I really like food. Like really, really like it.
In fact, while I can exercise much discipline in some areas of my life (e.g., running), when it comes to good food I’m defenseless. I simply enjoy eating.
That’s why I constantly ask my wife to help me by keeping me on track, providing healthy meals in good portions of only the best foods for me (e.g., not cheese). Because food is often my comfort (such as after a good long run), I can rely upon it more than its Maker.
Here’s an invitation … to join me in … not eating …
This coming Sunday through Tuesday a few (or more) of us in the RENEW Church family will embark on a fast, pausing from our regular eating activities to pursue God together. Giving up food for a designated time is one simple and effective way to lead our bodies to discover our need for God. I find that I enjoy food so much that I look forward to every meal and snack even more than I hunger and thirst for God Himself (even when I thank God for it each time, out of habit).
We invite you to fast with us as we stay hungry for God and trust Him to make the difference in our lives. (RENEW’s fast will begin after your evening meal on January 25th and will end with an evening meal on Tuesday, January 28th. Yours could be shorter or longer.) Everyone can fast something, for one key purpose is to cultivate a hunger and thirst for God. We need Him, but do we feel we need Him? When we set aside the regular things that we turn to for nourishment and joy, do we find that God our Father nourishes us, and that He is our joy?
Will you join us? (Let me know you’re in!)
We will also be praying some specific directions, asking God’s Spirit for guidance and wisdom in a number of areas as a family and a church family. This Sunday morning I will share are few of those particulars; if you’re curious, send me a note and I’ll happily share more details.
There are numerous kinds of fasts mentioned in the Bible, and some helpful ways to begin and end (or “break”) a fast. See this helpful guide for a few good tips. (Start where you are!) You could choose to fast from solid food and sip juices, or fast from the radio on your commute and invest that time in total quiet to pray. Let’s get as creative about seeking God as we do about preparing food.
Plus, keep in mind that whatever you usually struggle will likely become more difficult and not less. Someone who annoys you may seem more annoying, a tendency to drift towards lust will be heightened (you must resist). Desires of your flesh, desires of your eye, and the pride of life will not take a break even as you take a break from your regular eating routine.. Your body longs for the coping mechanisms (even good things!) you feed it, and so don’t be shocked if the temptations that usually drift your direction become more frequent.
The good food you normally enjoy must be replaced with the good food of God’s Word and meditating on His loving, gracious, good, and gracious character. Resist the devil, flee temptation, learn to put your hope in God.