The Season of Lent less than 2 weeks away. Have you considered fasting this year? Here are some things to consider.
Fasting is about abstaining from something that brings you pleasure (usually food) in order to focus upon God. It’s important to have the right motives before beginning a fast.
The fast is about humility and giving God glory, not losing weight or gaining something for yourself in return. That kind of fasting is more like Baalism than Christianity. Give up the idea that you will gain from fasting. The fast is about being emptied. We are filled when fasting is over as Easter fills us with joy and new life returns.
There will be no instant gratification in fasting. If your fast doesn’t guide you into prayerful times then you might be fasting the wrong thing. In other words, don’t give up TV and then fill that void with Facebook. Don’t give up sweets then overindulge on other foods. Let your fast lead you into prayer.
Prayer is not about talking to God nearly as much as it is about being properly formed, listening and being shaped by God the Holy Spirit. Learn to become a contemplative person. Don’t stop just because you don’t feel anything.
Let the fast lead you into self-examination. Let God show you the true self who you were meant to be and have a heart that is willing to confess your sins as they arise. Be willing to repent. Allow God to create in you a clean heart, renewing a steadfast spirit within.
Don’t be afraid to meditate and pray using prayer books. Pray the Psalms often. Allow the risen Christ to breath His life into you through the saints who have gone before and through His word..
Meditate on the Gospel, and the Holy attributes of Jesus. Study the things Jesus said and did, then go do them. If you are fasting meals, take meals to the hungry or who to those who are just in need of some kindness. Maybe you could save the money from the meals you skip and give it to a family in need.
Be willing to forgive as Christ forgave and forgives you. Let the fast help you to know Jesus more and in doing so it will help you know the person that you were meant to be.
While you fast, make time to worship in private and with other believers. Take walks with Jesus and allow him to speak. Leave your music players at home.
Lastly, be creative. Our God is a creator and we share in who He is when we are being like Him. You were made in the image of the creator God, so create. Write a song, draw, paint, sing, build something, make a film, …etc. As you create focus on what it means to share in the creativity of God.
I hope these ideas words help you to think of fasting in new ways. Consider what you might fast during the 6 week season of Lent this year so that you may know participate fully in the 7 week celebration of Easter knowing that you have taken a journey with Jesus, emptying yourself with Him, by Him, for Him so that you may come to fully know Him.