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Day 29 | What is Fasting?
Let’s begin today with a definition of fasting:
FASTING = “Abstaining from something for a time in order to press deeply into the Lord and run from distractions / Denying ourselves of something good for something better, namely intimacy with God.”
The biblical meaning of fasting is to afflict your soul.
Richard Foster in his book, Celebration of Discipline says this about fasting: “More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.”
While there are a lot of things we can fast from, the focus of fasting in the Bible is food. We encourage you to fast from food on some level this week. Maybe a meal or an entire day or a certain meal everyday this week. During the time you would be eating, spend that time pursuing the Lord in prayer and his Word.
Ask the Spirit to guide you as you choose what your fasting will look like. If you choose not to fast from food here are some other potential options:
- Sleep – stay up late or wake up early and spend time with the Lord.
- Smart Phone – limit the amount you use your phone this week to better focus on the Lord and others.
- Social media
- TV / Netflix / Video games
Meditate on this verse by the Apostle Paul and these challenging words by John Piper:
1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
“Will I find spiritual communion with God sweet enough, and hope in his promises deep enough, not just to cope, but to flourish and rejoice in him? Or will I rationalize away my need to fast and retreat to the medicine of food? The apostle Paul said, ‘I will not be mastered by anything’ (1 Cor 6:12). Fasting reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us—or TV or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God.” (John Piper)
Pursue the Lord deeply this week as you abstain from something good for the pursuit of something better, Jesus Christ.
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