When I think of “fasting”, my gut reaction is to think of the word “haphazard” because so often I hear people last-minute fasting, or fasting without thought. But the reality is that fasting requires discipline and obedience…
In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights but He didn’t do it on a whim! It’s said that He was first led by the Spirit to head to the wilderness. Fasting isn’t a time to give something up haphazardly (or casually) because we thought in that moment “oh, that’s a good idea!”. Fasting requires preparation and understanding so that it isn’t just a hollow gesture.
We need a constant reliance of the Spirit to be led during this time. If we try to do it on our own without intentionality, we’ll find ourselves swaying and being tempted. But this passage reminds us that disciplining ourselves to be in the Word and being with the Lord will assist us in resisting temptation. Isn’t that why we’re doing what we’re doing, anyway? Not to lose weight or to save money, but to draw attention away from those bad habits in order to pick up a good habit or two for our spiritual well-being?
Lent isn’t a time to be easy-going! Cut back on the indulgences and the extravagance – the things we don’t need, the things that can potentially detract glory from God. That’s why I love this verse on obedience in Philippians 2:12-13: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.”
Let’s be intentional and proactive with our fasting! The less we emphasize the significance of obeying & working on disciplining ourselves spiritually, the easier it will be to stray from the course and fall into temptation to quit or even “cheat”. It’s not too late! God deserves better, brothers and sisters… let’s follow & obey!
Reflection Song: Christ Is