After an incredible night of worship last night day 2 of our Lenten reader drops us right into the heart of God’s word. One thing Josh talked about last night was how we are human beings try to hide from God, starting from back in Genesis. Genesis 3:9-10 is a familiar story to most when Adam said to God “I was afraid… so I hid”. I became very clear to me, very quickly, that I would rather do this reader “in hiding”, but for whatever reason, I decided to do it like this on my blog, so I’m going to keep at it.
Day 2 :: Thursday, March 10th 2011, Fasting
Fasting is more than just giving up chocolate, soda, or television; it is the practice of self-control. Fasting reveals our misplaced treasure and reroutes the longings of our heart. We deny our physical desires so we can feast on God and allow Him to fulfill those desires.
Throughout the Old Testament God commands the people of Israel to fast as a way to mourn for their sins. Joel 2:12-17 says, ‘Even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’
When we deny our appetite for the things of this world, the depth of our humanity is unearthed, and our appetite for God is elevated, revealing the greatness of His glory. Fasting draws our attention away from the world and focuses it on God.
The practice of fasting can be intimidating, but there are different ways to fast:
- Fasting from a certain food
- Fasting from one meal a day or for one day a week
- Fasting from a specific type of entertainment
- Fasting from coffee, tea, or soda
- What do you need to fast from during this season of Lent?
- How will you replace your physical desire by feasting on God?
Contemplation over Day 2
What do you need to fast from during this season of Lent? These two questions are hard for me to answer, especially here on my blog for some reason since it is such a public venue I guess. If I had decided ahead of time, like many who observe Lent, what I was going to “give up” then this would be an easy question for me to answer. I could just put that down and go on to the next day. As I said above, after doing just the first day of this reader my first thoughts were, I think I’ll do this in my private journal, and answers to these two questions are probably why I thought that.
I did make the conscience decision not to “fast” from something specific until after I had finished the entire journal to better feel where I thought God wanted me to focus my attention. Because of the unknowns with Deborah’s doctors visits, there are days, like yesterday, when I just don’t feel like eating at all, but if I had to pick something right now I would say I need to fast from worry for the next 46 days. It sounds stupid to me to say I need to fast from a sin, but that is what’s forefront on my mind.
How will you replace your physical desire by feasting on God? For the sin of worry, this is an easier question to answer because worry is basically an unhealthy lack of faith in God that comes from Satan, so removing this element removes Satan and places God back in His rightful place. It’s never as easy as that but perhaps it should be. It’s amazing how it happens but when I have fasted in years prior I know when you remove one thing, something else takes it’s place. Hopefully God is what fills the voids when we remove something undesirable in our life.