When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. - Matthew 6:16-18
Fasting is kind of a lost art these days. I attended a Christian school until high school and once a year the high school and middle school fasted for a day a half. It was hard! But I didn’t know what a fast was until I participated in it for the first time, and let me tell you the feast we had was like the best meal I’ve ever eaten.
We fast for a spiritual purpose. It’s counter-cultural, don’t you think? Fasting comes when we’re in our bibles. Matthew 6:16 “when you fast…” not “If” you fast but When. And Jesus says the same thing in Matthew 9:15 “they will fast..”. We fast in this life because we believe in the life to come. We fast from what we see and can taste because we have tasted the goodness of God and we are more hungry for him than any food we can eat here John 4:32 says, “ But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
How to start fasting
David Mathis, pastor, and author of Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines gives us some great steps on how to start incorporating fasting into our lives that I really liked. Fasting sounds pretty easy but the world tells us no.
In the spirit of Christmas, we are in the season of Advent which is the season of anticipation. We are anticipating the coming of Jesus to save the world. We practice fasting during this season because we want to be alert and ready for what the Holy Spirit has to reveal to us. And we also have the blessing of when we’re doing God’s work we get hungry. We have the benefit of scripture and our brothers and sisters to fill us. I encourage you to share a meal with someone, that isn’t a believer or invite them to church or the Christmas Eve service.
Written by: Abigail Elliott
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