Spiritual Disciplines // SIMPLICITY & FASTING
By Chris Bowlby
On Sunday, Donia Hovet said,
“We must be like Nehemiah and discern the plans of the enemy. He wants to dim our light. He wants to extract every bit of saltiness out of us so that we would be repugnant to the world. We need to, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross!”
We live in a culture and a world that is not designed for you to be Christian. We may have some vestiges of a Judeo Christian worldview, or semi-Christian inspired, Hobby Lobby themed values; but our culture will not push us towards truly following the way of Jesus. The enemy of our souls wants to “extract every bit of saltiness out of us”, as Donia said. One way that happens is our cultures obsession with the pursuit of pleasure. At any time, you and I have autonomy to choose our own happiness. We can choose the activities we want, Amazon Prime and the satisfaction of a brown-box-dopamine-hit is one click away, and our pantries are stuffed with goods that are sure to provide happiness. Our phones are a boredom curing machine ready to steal our attention at any given moment. We don’t have to tell our flesh no very often.
When we fast we are training our flesh that it does not get to run the show.
1. Pick a meal to fast. It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but make sure it is a full meal that is being fasted.
2. Replace your meal time with some reflection. Go for a walk or sit in the quiet. Don’t busy yourself away from your feelings of hunger.
3. Allow the feelings of hunger draw out any other emotions. We often eat as a coping mechanism. Are you feeling anxious, sad, angry, joyful? Allow these feelings to bubble to the surface. Ask God to meet these needs.
Practicing telling our flesh no is a wonderful gift. Sometimes the worst thing we can have is to get everything we want! Fasting is a way to receive not just what we desire, but what God has for us.