True Fasting

This is only the second year that I have observed the season of Lent. Attending a Baptist church since being saved in 1999 has not provided an opportunity to learn much about the tradition.  Last year, I studied the traditions and history of Lent.  This year, I am more focused on the verses in the Bible that relate to why Christians observe Lent in the first place and to prayerfully discover how I can live out this season in a way that glorifies God and draws me closer to Him.

A significant part of the tradition of Lent is fasting.  Many people abstain from a particular food or fast on particular days during Lent, such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  I view fasting in a different light {and couldn’t fast from food if I wanted to due to my medical conditions} with Isaiah 58 being my life chapter.

Fasting with an impure motive {such as for the sake of a religious sacrament} means nothing to our Holy God.  He knows if we are simply going through the spiritual motions or if our fasting {from whatever it is} is a sacrifice to Him.

You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? ~Isaiah 58: 4b-5 NIV

The Lord desires fasting that spills forth from a heart that  yearns to be closer to Him, shedding the things of this world that hinder our relationship with the Most High and sacrifice our flesh for our soul.

In Luke 4:1, the Bible tells us that Jesus entered the desert for those forty days of temptation “full of the Holy Spirit”.

That is the true fast.  To enter the season of Lent desiring more of God in my life and to live a life that finds sustenance in the Bread of Life alone.

Last year, God had me focus on pride.  This year, on letting go of negative attitudes and focusing on the good.

For you, it may be Facebook or chocolate.  A deep root of bitterness or desire to be first.

That is between you and God.  But, do yourself a favor.  Right now, this 7th day of Lent, ask God what He desires from you, of you.  And relinquish it to Him, in His strength, in a true spirit of fasting.

5 Responses to True Fasting

  1. Trish says:

    Melissa
    Thank you for these words. What a wonderful post.

    I also took the time to read your story and was blessed by your testimony. God is good always. And He always loves us…no matter what. Something I’ve been wrestling with for a long time as I merge faith and trust over things of my past.

    Thank you for joining us today. I hope we can read more in the coming weeks.

    Many blessings and prayers…it isn’t easy to fast character issues. I know…it’s where He has my heart this year. Some days I wish He had allowed something simpler from me…like chocolate.

    Blessings,
    Trish

    • Melissa says:

      definitely not easy but so worth it..thanks for having the link up and
      helping us focus these 40 days with the help of a community of others. God
      bless!

  2. Vickie says:

    Great post! It is hard to really work on character issues. Fasting a particular food, even the internet is nothing compared to character issues and drawing closer to our Lord.

  3. Catherine says:

    I’m glad you joined in today, I really enjoyed your post. Thank you for your wonderful insight.

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