How to Go Slow When You are Going to Fast

The ritual of fasting is not so popular in today’s Christian circles. Some do practice it but mostly we only hear of other religions doing it. There are different types of fasts; 1. Eating or drinking anything is forbidden, 2. Eating is forbidden but water is ok, 3. No food during sunlight and light colored broths are permitted and many more variations.

But why fast? Why would it be good to give up something that the body needs?
Some people do this in a variation to lose weight. Some do it to “detoxify”. Some do it involuntary because of poverty. Is there any benefit to it?
Sure, some doctors will attest that while fasting your body resets itself in digestion, chemicals, and other hormones some people should not attempt it; diabetics, people with eating disorders, young children.  Those that do it for religious purposes do it not for any of these purposes.
Jesus was continuing the underlying theme that “we should be dependent on God for our needs.” Fasting removes our need for food and replaces it with an extreme need for God. The longer the fast the longer the need. Remember Jesus fasted for forty days and nights in the desert. If you have ever fasted for any length of time you would know that the hardest part is the beginning. Your body is going into starvation mode and signals your brain to eat. Studies have shown that after about three days of no food (water is ok) your body response is self preservation. Which means that the hunger pangs go away. However, your appearance will show signs of starvation. Think of those commercials you may have seen that shows starving children in a foreign country. Jesus instead instructs us that we, WHEN we fast, should clean ourselves up and not let anyone know we are fasting. we are not to follow the example of the Hypocrites (Pharisees) by letting our faces frown and carrying on about how hungry we are. No! Jesus instructs us to hide the fact that we are fasting. The motivation behind the hypocrites was to show that they were BEING RELIGIOUS. That is their reward. But when we fast for the right motivation then we will be rewarded by the One who sees it.
Notice that the passage says WHEN we fast and not IF we fast. Although it is not a command it is one of those expected duties we have that is designed to realign our minds to God’s. The point of this whole lesson is that we MUST examine our motivation of our action toward God. Are they to be seen by man? Or are they to be seen by God?

Exercise for today:
The meaning behind the fast is to deny something that we depend on so our focus realigns with God. Some have said that we can fast not by giving up food but rather something that is a possible hindrance to our NEED for absolute dependence. Don’t confuse this to the concept of Lent! That is another discussion for another time.
Prayerfully consider a fast. Look up verses that have to do with fasting. Here are a few to get you started.
Acts 14:23, Matthew 9:14–15, Mark 2:18–20, Luke 5:33–39, Mark 9:29

Ranting

OK so I had a conversation just a little while ago with a person who is having a tough time. I noticed that the person used a word that is not normal in the English language. It was the “F-” word. So, I said watch your mouth. The response was that they didn’t believe that it was a bad word only that it was an emphatic adjective.

What!?! An emphatic? Please! If it was indeed an emphatic word used to describe disgust then it would be widely accepted as just that!
How many times have I seen (and I’m just as guilty of this as anyone) someone trying to justify their sin. How many times can we say that times are changing and God will understand? Why is it that when things are going bad we blame God then we forget Him when things are going well? Why do think we have to rely on our own strength when we have access to all power?
Sorry for jumping around there.
I remember when I was growing up that I had to play like I was a Christian just so that people at church wouldn’t find out. I found out that I was a pretty good actor. Did you know that our English word “actor” come from the Greek word hypocrite? Funny huh? I was basically a hypocrite but would not admit it. But one day I did, when I became a Christian.
I just wished that it was easier to witness to someone who realizes they need Jesus. BUT the world doesn’t think that way.
By the way…
If you were to die today after reading this post and you are standing before God and He were to ask you “Why should I let you into my Heaven?” What would be your answer?
Think about it? And if you Know that He is going to let you in then what is stopping you from informing your neighbors/relatives/friends? What is the worst that could happen? You send them to Hell #2? NO!!!
And if you don’t know that you are going then please email me. I want to show you how you can know for sure.
Comments? Questions?