Monday, April 18, 2011

"No, not now." A reflection on fasting

Over and over in the Scriptures, we are encouraged to pray and fast. But what does that mean, exactly? Is fasting just starving yourself? That's certainly what I thought throughout my years as a young Believer. Recently though, I was discussing fasting with a group of friends and my eyes were opened to a whole new idea of what fasting truly is.

Because of sin, we are not controlled by to Holy Spirit, but rather we are controlled by the sinful nature. When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, the Holy Spirit inhabits us, but we still have to choose to be controlled by the Spirit, rather than by the sinful nature. Romans 8 discusses this topic in length. Verse 8 puts it this way, "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." So how do we change our lives from being sin-nature controlled to being Spirit controlled? Fasting is a big part of gaining control over the sinful nature.

Fasting is not simply starving oneself, fasting is saying to your human(sinful) nature, "No, not now." While fasting, when you body cries out for something that you are choosing not to indulge in, you say to it[your body] "No, not now. I have control." It is taking control over that human nature, because if we are a slave to that human nature, we cannot be fully devoted to Christ. Fasting helps us tap into the strength that we are given through the Holy Spirit and take control over our human nature.

Fasting is by no means easy, but that is why I think it makes such a huge impact in our lives. We are often at a place where we have to rely on God for the strength to get through this period of fasting and that allows us to take the control from our human nature and instead letting ourselves be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Fasting is something that I've really been thinking about lately and reflecting upon. What are you thoughts on fasting? Please share!


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