It’s the top of the new year, quarter one, and we are all thinking about what’s next. We’re thinking about how we want to better ourselves this year or we’re just going through the motions because, well, it’s the top of the new year.
Spouses are goal-setting, businesses are strategizing, and the church is fasting.
I’m fasting. My family is fasting and today I wanted to share the importance of living a fasted life.
But first, what is fasting?
Fasting is voluntarily reducing the amount of food you eat or any activity you do in your leisure. It is forgoing daily pleasure with a sincere heart and repentance as an act of sacrifice and worship.
True fasting omits food. The omission of activities are an added bonus to avoid distractions while fasting.
Fasting must be coupled with prayer, living righteously, and love. (Isaiah 58)
( Isaiah 58: 8-12)
Fasting says God here I am. It is acknowledging that we need God more than we need the very things he designed to give us nutrients, to keep us breathing, and alive.
Fasting is for atonement. ( Matthew 6:16-18)
“Fasting expresses earnestness before God.”David Guzik
What fasting is not?
Fasting is not a hunger strike.
It can’t be entered into as a demand to hear God’s voice or to know his will immediately.
Now before we get into it, please recognize that this blog post is for all of our benefit. Me first and foremost to do and be better and if it helps you, thank God.
Now, Let’s Discuss How To Live A Fasted Life
First, in order to live a fasted life, we have to incorporate prayer into our day throughout the day, every day.
The Bible says that men are to always pray.
( Luke 18:1)
Prayer is an opportunity for us to share our hearts with our Heavenly Father and for him to share with us. It is an open line by which we can praise the only true living God, we can thank him for his great kindness, and we can share our concerns and desires.
Through prayer and fasting, we can ask for and get clear direction and peace to live according to God’s will for our lives.
Next, we should read and study the Bible daily. Jesus says in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
As we fast, pray, and add reading the truth of the Bible to our daily lives, we will see the fruit of our consistency.
By fruit I mean the fruit of the spirit.
( Galatians 5:22-23)
We will gradually love our neighbors more, and experience an unexplainable joy. We will be overwhelmed with peace even when there seems to be confusion all around us.
God will give us patience, and a tender heart, and increase our ethics and faith, all while helping us to be meek and disciplined.
After incorporating prayer and reading, we should be careful to avoid the things that tempt us or cause us to sin.
Be it people, places, or specific things, avoiding these things will help us to be consistent in our walk and give us the space, time, and opportunity to build ourselves up spiritually so that when confronted we can withstand.
The Bible says that we will never be tempted beyond our abilities.
” No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
Finally, I would say that in order to live a fasted life, we need to join a Christian community.
Doing life with a like-minded group of individuals will help you on your walk. We were not made to be alone and Heaven will be all the more filled to capacity.
God made us in his image. We are his beloved. His heart for us is to do his will and to be our very best selves as we do it.
Living a fasted life will help us to better ourselves and our communities all while keeping at the forefront of our minds our strive– HEAVEN!
“When we live a fasted life we get our priorities straight. We draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and he to us” ( James 4:8)
Happy Fasting, and Happy living to live again.