Becky and I broke our twenty-one day fast together, Sunday evening. Contrary to my expectations, I wasn’t so thrilled. I ate a bit of broiled chicken with some veggies. The meat was good, but the object of my fast was better. Monday night, I ate a little more chicken and a little of Becky’s wonderful cheese stuffed pasta! Tonight is some broiled fish and maybe some Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream!
To be honest, I’m having some difficulty returning to my normal eating habits. (I’m sure that will change!) These last few days have been very rewarding personally. I have felt especially close to the Lord and to our congregation.
My time of fasting revealed my own deep hunger for Christ and my needs that only he can meet. That hunger and need can never be met by any good gift except for Him.
As we began our fast together, it was important to me as the pastor of Woodland Church that to caution us that we were not using a fast to get something from God. We were fasting in response to God, our nation is fighting two wars, our local economy is suffering, the need of the Home of Hope Orphanage in Dhaka, Bangladesh and our own hunger for the things of God. When the Haiti Earthquake happened, our fast was in process and I believe it helped us to respond in love to the Haitian people. (More about that later this week)
I’m deeply concerned that that fasting is being promoted by some as way to get results. Fasting is a response to God and moments in history. (Isaiah 58) The whole purpose of the fast was responding to God, responding to one another and the needs around us. Never forget Jesus promises as we seek Him and his kingdom everything we need we will provided!
The fast revealed to me just how beneficial the spiritual disciplines are to us. Reading and studying the Bible, prayer, fellowship with others, journaling, witness, solitude, and generosity are disciplines that I delight in. Fasting from food is a spiritual discipline that I want to shirk. Such is the weakness of my flesh. I like flavors and I want food to dance on my tongue. During the fast I could smell my neighbors cooking when I jogged and this is winter time in Michigan!
At this point I can point to the following benefits of the fast:
- Renewed focus on my relationship with God and his people.
- Greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s whisper in my mind.
- Contentment with less.
- The ability to give a little more this month to benevolence ministries at Woodland Church. ( Woodland has a food and clothing ministry to the inner city, a food bank and partners with a soup kitchen )
Thanks to all of you who fasted with us for the last three weeks. Would you please let me know what the fast has meant to you? Have you had any insights that you would share with me? Have there been any answers to your prayers?
Peace and Joy!