questioned my beliefs in God... why? Because my life was so filled with noise, I didn't want to hear God. So, what you're saying is completely right. I can't worry about what the world thinks, what the world thinks is important. I can only set my eyes on God, because I am in this world and not of it. :3

Alexi mezz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexi mezz said...

Thank you so, so much for this. I'd always wondered what was the true meaning of fasting. I'd always thought is was that we'd get closer to God and that he'd cleanse us of our sins and forgive us. The part where Christians struggle spiritually is completely me. I've questioned my beliefs in God... why? Because my life was so filled with noise, I didn't want to hear God. So, what you're saying is completely right. I can't worry about what the world thinks, what the world thinks is important. I can only set my eyes on God, because I am in this world and not of it. :3

Muhammad Yahya said...

Assalam.o.Alaikum,

here is a comprehensive book on fasting written by a famous scholar. it explains benefits of fasting as well as how often we should fast.

The Nature Of Fasting | Free PDF Book