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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lent Has Begun, But it's not Too Late to Fast!: More on How to Make Real Lasting Change in Your Life

           If you want to make a change in your life, fasting is a great way to do it. It can help you to build your will power and focus on what is most important in your life. It is a great way to reorient your life.

           You know that Jesus died for your sins and that you’re forgiven and accepted by God and that’s wonderful! And yet, you desire more, to live in such a way that God is pleased and people will see your life and praise God for what He has done.
            God wants us to be transformed in heart and mind. Our job isn’t to transform ourselves. That’s His job and His desire for us! “As we pay attention to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, we become disciples of Christ. Our task is to do the connecting, while God does the perfecting,” (Jan Johnson from Simplicity & Fasting, p.5.)

                                                      What Fasting Is Not

Fasting is not work. Fasting in itself doesn’t please God and is not something to check off our “To do…” list.

Fasting is not a way to get God to do what you want Him to. God is not obligated to act simply because we fast.

Fasting is not a reason to complain. We need not tell others unless it is in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and usually with the intention of drawing attention to what God has done, not what we are

What Fasting Is

Fasting is a discipline. It is abstaining from something in order to cause ourselves to miss it and feel the loss of it.

Fasting reveals our true self. It leads us to realize and repent from the shallowness of our faith and the depths of our sin. It allows us to deal with God with more honesty and with more vulnerability.

Fasting is a means to an end. The feeling of missing something here on earth, can make us more attuned to the eternal. We can realize the importance of the spiritual things in our life all the more clearly.

Fasting is about denial. We deny ourselves something we want like food or something we prefer like TV in order to empty ourselves, so that we can then focus on our deeper hunger for spiritual things, those things which really matter.

Fasting, then, is feasting. We reorient ourselves so that we can truly feast on the things of God and live life fully as Christ-likeness becomes our motivation

The Bottom Line

Fasting is a way we separate ourselves from the world so that we can engage the world as messengers of God. “We learn to love the world God so loves without running on the fuel it runs on – unlimited varieties of foods, media and words,” (ibid, p.9.)

               Scriptures to Study

Matt 4:1-11 – How can I share Jesus’ food?

John 6:48-51 – What is Jesus teaching us about food and life?

Luke 9:22-25 – Meditate on Jesus’ words, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

If you desire to be more attentive to the Holy Spirit and to His leading, join us as we pray for God to specifically make His will clear and give us faith to believe.

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