Fasting: the very word almost strikes fear into my heart. Not because the issue is frightening but maybe because I don’t know enough about it…I don’t know enough intellectually or experientially. I’m determined that this is one of the disciplines I want to develop in my life.
There are many Scriptures that deal with the issue of fasting. In the New Testament, Jesus gives serious credence to the need for “prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21) So, it’s clear that there is great power in fasting. But the truth is, in my life this is not a power that I have experienced personally. Certainly, I’ve fasted before (three or four days at the most) but I don’t think I’ve experienced the true purpose of fasting: to push away the physical needs and focus on the spiritual needs. Too often for me I focus more on the physical goal (don’t eat for a few days) instead of the spiritual purpose (focus all your energies on Christ).
All of this to say that I am determined to learn this spiritual discipline and apply it in my life. I want to know what it means and how it feels to long for God more than anything else: more than food or drink, more than rest or sleep, more than church or study, more than reputation or good-standing.
I’m still learning what it means to desire God for who He is instead of what He has. I desire the good things: holiness, righteousness, discipline, integrity…but I have to learn to seek after God first and allow these things to be a result of that. I want God! Everything that results from that intimate relationship is simply a positive byproduct.