Recently our pastor invited us to fast (patterned after Daniel’s fast in the Bible) for three weeks in anticipation of Easter. I had never successfully fasted more than three days and I think that was because of a medical procedure. I was unhappy about the prospect and was sure failure was just around the corner. After two days wrestling with the notion, I decided to give it a valiant effort. What I learned follows:
- Fasting is for me, not for God. I address fears, ugly habits and idols when fasting.
- God is not legalistic, I am. When it was apparent I needed to change the fast, it was a lesson in letting God be Lord and not insisting on hurting myself to impress Him.
- God’s ability to hear my requests doesn’t change, my ability to hear Him improves. I listened more intently to His voice than ever before.
- What comes of a fast is up to God. I didn’t ask God for anything other than an unprecedented move of His Spirit. He moved in ways I didn’t imagine that were wonderful surprises.
Remember this: Matthew 6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”