Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fasting: God's Grace is Sufficient

God’s Grace is Sufficient
  As I sat down to go over my latest blog post and did a final spell check edit, God nudged me and it’s as if He said “Wait.” So I waited and God took the blog post in a totally different direction. He’s funny that way!

   Over the past few months, I’ve been going through a book with one of my best friends called ‘Celebration of Discipline’, written by Richard J. Foster. If you’ve ever become stagnant or sedentary in your spiritual growth, this is an incredible book to challenge you. In a nutshell, Foster talks about 12 different spiritual disciplines that have been lined out in scripture that the early church practiced. The way we’re studying this book is that we’ll read a chapter one week and get together to talk about what we’ve learned from reading the chapter. Then the following week we’ll practice that discipline, journal our thoughts and then get back together to talk about what we’ve experienced and learned, and so on.  Since my friend and I live a state apart, we actually ‘get together’ over Skype, but I’ve also done this as a study throughout the school year with a group of women at church. So, it is a great study in so many different ways and God continues to reveal something new each time!

  This week we’re studying the spiritual discipline of FASTING. Every woman’s favorite, right? (That’s especially true for those of us who may be emotional eaters every now & then! Ha ha!) Due to the fact that I am 23 weeks pregnant, I’m altering my fast a bit and will do a traditional ‘food fast’ after our baby girl is born in June! One thing my friend & I talked about was that Foster points out that fasting is to be a God-ordained & God-initiated discipline. Even Christ was “led by the Spirit” in Matthew 4:1-4 to fast for 40 days & 40 nights.

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 


   Think about times you may have fasted, sometimes it seems like the only times we fast are when there is tragedy or when someone else is leading the charge. Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying; of course pastors, ministers, and other leaders in the church are given the gift & responsibility of leading God’s people! What I am talking about is the fact that we often miss out on how God wants to reveal Himself to us, individually, when we do something simply because someone else (other than God) suggests it. If God gives you a nudge, go for it! His grace is sufficient to carry you through! 

  Fasting can be an incredible discipline to incorporate into our lives as believers and followers of Christ. If you’re not sure how to fast, what to fast from, or how long to fast from that specific thing… it all begins with prayer. Just ask God! Let Him tell you! Quit being so controlling and allow God to lead you! (I only say that because I speak from stubborn experience!!) God wants us to know Him intimately. He already knows us that way, but wants to communicate with us. 

When we go before His throne, He will provide whatever we need!

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