The Truth about Fasting

This week as I sat reading through chapter 1 of Fasting & Stewardship, I happened to be chowing down on sausage and farfalle pasta with a rich basil and onion sauce when I read the words, “When we master, with God’s help, control of our appetite, making it yield to its Maker, we master so many other areas that fight for control as well.” …Gulp. Those are such powerful words spoken as I was filling my worldly appetite and sustaining my body with physical food.

After reading that, I stopped right where I was (after chewing and swallowing, of course) and digested those penetrating words. So fasting is a way for me to show obedience and exert self-discipline? But…why?

IMG_20160319_174234_171As a child, I never quite understood the whole idea of fasting. I got that Jesus was the “bread” and he alone would sustain us, but deep down I think I was always kind of confused as to how that line was supposed to be taken; was I supposed to apply that idea literally or figuratively?

Eventually I think I just settled with the thought that metaphorical fasting was the only kind of fasting that would fit in my life, and didn’t really think of it ever again. Sure, Jesus and his disciples fasted and wow, good for them that they can give up food for so long! Me? Oh, no, it’s modern day! The 21st century! You can’t expect me to give up food when I’m driving around, going to work, trying to keep control over my hectic life!

And yet, that seems to be exactly what the Lord is asking me, and you, to do.

“Fasting and worship, happening together—fasting that brings us to our dependence on God, and then leads us to praise the all-sufficiency of God. What a beautiful picture for us as we yield our lives daily to God.”

I think the word that sticks out the most to me in that quote is the word “daily.” It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that God isn’t just with me when I want him to be, or when I feel like he is with me. He’s here, lovingly watching over and listening to me, all the time. Every day. Daily.

IMG_20160319_172050_042Clearly what I need to work on is not only remembering God on Sundays and praying occasionally throughout the week, but pursuing intentional prayer and the presence of God every day. Perhaps I could even do so by fasting.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with fasting. Have you ever tried it? If you’ve fasted before, what are some spiritual lessons you learned throughout the process? If you feel so inclined, comment below with your thoughts!


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