“…let us lay aside every weight, and sin that clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” - Hebrews 12:1
It is not uncommon to get so caught up in the demands of living that my passion, my energy for life dries up. What started out as a simple diversion, to help relieve the pressures of the day, now has a stranglehold on me. My argument may be that these are “sinless” substitutes, but no matter, they have become weights on my soul that do not satisfy the ache of longing that is always there. The essential element of life, my relationship with God, has been neglected due to a maxed out schedule and a weariness of mind and body that desires to be entertained rather than invest in the time and energy that a walk with Christ requires. Attitudes have crept in that keep me hostage to my baser desires and emotions rather than those that glorify the Lord.
The sad thing is that instead of being honest with myself, I make excuses in which I cross the line of deceiving others to fooling myself. I put on a mask, playing the church game to cover up my emptiness so, hopefully, no will notice. Time in the word, prayer, and worship that used to move me into the presence of God, now leaves me flat because my heart has grown cold.
Fasting is a remedy God has provided to reconnect my soul back to the awareness of His Spirit calling out to me. Fasting helps me regain a focus, an energy that I tried to fuel with other things, but have only left me numb. It is so important to understand, that fasting is not about getting God to do things for me, to answer my prayers, to give me greater gifts. Certainly this might come from fasting, but this is not the purpose for which fasting was given to me. Fasting is about me laying aside all that I have allowed to come between me and the voice and the touch of the Holy Spirit so that I might fully engage in the course the Father is marking out for me daily. The Christian life is about walking with Christ with endurance. Fasting is a God-given discipline to learn this.
Read Hebrews 12:1-11. What disciplines of God are you avoiding because you would rather do what is easy rather than what is essential?