On Fasting During the Lenten Season


Read Proverbs 4:18-27

There’s just something about fasting that seems entirely too demanding. Or maybe legalistic. Many of us have fallen away from the practice. Some of us grew up with strict religious backgrounds and we were forced to fast, so instead of desiring to be with God, it just made us scared of God….like he was looking down on us like a naughty child just waiting to slap our hands for reaching for a cookie. Some of us grew up with no fasting at all. Fasting, what’s fasting? We couldn’t dream of giving up a meal, let alone several items for 3 weeks! And deep down, we are really skeptical. We ask questions like “Is this really necessary?” and we really doubt whether we attempt something like fasting if we’re really able to do it.

Well, fasting really shouldn’t be about either of those things. God doesn’t command us to fast. There was lots of fasting in the Old Testament, but not so much after Jesus. It was a practice, not a requirement, and Jesus himself fasted on occasion. So should we fast? Yeah, probably. Should we look at it as a requirement? Absolutely not! Choose for yourself to resemble this verse in Proverbs 4:20-22 over the coming weeks as we approach Easter:

“Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice.Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart!Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.”

I love the passage “tune to my voice.” I tune in to a lot of things. I tune in to the T.V. I tune in to books and magazines. I tune in to facebook. I tune in to twitter, but struggle with finding the space for God’s voice in my life. I’m in a generation of information overload, yet I don’t get nearly enough of God’s voice. Sometimes I wonder if I’d really recognize it if I heard it.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remove the clutter in my life to really hear and know you. Amen

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