Fasting is a challenge to righteous discipline

BROTHER’S KEEPER

Given the incredible power we give food, the discipline of fasting challenges us in an area where our culture is often the most undisciplined. One of the great obsessions of Western culture is eating. Whether for the pure sensual pleasure of the task or as a replacement for the emotional nurture we do not receive, overeating or starving are struggles many women and me face. Fasting challenges us to be disciplined in our eating and drinking.

Traditionally, the fast was implanted to elicit God’s support, to change His mind concerning judgment, to understand what is confusing in one’s personal circumstances, and to gain wisdom for making decisions. The fast also is used to petition God regarding resolutions for the problems of society and for ways to overcome our own weaknesses. The fast is also adopted to seek forgiveness on behalf of a group or for our nation’s behavior. Finally, fasting is to honor and glorify God. It is designed to draw us into knowing God more fully, to learn His ways rather than only petitioning to gain our own way. Esther seeks wisdom through active waiting while she fasts and withdraws into solitude. – Normajean Hinders

Full stomachs and jaded palates take the edge from our hunger and thirst for righteousness. They spoil the appetite for God. – Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Character check

Fasting is one of the forgotten Christians lives. Yes, you will get hungry. But you may find “food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32).